Alternative names – Duodenal ulcer, Ulcer – duodenal or gastric
What is Peptic Ulcer ?
Peptic ulcer refers to an eroded lesion in the gastric intestinal mucous. An ulcer may form in any part of the digestive tract which is exposed to acid gastric juice, but is usually found in the stomach and the duodenum. The ulcer located in the stomach is known as gastric ulcer and that located in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer. Usually both are grouped together and termed peptic ulcer.
Peptic Ulcer Symptoms
The most common symptoms of peptic ulcer are sharp and severe pain and discomfort in the upper central abdomen. The pain is commonly described as burning or gnawing in character. Gastric ulcer pain usually occurs an hour after meals, but rarely at night. Duodenal ulcer pain usually occurs between meals when the stomach is empty and is relieved by food, especially milk. It is often described as hunger pain and gets the sufferer out of bed between 2 and 4 a.m. As the disease progresses there is distension of the stomach due to excessive flatulence, besides mental tension, insomnia and a gradual weakening of the body. It may also cause constipation with occasional blood in the stools. If an ulcer bleeds slowly, there is anemia. Other possible symptoms of peptic ulcer disease includes :-
- Chest pain
Causes of Peptic Ulcer Disease
Peptic ulcers result from hyperacidity which is a condition caused by an increase in hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This strong acid, secreted by the cells lining the stomach, affects much of the break-down of food. It can be potentially dangerous and, under certain circumstances, it may eat its way through the lining of the stomach or duodenum producing, first, irritation of the stomach wall and eventually an ulcer.
Dietetic indiscretion, like overeating, taking of heavy meals or highly spiced foods, coffee, alcohol and smoking are the main factors contributing to this condition. The ingestion of certain drugs, particularly aspirin, food poisoning, infections like influenza and septicemia and gout may also cause ulcers. Emotional stress or nervous tension also plays a major role in the formation of ulcers. Other factors can make it more likely for you to get an ulcer, including :-
- Drinking alcohol excessively.
- Smoking cigarettes and using tobacco.
- Using aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Home remedies for Peptic Ulcer
Banana is one of the most effective home remedies for the treatment of a peptic ulcer. This fruit is said to contain an unidentified compound, perhaps jokingly called vitamin U (against ulcers). Banana neutralizes the over acidity of the gastric juices and reduces the irritation of the ulcer by coating the lining of the stomach. Patients who are in an advanced state of the disease should take a diet consisting only of two bananas with a glass of milk, three or four times a day.
2. Wood Apple
An infusion of the leaves of wood apple is another effective remedy for this disease. Fifteen grams of leaves should be soaked overnight in 250 ml of water. In the morning this water should be strained and taken as a drink. The pain and discomfort will be relieved when this treatment is continued for a few weeks. Bael leaves are rich in tannins which reduce inflammation and help in the healing of ulcers. The bael fruit taken in the form of a beverage also has great healing properties on account of its mucilage content. This substance forms a coating on the stomach mucous and thus helps in the healing of ulcers.
Lime is valuable in peptic ulcers. The citric acid in this fruit, together with the mineral salts present in the juice, help indigestion.
Cabbage is regarded as another useful home remedy for a peptic ulcer: 250 gm should be boiled in 500 ml of water till it is reduced to half; this water should be allowed to cool, and taken twice daily. The juice extracted from raw cabbage is also a valuable medicine for a peptic ulcer. However, as this juice is very strong, it should be taken in combination with carrot juice, in quantities of 125 ml each.
5. Fenugreek Seeds
A tea made from fenugreek Seeds is yet another useful remedy for peptic ulcers. The seeds, when moistened with water, are slightly mucilaginous. The tea helps in the healing of ulcers as the mild coating of mucilaginous material deposited by fenugreek, passes through the stomach and intestines, providing protective shell for the ulcers.
The leaves of the kalyana murangal tree, which is a variety of drumstick found in South India, have also proved helpful in the healing of ulcers. Ten grams of the leaves of this tree should be ground into a paste, mixed with half a cup of yoghurt, and taken daily.
7. Vegetable Juices
The juices of raw vegetables, particularly carrot and cabbage, are beneficial in the treatment of peptic ulcers. Carrot juice may be taken either alone or in combination with spinach, or beet and cucumber. The formula proportions in case of the first combination are 300 ml of carrot juice and 200 ml of spinach juice; and in case of the second combination, 300 ml of carrot juice and 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juice to make 500 ml of juice.
8. Almond Milk
Milk prepared from blanched almonds in a blender is very useful as a treatment for peptic ulcers. It binds the excess of acid in the stomach and supplies high quality protein.
9. Goat’s Milk
Goat’s milk is also highly beneficial in the treatment of this disease. It actually helps to heal peptic ulcers. For better results, a glass of goat’s milk should be taken in a raw state, three times daily.