A stomach ulcer is also called peptic ulcer. It develops a sore in the lining of the stomach. It can cause pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite. Stomach ulcers can be caused by a variety of factors, including infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria, long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), excessive alcohol consumption, and stress.
Medical tourism platforms like Medditour connect the patients suffering from ulcers with international hospitals and facilitators to get affordable and timely solutions for it, without compromising on quality.
In this article, we will explore the causes, seriousness, treatments, and how medical tourism could help treat stomach ulcers.
Causes of stomach ulcers
Some of the common factors that can cause stomach ulcers include the following.
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria: This bacterium is the most common cause of stomach ulcers. It can infect the lining of the stomach, causing inflammation and ulcers. H. pylori comes into contact through contaminated food and water, and it can also be passed from person to person through close contact.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can irritate the lining of the stomach, leading to ulcers. Prolonged use of NSAIDs is a significant risk factor for developing stomach ulcers.
- Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, causing inflammation and ulcers.
- Stress: Although stress does not cause ulcers, it can make the symptoms worse. Stress can increase the production of stomach acid, which can irritate the ulcer and make it more painful.
How serious is stomach ulcer?
Stomach ulcers can be a serious medical condition if left untreated. They can lead to complications such as bleeding, perforation of the stomach or small intestine, and obstruction.
Bleeding ulcers can cause symptoms such as vomiting blood, passing dark, tarry stools, and low blood pressure. These ulcers could become life threatening too.
Perforated ulcers occur when the ulcer erodes through the stomach or intestinal wall, causing contents to leak into the abdominal cavity. This can cause severe abdominal pain, fever, and peritonitis.
Obstructive ulcers occur when the ulcer blocks the passage of food through the digestive tract, causing vomiting and pain.
Treatments for stomach ulcer
The treatment of stomach ulcers depends on the cause of the ulcer. If the ulcer is caused by H. pylori, a course of antibiotics is usually prescribed to kill the bacteria. Acid-reducing medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine receptor blockers (H2 blockers), are also prescribed to reduce the production of stomach acid and promote healing of the ulcer. NSAIDs should be discontinued if they are the cause of the ulcer.
Lifestyle modifications, such as reducing alcohol intake and managing stress, can also help promote healing. NHS states that with treatment, most ulcers heal in a few months.
Medical tourism and stomach ulcer treatment
Medical tourism is a growing industry, with millions of people traveling abroad each year for medical treatments. One of the reasons for this trend is the cost savings associated with medical tourism. Medical procedures and treatments can be significantly cheaper in medical tourism destinations like India, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Dubai, and Turkey compared to the countries like the US and UK.
Medical tourism destinations offer high-quality medical care for stomach ulcers, including the use of advanced diagnostic and treatment technologies. Companies like Medditour make it possible for the patients to have their treatments combined with vacation at international destinations, which can be made use of.
In conclusion, stomach ulcers cause sore in the stomach lining that causes abdominal pain. Treatments are available for complete cure of ulcers. Medical tourism could be a viable option for ulcer treatments as it would be a way to achieve cost-effectiveness with high quality.