Food & Peptic UlcersA peptic ulcer is an area of damage to the lining of either the stomach or the (the part of the digestive tract that immediately follows the stomach). Peptic ulcers can cause symptoms of indigestion, including pain, which may be severe. They can be treated with medicines but if left untreated can leads to serious complications.
An ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric or stomach ulcer. In the duodenum it is called a duodenal ulcer. Peptic ulcers are usually raw patches that are 1-2 cm in diameter. They may be acute or chronic. In case of acute ulcers, several ulcers may be present at a time, and these may or may not produce any symptoms. They often heal with proper treatment without any long term consequences. Chronic ulcers are deeper, usually occur individually and cause symptoms. They leave a scar when they heal.
Causes of Peptic Ulcer:
The contents of stomach are acidic. The acid helps to protect the body from infection and helps break down the food that is eaten. The lining of the stomach and duodenum is covered in mucus, which protect it from acid. An ulcer can result when the stomach produces excess acid or there is insufficient mucus to protect the lining from damage.
There are several factors that increase a person risk of getting a peptic ulcer:
1). Infection with bacteria called helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) –this is almost always present in people with ulcers, although it is also found in the stomachs of many people without ulcers or indigestion symptoms.
2). regularly taking certain medicines.
4). Drinking alcohol in excess.
6). Excessive intake of irritants such as spices and caffeine (coffee, tea, cola drinks, and certain caffeine containing energy drinks).
Occasionally, a gastric ulcer may develop within a cancer in the lining of the stomach.
Symptoms:Some people with peptic ulcers have no symptoms. However, many people have abdominal pain, usually just below the chest bone. A gastric ulcer typically causes a sharp pain in the stomach soon after eating, whereas the pain of the duodenal ulcer is typically relieved by eating, or by drinking milk. Other symptoms may include:
2). General discomfort in the stomach,
3). Loss of appetite or rarely increased appetite,
6). Loss of weight.
9). Gastro-esophageal reflux.
Complications:Sometimes a peptic ulcer can leads to more serious problems, including perforation (a hole in the wall) of the stomach or duodenum. This causes severe pain and needs emergency treatment. However, the most common complication is bleeding from the ulcer. Symptom includes:
1. Vomiting red blood or vomit containing dark brown bits of older blood (with an appearance of coffee grounds).
2. Blood (usually dark red) in the stool.
3. Black, tarry stool.
A slowly bleeding ulcer can also cause anemia, where there are not enough red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body.
Scars left by healed ulcers something cause narrowing (stenosis) in the duodenum. This can lead to severe vomiting and may need surgery.
•Endoscopy is the preferred method.
•Double contrast barium meal examination may be done.
Precautions: A number of lifestyle changes may reduce the symptoms of a peptic ulcer, and speed up healing:
1. Avoid food and drink that seems to cause more severe symptoms such as spicy foods, fatty foods, coffee, and possibly alcohol.2. Stop smoking.
3. Lose excess weight if overweight.
4. Reduction of stress by exercise, relaxing exercises, psychotherapy, anti-stress medication, hypnotism, yoga or any other method that relieves stress and anxiety.
5. Avoidance of individual foods that may cause discomfort to specific patients- this is often an individual reaction so that some patients need to cut out white bread, while others need to cut out white bread, while others need to completely stay away from brown bread.
Treatment: In addition to recommending lifestyle changes, if applicable, your doctor may prescribe a course of tablets to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach such as:
2. Proton-pump inhibitors (medication that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces).
3. Antibiotics to eradicate bacterial infection.
4. Surgery is rarely indicated for ulcers resistant to therapy or where there are frequent relapses.
Homeopathic treatment: For peptic ulcer there are numerous medicines from which some are given below:
Graphites: Peptic ulcers with intolerance of food; nausea and vomiting after each meal, great flatulence better from belching; aversion to meat, cooked food, fish, salt and sweets; burning, constrictive and cramping pain in stomach; pain becomes worse from cold drinks and better by eating and warm milk; periodic stomach pain with vomiting of food soon after eating, etc.
Pulsatilla: Symptoms of ulcer aggravates from eating rich food, cake, pastry especially after pork or sausage, fruits, cold food or drinks and ice cream; aversion to fatty food, butter, warm food, and drinks; water brash, with bitter taste in the mouth; abdomen painfully distended with loud rumbling; pain in stomach an hour after eating, etc.
Phosphorus: Pain in stomach relieved by cold food and icy cold drinks; tenderness in the region of stomach or duodenum; hunger soon after eating; longs for cold food and drinks and juicy refreshing things; nausea and vomiting after warm food and drinks; in later stages there is haematemesis, vomiting of blood, bile, and mucus with coffee ground substances, etc.
Petroleum: Gnawing, pressing pain in stomach, when ever the stomach is empty; relieved by constant eating; heart burn and sour eructation; strong aversion to fatty food and meat, worse from eating cabbage, ravengeous hunger, must rise at night and eat; nausea with accumulation of water in mouth, etc.
Nux vomica: Sour or bitter taste in the morning or aversion to food; nausea and sour or bitter vomiting, fullness after eating a small amount of food or pressure as of a stone in the stomach; sensitiveness of stomach worse from the least pressure of clothing; colic with ineffectual urge for stool, temporarily better after stool. It is also used in liver complains and jaundice with nausea, vomiting, and ineffectual urge for stool, etc.
Merc sol: Ulcers bleed easily; aversion to meat, wine, greasy food, coffee, coffee and butter; eructation, regurgitations, heartburn, nausea and vomiting; problem becomes worse after milk and sweet; salivation increased, tongue shows imprints of teeth, painful with ulcers in mouth along with peptic ulcers; Stool slimy, bloody, with colic and fainting feeling; great tenesmus during and after stool, etc.
Some Other Medicines for peptic ulcers are - Belladonna, Borax, Colocynth, Bryonia, Dulcamara, Symphytum, Aethusa, Sulphur, Kali Bich, Lycopodium, Carbo Veg, Anti crud, Calc carb, Nat mur, Nat phos, China, Silicea, Lachesis, Acidum nit., Calendula, Hamamelis, argentum-nit, arsenic-alb, atropine, geranium, hydrastis, kali-bichrom, merc-cor, ornithogalum, uranium-nit, terebintha, medorrhinum, ipecac, etc