Many people who have mild ulcer symptoms first try home treatment for a short time without seeing a doctor.
But see your doctor if your symptoms don't get better after 10 to 14 days of home treatment, or if you have other symptoms such as weight loss, nausea after eating, or consistent pain. This is even more important if you are middle-aged or older, because the risk for cancer or other illnesses that cause symptoms similar to peptic ulcer disease increases with age.
Try these home treatment steps to stop symptoms and help an ulcer heal:
- Stop smoking.
- Try nonprescription medicines that reduce stomach acid. Make sure you tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking.
- Make changes to your diet, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals. (These changes may improve your symptoms, but they won't help your ulcer heal.)
- Drink alcohol only in moderation, or not at all. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. Drinking too much alcohol may make an ulcer heal more slowly and may make your symptoms worse.