“Eat to live and don’t live to eat” – We have to follow this principle for a healthy life. Nowadays fast foods, carbonated drinks and tin-packed foods, containing preservatives, add fuel to the hurried, tension-filled life to form peptic ulcer. Also, people now take a lot of medicines like a small meal for their ailments (mostly after 40), which irritate the stomach and induce peptic ulcer.
If the stomach is ulcerated, it is called gastric ulcer and if the duodenum is involved, it is duodenal ulcer. Commonly people say “gastritis” for generalised ulcer and gas trouble.
Mind – Stress and strain also cause ulcer. Its incidence is more in sensitive, anxious, emotional people and who think a lot because of which acid secretion will be continuous
Foods – Spicy and chilly foods can cause ulcers
Toxic – Chemicals or decayed foods may produce ulcer formation.
Mechanical – Any hard food substance or any investigative procedures.
Habits – Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and irregular dietary habit
Drugs – long-term use of Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen which are the main culprits of ulcers. Infection – gram negative bacteria – Helicobacter pylori – has been identified in all cases of ulcers. But not all people infected by H. Pylori develop ulcers. So there is no certain answer for the cause of ulcer.
The symptoms and pain of both types of ulcer tend to differ. The ulcer size may vary and may be multiple. But, usually, it is superficial and if persistent, erodes the muscle layer to perforate. Clinically, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, headache, blood vomiting, pain in abdomen, constipation or diarrhea are the symptoms.
Periodical pain occurs immediately after food and finally pain persists
Pain is felt over the umbilicus and left to midline and no radiation of pain is felt
Pain is relieved by vomiting or alkali foods
Fear of eating due to pain
Weight loss will be there due to reduced intake
Nausea and vomit that looks like coffee grounds
Hametemesis (blood vomiting) may be present
Sensation of feeling fullness, indigestion and heartburn may be noticed immediately after eating. Patient often complains about gas trouble or belching
Periodicity of pain is very marked
Pain is felt above umbilicus and right to the midline and it may radiate to back
Pain appears 1-2 hours after food i.e. Pain is felt when the stomach gets empty, so the pain is often felt during middle of the night or sleep which disturbs sleep
Pain is usually better after taking food
No weight loss will be there since patient feels better with eating and goes on eating
Bloated feeling of intestinal gas
Black or bloody stools (malena) may be present
Examination of the tender abdomen will also guide us for diagnosis
X-Rays of stomach and duodenum and series of Barium meal X-rays are to be taken to rule out obstruction or strictures
Biopsy can be done through endoscope – to rule out serious disease like cancer and for presence of H. pylori
- Bleeding (hematemesis or malena) may occur when the mucosa gets irritated and opened with erosions
- Perforation causing peritonitis and septic conditions may occur in the case of chronic inflammatory ulcers when the infection deepens
- Obstruction may occur due to stricture formation caused by chronic peptic ulcer
- Masticate well and swallow the food.
- Have the diet in a relaxed manner, without any hurry
- Easily digestible, oil free diet to reduce work load of stomach and intestine
- Diet not more than 3/4th of the stomach
- Small meals often to utilise the acid load in the stomach
- Water before and after meal
- Nutritious diet at regular interval or at regular time
- Tension and hurried life
- Habits of smoking, drinking alcohol, chewing tobacco and overeating which increases acid secretion of the stomach
- Hunger – which denotes acid load, avoid it by taking small meals often.
- Full meal, oily diet, pickles and fatty snacks before bed time
- Food containing high spices, chilies, pepper, sausages
- Dry bread, cakes and cookies
- High fat content nuts and biscuits
- Aerated drinks, coffee and tea
- Milk products
- Cabbage, onions, garlic, cauliflower, tomatoes – if not tolerated
- Drugs like NSAIDs – pain killers (for example. – aspirin)
Acid-suppressing drugs like H2 blockers (which block histamine) and proton pump (which suppresses the acid production) are used.
Peptic ulcers can be treated successfully in Homeopathy without any side-effects. First right medicine for ulcer is right food at a regular time. The second thing is a relaxed, tension less life. The third thing is only the so-called medicines. If we depend only on the third one (medicines), then we have to permanently depend on it and also have to suffer with the disease always or recurrently, I.e. we have to change the tension life with correct, timely meal or otherwise cure is impossible.