How can ulcers be prevented?

Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Find out your Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) status if you have symptoms suggestive of an ulcer, don't smoke, avoid unnecessary use of ibuprofen or aspirin, keep your caffeine and alcohol consumption to a minimum (not more than one caffeinated or alcoholic beverage daily), and try some guided meditation to keep your stress levels low. If you think you have an ulcer, have your symptoms checked out by a gastroenterologist who may recommend an examination of the stomach and small intestine (upper endoscopy) for diagnosis.
Some kinds of ulcers are easier to prevent than others. Stress can make you more susceptible to some ulcers, so reducing stress in your life can help prevent ulcers. Smokers develop peptic ulcers more often than non-smokers, so quitting is a good way to reduce your risk for ulcers. Ulcers that result from pressure (decubitus ulcers), which are often a problem for people who are bedridden, can be avoided by close supervision of caregivers who should watch for skin irritation and reposition a person every few hours. Unfortunately, sometimes the main source of ulcers cannot be prevented. For instance, peptic ulcers are mostly caused by an infection of which the source is not clear.

Continue Learning about Ulcers



Ulcers are caused by too much acid in the stomach, and the reasons for excess acid is usually a bacterial infection or prolonged use of NSAID painkillers like aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Smoking can also be a culprit. Ulcers ...

cause pain, most often when the stomach is empty or at night. The pain can in the chest, as low as the navel, or as high as the breastbone. Modern treatment is with medicine to kill bacterial infection and to block, suppress, or neutralize excess acid.

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