Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Is there any way to get rid of an ulcer?"
Doctor says that I have an ulcer and gave me a list of foods and drinks to avoid to make it better. Will it ever completely go away though or will I always have an ulcer from now on?
Ulcers are a very common--if particularly troublesome--complaint. Your doctor is correct that avoiding certain foods (alcohol, caffeine, acidic foods) can help an ulcer heal. The goal for any patient with an ulcer is to help it heal over time, and this is definitely a possibility.
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However, as you may already know from your evaluation so far, many ulcers are associated with other health issues that also have to be addressed in order for the ulcer to heal. In particular, a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori is associated with a significant number of ulcers, and treatment for the infection is a crucial part of helping the ulcer heal. Typically a patient will take a combination of several antibiotics for a few weeks to ensure that the bacteria is completely eliminated. In addition, we also know that in many cases ulcers are caused by an overproduction of stomach acid. For this reason, many patients diagnosed with ulcers will also be put on an acid-lowering medication to aid healing. In general, your ulcer should go away but it will be important to maintain follow-up with your physician throughout this process and to take any medications you are prescribed. In addition, it is impossible to diagnose an ulcer without doing an endoscopic evaluation of the stomach and upper part of the intestines. Again, please speak with your doctor soon!
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