Peptic Ulcer

Known as Peptic Ulcer Disease, peptic ulcers are regarded as the most common ulcers that afflict the gastro intestinal area. A common misconception about ulcers is that they are solely based along the linings of the stomach. Nothing could be further from the truth. Experts estimate that the occurrence rate of peptic ulcers in the duodenum is four times as high as the occurrence rate in the stomach. A minuscule amount of these ulcers are caused by malignant tumors; the consequence of this is that a number of biopsies need to be carried out to ascertain that the tumor in question is not cancerous in nature. At the other end of the scale, a good number of peptic ulcers are associated with a bacterium that lives in the acidic environment of the stomach. Ulcers are region specific and it is on account of this that there is a classification of these ulcers based on the region of occurrence. The classification looks something like this:  Duodenal ulcer – an ulcer that occurs in the duodenum; stomach ulcer known as gastric ulcer; esophagus ulcer - an ulcer that affects the esophagus; and an ulcer referred to as Meckels diverticulum. These are the classifications of the ulcers.

What Are The Causes Of Peptic Ulcer?

The causes of peptic ulcer are listed below:

  • Chronic inflammation – Chronic inflammation of the stomach and duodenal walls is attributed to the fact that sometimes these areas are colonized by a bacterium that exacerbates the production of mucosal erosions. The immune system finds it difficult to clear these erosions in spite of the presence of antibodies.  The bacterium causes the gastric gland to go hay wire thus resulting in either an increase or a decrease in gastric secretions.  
  • NSAIDS drugs - NSAID is an acronym for non steroid anti inflammatory drugs. An NSAID drug essentially has the effect of producing fever reducing effects and in higher doses it is potent enough to be an anti inflammatory agent. NSAID has the effect of blocking the secretion of certain hormones that are instrumental in the secretion of gastric mucosa. In the absence of this mucus, the linings of the stomach are at the mercy of the gastric acid. This fate however appears inevitable among those who are on NSAID medication because its part of the side effects of this class of drugs. 
  • Stress – From antiquity this element has been cited as the foremost cause of peptic ulcers. Until recently, the jury was still out on stress as a cause of peptic ulcers. The matter however seems to be about settled following recent findings that have cited a correlation between stress and its effect in exacerbating   increased acid production in the stomach. This is not the high water mark of the findings though, nay. The news is that the   bacterium that is responsible for most of the stomach ulcers actually thrives in an acidic environment. This is what essentially the correlation between stress and peptic ulcers is.
  • Smoking – This is another element that has been cited as a probable cause of peptic ulcers. Findings however have failed to show this link and there is only one connection that can be made between peptic ulcers and smoking – if the smoking of tobacco is associated with the bacterium infection that occurs in the gastric system.

What Are The Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer?

The dead give away that an individual might possibly be suffering from a case of peptic ulcers is given below:

  • Abdominal pain – There is a gnawing feeling that might afflict the individual. This pain might last between 30 minutes to 3 hours. The pain in itself originates from the ulcer; however it is intensified following this ulcerated area coming into contact with the acid. This pain is not localized, and might be felt from the sternum to the naval or vice versa.
  • Vomiting of blood – This is referred to as hematemesis. This can be occasioned by the direct bleeding of a gastric ulcer or on account of the damage of the esophagus on account of it being damaged by continuous vomiting. 
  • Melena – This refers to fecal matter that has an unusual smell – this is on account of the oxidization of iron on account of the hemoglobin present in the stool.
  • Abdominal fullness and a feeling of bloating in the stomach. 
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding – This refers to bleeding that comes from the gastro intestinal area. This bleeding that is usually sudden comes on account of one of the blood vessels in the gastro intestinal tract is eroded by the ulcer.
  • Perforation – refers to the erosion of the gastrointestinal wall by the ulcer. The effect of this erosion is that the contents of the intestines get spilled into the gut. The first give away that such a scenario has actually taken place is the sudden intense pain that is felt by the individual in the gut.

Peptic Ulcer Home Remedies

Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies and herbal remedies yourself!  Here are some of the home remedies that you can try.

  •  Eat Smaller Portions- Eat smaller portions of food to avoid exacerbating the production of large volumes of acids. In the same vein ensure that you do not starve yourself – in other words eat regularly - failure to which you will live the linings of the stomach open to acid attacks.
  • Cabbage juice. That is the name that you do well to remember. Cabbage juice has been known to have healing properties that essentially heal ulcers within a fortnight. The volume given by experts a day is a quarter liter a day divided into four portions spread out during the day. You might not like the taste but you will have to tough it out if you expect any meaningful results.
  • Avoid Milk- A person who has peptic ulcers should vehemently avoid milk. This is on account of the bivalent dynamic that milk brings into the equation. Yes, milk has the effect of neutralizing the acid that is produced by the stomach. This should put an end to the pain, right? However this is not how matters play out. The neutralizing of the acid in the chyme results in more acid being produced by the gastric glands to compensate for a shortfall in the gastrointestinal environment and this only makes matters worse.
  • Avoid These Foods- There are foods that you should religiously avoid – coffee, sugar, hot spicy foods, and citrus juices. These substances have the effect of irritating the stomach and inducing the production of acid within the stomach.
  • Fiber- Invest heavy in foods that are rich in fiber. Highly processed foods lack the protein and starch that will occasionally be needed to pad the lining of the stomach with protein and starch. 
  • Manage Stress- If you live in a stressful environment, or have a highly stressful job, then it pays to ensure that you come up with creative solutions to manage the stress levels in your life. The key here should be less stress better life.
  • Vitamin E- Lastly ensure that you feed on foods that are rich in Vitamin E, the importance of this is that they have a healing effect on the parts of the gastro intestinal tract that is lacerated by acid secretions.
  • Aloe Vera- This herb produces a special type of juice that can be used to treat different medical conditions such as peptic ulcer. If you do not want to take the juice in its raw form, you can always go for the aloe vera capsules or the tablets. This remedy becomes more effective when it is used repeatedly for several weeks. What is more, it is ideal for everyone including kids.
  • Licorice Roots- These roots have an extensive history of treating gastric and other stomach problems including duodenal and peptic ulcers. These roots are also effective in treating inflammations and wounds caused by peptic ulcer. Use the herbs for a couple of weeks until the symptoms of peptic ulcer are completely gone.   
  • Cabbage Juice- Research has revealed that cabbage juice is highly effective in treating various medical problems including peptic ulcer. In fact, regular consumption of cabbage juice can help eradicate peptic ulcers in a matter of days. If you find it hard to use the juice due to its awful odor, then you can buy the Chinese remedy which is normally made using dried cabbage. This remedy has been used for many years in China and produces excellent results.
  • Organic Baby Foods- Organic foods for the baby such as brown rice are highly effective in treating peptic ulcers. These foods are important for soothing the digestive tract.
  • Avocado- This is important for repairing the damaged parts of the digestive system. Avocado is rich in vitamin E which helps to heal the digestive tract linings. You should also avoid taking foods that are too sugary or spicy because they tend to irritate the digestive tract and facilitate the secretion of excess gastric acid. Food rich in vitamin A is also important for healing the damaged mucus membrane

Diet For Peptic Ulcer

  • Vitamins and minerals – A diet that is rich in vitamins in vitamins and minerals is essential because these elements fast track the healing of wounds-or in the case of peptic ulcer stomach wounds. The foods that you do well to consume at this time are dark green leaf vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricot, and citrus fruits.
  • Protein – They are essential when you want to zap the wounds that have lacerated your gastrointestinal lining. The best sources of protein are nuts, eggs, meat, and leguminous beans. 
  • Water – This is the magic fluid that you should consume, the reason being that it aides in the construction process that the cell tissues are currently being subjected to. The foods that you need to avoid at all cost are as follows: Fats, salts, and sugar. The body is supposed to work at optimum level during the wound healing process and the presence of these foods actually breaks down the body as opposed to aiding it build upon the nutrients provided.

Prevention Of Peptic Ulcer

To check against incidences of peptic ulcers you need to observe the following guidelines: 

  • Foremost ensure that at no time do you eat foods that exacerbate the production of excess acid in the stomach. Spices, coffee, excess amounts of tropical juice, et al are an anathema.
  • Check on your stress levels, stress promotes the discharge of acid which leads to lacerations along the walls of the intestinal tract.
  • Lastly ensure that you have regular medical checkups to rule out the advent of gastrointestinal conditions such as peptic ulcer or even stomach cancer. This are but some of the ways that you can check against the outset of a case of peptic ulcers. Hopefully, this article has been of aide to you.