What should I do if my peptic ulcers are not healing?

Peptic ulcers are sometimes caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. Your doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. You must finish all antibiotics, even if you feel better before you finish the treatment, to make sure the infection is gone. This enables the ulcers to heal. Other medicines like proton pump inhibitors will often be recommended to treat symptoms. Doctors will usually do a breath or stool test to be sure the infection is gone. If the infection is still present, your doctor may prescribe different antibiotics.

Ulcers are caused more than half the time by overuse of medications, mainly NSAID painkillers. If your doctor believes that is the cause of the peptic ulcer, you will probably have to stop using the drugs and take antiacid medications to help the stomach heal. Again, follow instructions carefully.

Surgery may be needed in rare cases when the ulcers do not heal, return following treatment, or are suspected of causing a perforation or being caused by cancer. Surgery can be used to remove ulcers and reduce stomach acid. You may also be instructed to quit smoking if you smoke, improve your diet, and change the medications you usually take.

This answer is based on the source infromation from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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