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Peptic Ulcer

PEPTIC ULCER

What is peptic ulcer?

Peptic ulcers are open sores on the inner layer of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine.

Peptic ulcers include:

  • Gastric ulcers: which occur on the inner layer of the stomach.
  • Duodenal ulcers: which occur on the inner layer of the upper portion of the small intestine called duodenum.

Peptic ulcers present as abdominal pain which is either increased or decreased after eating.

How does peptic ulcer present?

The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is burning pain in the stomach. Other symptoms that may accompany are:

  • Feeling of fullness and bloating of abdomen.
  • Intolerance of fatty foods
  • Nausea
  • Burning pain in the chest behind the sternum
  • Vomiting, sometimes with blood
  • Dark colored stools, or stools that is black or tarry
  • Changes in the appetite
  • Sudden weight loss

The stomach acid makes the pain worse as well as having an empty stomach may increase the pain. Eating something which neutralizes the stomach acidity makes the patient feel better. Pains are mostly aggravated at night before or after the meals.

What causes peptic ulcers?

Peptic ulcers or the open sores on the inner lining of the stomach are caused due to an imbalance in the stomach acid and the protective mucus layer in the stomach and small intestine. When the acid in the stomach eats away the inner layer of the stomach or the small intestine, it leads to the formation of an ulcer. This imbalance can be caused due to various factors like:

  • Normally a bacterium called pylori is present in the protective mucus layer that is present in the stomach and small intestine. Sometimes this bacterium leads to the inflammation of the inner layer of the stomach which leads to infection and then ulcer formation. The reason for this is not known. The infection can be spread through food and water or from a close contact with the person having H. pylori infection.
  • Smoking or tobacco chewing
  • Excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages
  • Regular use of certain pain killers like NSAIDs, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium can lead to the irritation and inflammation of the inner layer of the stomach and small intestine. This is the cause of peptic ulcer in most of the older adults who take these medications for osteoarthritis or other joint problems.
  • Excessive acid production due to gastric tumors or tumors of acid producing cells in the stomach.
  •  Radiation therapies to the stomach area due to some other diseases.
  •  Having stress or eating spicy foods may aggravate the complaints but can never be a cause of the problem.
How is peptic ulcer diagnosed?

A thorough medical history and physical examination may be enough to diagnose peptic ulcers. However certain tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. They are:

  • Tests to detect H. pylori

The tests that can detect the presence o H. pylori in the body are:

  • Blood test
  • Stool test
  • Breath test

The breath test is the most accurate one and is used widely.

  • Endoscopy

Endoscopic examination of the upper GI tract helps to identify the presence of an ulcer. If the ulcer is detected, small tissue samples are taken for lab examinations.

Endoscopy can also reveal the presence of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach.

  • Upper gastrointestinal series

This test is also known as barium swallow as the patient is told to swallow liquid containing barium prior to the test. The barium coats the inner lining of the stomach and small intestine which makes the ulcers more prominent if present.

Self help
  • Avoiding alcoholic beverages.
  • Stopping cigarette smoking and tobacco chewing
  • Stopping the medications which can be causing the problem or supplementing them with less severe medicines.
Homeopathic management for peptic ulcer

When the mucus membrane of the digestive tract gets affected you get peptic ulcer. Homeopathy medicines effectively control the acid production and improve the ulcers.

Best Homeopathy medicines for peptic ulcers

1.Natrum phosphoricum

  • Canine hunger
  • All gone sensation
  • Desires strong tasting things, eggs, fried fish and beer that relieves
  • Aversion to bread and coffee
  • Sour eructations with heartburn
  • < after excess of alcohol
  • Coldness in the stomach that is relieved by warmth

2. Argentum nitricum

  • Gnawing ulcerative pain or burning and constrictive pain in the stomach
  • Radiating pains
  • Ineffectual attempt at eructations and belching accompanies most of the gastric complaints
  • Great flatulence and painful swelling in the pit of the stomach
  • Irresistible desire for sweets and sugar

3. Psorinum

  • Sour, rancid tasting and smelling like rotten eggs belching
  • Always hungry, must have something to eat at night
  • Water brash when lying down

4. Phosphorus

  • Pain in the stomach which is better by drinking cold water
  • Throws up food in mouthfuls and the water is thrown up as soon as it gets warm in the stomach
  • Acid dyspepsia with bloated abdomen
  • Faint feeling in the epigastrium not better by eating
  • Nausea at the thought of food
  • Tobacco dyspepsia

5. Hydrastis Canadensis

  • Weak digestion
  • Gastro-duodenal catarrh
  • Cutting colicky pains which are better after passing flatus
  • Griping pains with the stools
  • Sore feeling in the stomach
  • Atonic dyspepsia with belching of sour fluid
  • Vomits all that is eaten, except milk which leads to marasmus