It’s important to know that most people with a stomach ulcer are
treated successfully. There are also some simple steps you can take on
your own to complement your treatment and help the ulcer heal. Your
actions may even help prevent future ulcers.
Avoid Antacids: Antacids can help your stomach ulcer feel better for a
little while. But you should avoid taking them. Antacids won’t heal a
stomach ulcer and can actually interfere with medications that do. For
example, antacids reduce how well some antibiotics work.
Mind Your Meds: Most people with stomach ulcers take prescription
drugs to reduce pain and help the ulcer heal. For example, antibiotics
kill an H. pylori bacterial infection—the leading cause of stomach
ulcers. But antibiotics and other drugs won’t work as well if you
don’t take them as prescribed. Acid blockers should be taken on an
empty stomach 30 minutes before mealtime. If your doctor prescribes
medicine for your stomach ulcer, follow the directions exactly. And
finish taking the entire course of medicine, even if you feel better.
Enjoy your diet: Many people think that spicy foods can cause an
ulcer. Not so. Although spicy foods can irritate ulcer symptoms in
some people, there’s no special diet you have to follow if you have
stomach ulcers. So enjoy your food—but watch your drink. Drinking
alcohol slows the healing of ulcers and can make them worse.
Don’t overdo dairy: Some people believe that drinking milk can help
cure a stomach ulcer. And while it’s true that milk can make you feel
better briefly, it isn’t a cure for ulcers. In fact, drinking too much
milk can increase stomach acid, which can actually make an ulcer
Quit smoking: Smoking slows the healing process. It can also make an
ulcer worse. In addition, smoking after you heal from an ulcer can
cause the ulcer to come back. Smoking’s effect on ulcers is just one
more reason to quit. Ask your doctor for resources that can help you
kick the habit.