Worried about how to sleep with of stomach ulcer? You are not alone. In this article you are going to learn the 6 major ways of how to sleep with stomach ulcer and also have a better sleep without pains.
One of the questions many ulcer patients ask is how they will sleep without being affected by the pain caused by stomach ulcers. Before we get to answer the question, let us look at the meaning of stomach ulcers, diagnosis and treatment methods.
When you have painful sores that develop on the lining of the stomach due to damages, it is known as stomach ulcer. Another name for stomach ulcer is gastric ulcer and it is less common than duodenal ulcers (the type that occurs in the gut or small intestines).
The stomach is responsible for producing acids that helps in digesting foods and killing bacteria and germs, this acid is corrosive to other organs and tissues, so the body gives the responsibility of producing a natural mucous barrier to some cells on the inside lining of the stomach and the first part of the gut (small intestine) known as the duodenum. The mucous barrier acts as a protective lining to the stomach and small intestine (duodenum).
The amount of acid the stomach produces and the natural mucous produced is always balanced by the body, when there is an alteration or change,the acid damages the lining of the stomach leading to an ulcer developing. This alteration can be caused by either the bacteria known as H. pylori or constant use of Anti-inflammatory medicines – including aspirin.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen are one of the causes of stomach ulcers especially if they are taken for a long period of time or in high doses. H. pylori is a bacteria that causes infection in the stomach or duodenum. Other causes can be Crohn’s disease (a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract and cause abdominal pain).
SYMPTOMS OF STOMACH ULCER
There are many symptoms apart from stomach pain that can suggest that you have stomach ulcers. Some are:
- Getting full easily when eating
- Feeling nauseous
- Retching as though you are feeling sick but you will not vomit
- Bloating of the tummy
In cases of serious complications, you can have symptoms like;
Perforation: When the ulcer has gone through the walls of the stomach, the food and acid in the stomach leaks out of the stomach through the perforated holes. This is a very serious medical emergency and can cause severe pain. It is advised that you seek medical help immediately.
Bleeding ulcers: This can cause internal bleeding or haemorrhage. In serious cases of heavy bleeding, you can vomit blood and this will make you lightheaded or even faint. You can vomit coffee coloured blood in less severe cases because the acid has broken down the blood partly.You can also pass out trickles of blood through your gut (bowel) and cause your stools (faeces) to look very dark in colour or even black.
Stomach obstruction or blockage: The ulcer can make the outlet of the stomach to narrow and cause obstruction in the stomach, this makes you to vomit any food taken in.
DIAGNOSIS OF STOMACH ULCER
To diagnose stomach ulcers, a doctor will have to carry out tests to know if most of the symptoms are caused by ulcer or maybe another condition like stomach cancer. The test can be
A test is done to see the inside of your stomach and intestines. A thin, flexible instrument with camera is inserted through your mouth through your esophagus, stomach and small intestine, the camera shows the insides of these organs on a screen. The instrument also has forceps which can be used to collect tissue samples called biopsy for further examination.
H. pylori Test
To know if you have the bacteria that causes ulcer, this test is conducted. It can be done using your blood, stool or breath. The sample is taken to the lab where further tests are carried out to detect the presence of H. pylori.
Upper Gastrointestinal series
This tests involve x-rays of your esophagus, stomach and small intestines. Before the x-rays, a white liquid containing barium is given to the patient to drink. The drink coats the digestive tract making it easier for the ulcer to be seen.
TREATMENT FOR STOMACH ULCER
Antacids Medications: Medicines that effectively reduce the amount of acids the stomach produces is given, this medicine is taken for like 4 to 8 weeks. You can also take some fruits that have proven to be good with stomach ulcer
Treatment of the H. pylori infection: If the ulcer is caused by the bacteria, it is important to treat it first to avoid recurrence. If the infection is not treated, the ulcer comes back again when you stop taking the antacid medications. You can also take ulcer supplements to treat stomach ulcers.
Avoiding the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): For ulcers caused by these anti-inflammatory drugs, you will have to stop taking them and antacids are taken to suppress the acids and make the ulcer heal. But, if you have to take any of the anti-inflammatory drugs due to pain or protection against blood clot, you will have to take the antacids everyday.
HOW TO SLEEP WITH STOMACH ULCER
It is sometimes difficult to sleep at night when you have pains from stomach ulcers. Here are some ways of how to sleep with stomach ulcer;
Using an Adjustable bed
There is no single best sleeping position for ulcer patients because the pain can vary from person to person. It is advised that you get an adjustable bed so that you can lie on your back, left side or right side depending on which turns out to be best for you. Adjustable beds can also help reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux, and even back pain by elevating the upper portion of the bed.
Eating 3 or 4 hours before your bedtime
This is also one of the ways of how to sleep with stomach ulcer. A light dinner eaten 3 or 4 hours before sleeping will help you feel settled and comfortable. It is advised that people with peptic ulcers should not consume foods high with protein or fat as it may cause disturbances.Have a strict timetable for your meal.
Reducing stress and unhealthy habits
Some habits are not advisable for an stomach ulcers patient as they can make the ulcer worse or cause recurrence. Some of the habits are:
- Quit smoking as it makes the stomach acids to increase.
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Excessive intake of alcohol can wear away the inner lining of the esophagus and stomach – leading to excessive inflammation and bleeding.
- Limit stress as they can interfere with your sleep.
Taking your prescribed medication before sleeping
Yet one of the ways of how to sleep with stomach ulcer is taking your medication before sleeping. The medications prescribed will reduce the pain caused by your stomach ulcers and help you sleep. Your medications can include: Antibiotics to kill the bacteria (H. pylori ), Medications to protect the lining of the stomach and Medications for neutralizing some acids in the stomach and heal the ulcer
Avoiding trigger foods before bed
Foods that are spicy are known to aggravate the pain. It is advised that you avoid taking these foods especially at night when the pain can become severe.
Distractions like noisy environment, extended use of electronic gadgets and fully bright room can prevent you from sleeping. You can dim the light of your room, turn off all electronic appliances that will keep you awake and block your ears with earbuds if your environment is noisy.
In this article we have discussed the six ways of how to sleep with stomach ulcer. If you have already been diagnosed with stomach ulcers, it is important you adopt healthy habits to avoid worsening it. The more it gets worsen, the more you feel pain. It may interest you to know that poor sleeping pattern can increase the ulcer while pain from the ulcer can make you gave less sleep. To sleep better, adjust your sleeping pattern and stick to your medications.