Peptic ulcer outlook and FAQ
What is the outlook for a peptic ulcer?
Through following a proper treatment and eating plan, most ulcers will heal. Bear in mind, if you do not take your medication, discontinue it too early, continue smoking, drinking and eating problem products, then your ulcer will battle to heal and this can result in a number of complications. It is best to schedule an appointment to see your doctor for a follow-up to ensure that your ulcer has healed.
Roughly 8% to 11% of women and 11% to 14% of men will have a peptic ulcer at least once in their life.
The peptic ulcer mortality rate is low with only one in 10,000 patients dying from ulcer-related complications. The mortality rate as a result of haemorrhages (internal bleeding) is roughly 5%. However, the prognosis is often positive for most peptic ulcers if adequately treated.
How long does it take for peptic ulcers to heal?
Treatment to rid the digestive tract of H. pylori bacteria will take roughly two to three weeks where you will take a course of antibiotics for this period of time. Medication to lower the amount of stomach acid produced may also be prescribed for a period of eight weeks. Following from this, the complete healing process for uncomplicated ulcers may take between two and three months.
Do stress and spicy foods cause peptic ulcers?
Before the discovery of H. pylori infections, it was thought that one’s diet and stress levels were a direct cause of peptic ulcers. This has now been proved wrong as these factors will irritate the ulcer but not cause it. The main causes of stomach ulcers is an H. pylori bacterial infection and excessive use of medications such as painkillers and anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs).
How dangerous are peptic ulcers?
Most ulcers can be cured through detection and treatment. However, if left untreated they can be life-threatening as they pose risks of perforation, bleeding (haemorrhage), obstruction and cancer.