WHAT IS PEPTIC ULCER?
Digestive juices help in digestion of food but when these digestive juices damage the membrane of the digestive tract then sore areas develop which are called as peptic ulcers. A peptic ulcer may develop in lining of the lower oesophagus, stomach or duodenum. thus called as oesophageal, gastric and duodenal ulcer respectively.
- NSAIDS- repeated use of NSAIDS irritate the wall of the stomach thus increase the acid secretion.
- Stress although is not the direct cause for peptic ulcer but obviously makes the condition worse in patients with ulcers.
- Smoking may increase the risk of ulcer formation and cases which already have the erossion then smoking aggravates the condition further.
- Alcohol can irritate and erode the mucous lining of your stomach by increasing acid production.
- Eating spicy food also makes the ulcers worse although doesnot cause ulcer formation directly.
- Perforation: the ulcer if left untreated then may grow to the deeper layers of the stomach and would ultimately perforate the wall of the stomach.
- The perforation would further cause inflammation of the surrounding structures causing peritonitis.
- Internal bleeding from the ulcer.
- Slow longstanding bleeding from the ulcer would cause anaemia.
- Due to repeated inflammation and scarring at the site of ulcer; bloackage may occur thus obstructing food passage and regurgitation of food eaten.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
Although its not uncommon for people having ulcers to stay without any symptoms but following are the indicative symptoms of peptic ulcer:
- The most common symptoms of the peptic ulcer is pain which is localized to the upper abdomen from the belly button to the chest bone.
- The pain is burning type of pain which is worse at night and in between meals.
- Regurgitation of the food eaten.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- Easy satiety with small amounts of food.
- Blood in vomiting or in stool.
- H pylori infection is usually the most important cause of the ulcer formation as the bacteria lives in the mucous membrane of the stomach wall of infected person thus causing inflammation of the stomach wall. This causes ulcer formation.
- Pain killers if taken for long irritate the wall of the stomach promoting ulcer formation.
- Smoking, alcohol, stress and spicy food although doesn't cause ulcer formation but make the condition worse.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Symptomatical presentation of the case helps in indications towards peptic ulcer. To further diagnose the condition:
- Ammonia breath test for H pylori would confirm presence of the bacteria in the body. Blood or stool test can be done for ammonia but breath test is more reliable.
- Endoscopy would help in visualisation of the wall of the stomach thus confirming the diagnosis.
- Barium swallow followed by x ray would also diagnose the peptic ulcer.
Conventional treatment includes eradication of H pylori by several antibiotics. Antacids are given to neutralise the acid produced in the stomach.
Further treatment includes inhibiting acid production by blocking the receptors for acid production. But these treatments are not permanent and peptic ulcer relapses so homeopathic treatment is far superior for treatment of the ulcer which is permanent too.
- Dietary management: increasing probiotics in diet like yogurt, coconut water would help in keeping the environment in the stomach favourable. Further adding vitamin A and C would also help.
- Eating habbits: should be improved. Split the meals in small regular meals rather than eating at long intervals and alot at once. Don't stay empty stomach for long as acid secretion empty stoach would make the condition worse.
- Drink enough water but not excess also.
- Limit milk in diet as it would increase the acid production.
- Limit pain killers as it would further complicate the situation.
- Sleep schedule: should be maintained, sleep on time amd get up on time as this would regulate the body functions and ultimately maintain acid production.
- Quit smoking: as it would help in improving the symptoms.
- Limit or stop alcohol: intake as well so that the wall of the stomach can be protected from irritation.
- Maintain stress: do yoga and meditation.
- Don't wear tight belt around waist.
- Keep head end of your bed high while sleeping.
- Homeopathy would help alot in managing a case of peptic ulcer.
Homoeopathic medicines like argentum nitricum, nux vomica, kali bichromicum, lycopodium, carbo veg, hydrastis canadensis, graphities, phosphorus etc have wondrous results in treatment of peptic ulcers but constitutional approach should be sought for choosing the medicine by the doctor for permanent relief.
DO’s AND DON’Ts
- Eat healthy diet.
- Keep yourself hydrated.
- Add vitamin A & C to the diet
- Limit milk in diet
- Add probiotics to your diet
- Have enough sleep and keep the sleep schedule on time.
- Do meditation to manage stress.
- Don't smoke
- Don't take alcohol or carbonated drinks
- Don't wear tight clothes around waist
- Don't stay up till late at night.