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Duodenal ulcers

Homeopathic Treatment

We start thinking of duodenal or gastric ulcers whenever a patient constantly starts complaining of pain in the stomach after eating. This pain may get better on eating liquid food and inducing vomiting. The area of the stomach may become tender and even slight pressure or touch is unbearable. The vomit may contain blood in later stages.

According to homeopathic philosophy, duodenal or gastric ulcers is a lifestyle disease, whose main causes are food with too much spices and oil, having meals at irregular timings, lack of exercise and sedentary habits.

Some patients may complain of bloating and belching of gas. Many may say that the food is lodged in the chest and the digestion process has painfully slowed down. Some patients may complain of chest burn and a feeling of uneasiness.

It is advised that the patient should try to figure out the food which makes him worse and avoid them.

One must not drink too much tea, coffee or aerated drinks. Lots of water should be taken all through the day (about 3 litres a day is optimum). Consumption of alcohol should be minimal.

The patient who gets angry easily or is highly emotional, should start doing meditation, self hypnosis or yoga which really help soothe the nerves.

There are 19 homoeopathic medicines which give great relief in duodenal or gastric ulcers. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the homeopath. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus, homeopathic remedies of duodenal or gastric ulcers are tailor made, unlike allopathy, in which all patients receive the same drugs - although trade names may be different.

Some of the homeopathic remedies which may be used under an expert homeopath are Arsenicum album, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Iris versicolor, Kali bichromicum, Bismuthum, Argentum nitricum and Graphites.

Whenever cancer (malignancy) is suspected along with duodenal or gastric ulcers, then Pepsinum, Kreosotum and Nitric acid have given great relief to patients.

This is one of the diseases where homoeopathy has won great laurels.

As soon as the right homeopathic remedies are started, the patient starts experiencing great relief in symptoms and his or her dependence on allopathic drugs starts decreasing.

For a total cure, the homeopathic treatment must be taken seriously for about 8 to 12 weeks.

In allopathy, the treatment is suppressive, with antacids which do not deal with the cause of peptic or duodenal ulcers, thus further aggravating the problem. The homeopathic cure for duodenal or gastric ulcers, aims at dealing with the cause and thus curing the root cause of the peptic ulcers.

What are Duodenal or Gastric Ulcers ?

About 10% of all Americans suffer from gastric or duodenal ulcers at some point of their life.

Peptic or stomach ulcers are breaks or holes in the protective lining of the stomach (gastic ulcers), duodenum (duodenal ulcers) and esophagus (esophageal ulcers). The most common of these is duodenal ulcers. Esophageal ulcers are usually due to excessive alcohol intake.

Duodenal ulcers are more common in males and usually occurs between 40 and 50 years of age. Gastric ulcers are common between 60 and 70 years of age.

Peptic ulcers are categorized into two types: A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer. If the ulcer develops in the small intestine, it is named for the section of the intestine where it develops. The most common is a duodenal ulcer, which develops in the first part of the small intestine.
Causes of Duodenal or Gastric Ulcers
  • Stress.
  • Genetic predisposition to excessive acid secretion.
  • Alcohol.
  • Smoking.
  • Coffee.
  • Rich and fatty food.
  • Recent theories say that bacterial infection, especially Helicobacter pylori is responsible. (But then all people having the bacterium are not affected. It is the other factors mentioned above which are more important. Overzealous use of antibiotics is not recommended.)
  • Elderly people are more affected.
  • Type O blood group people are more prone to duodenal ulcers.
  • Type A blood group people are more prone to develop cancerous gastric ulcers.
Symptoms of Duodenal or Gastric Ulcers
  • There is pain in the upper abdomen, which is usually burning in nature.
  • It usually happens early in the morning, between meals or after taking juice, alcohol or coffee.
  • It may come after taking pain killers like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and so on.
  • Generally, there is relief after taking antacids.
  • Bloated feeling after eating.
  • Bloody or tarry, black stools.
Complications of Duodenal or Gastric Ulcers
  • Anemia.
  • Bleeding.
  • Pancreatic problems.
  • Stomach cancer.
Lab Investigations in Duodenal or Gastic Ulcers
  • Barium X-ray is done to spot the ulcer.
  • Endoscopic examination or gastroscopy may be done.
  • During endoscopy, a biopsy may be done if cancer is suspected.
Consult a Doctor if...
  • you have an ulcer and you start having symptoms of anemia such as weakness, fatigue and paleness - the ulcer may be bleeding.
  • you have an ulcer and you have stools which are bloody, black, tarry. There may also be vomiting which is bloody, coffee ground like. These are also indicative of bleeding.
  • there are symptoms of shock, like cold and clammy perspiration, extreme weakness and fainting - your ulcer is bleeding profusely.
  • you have an ulcer and you start having acute back pain, which may be due to a perforating ulcer.
Acupressure & Acupuncture

Generally, these therapies offer effective relief from anxiety, nervousness, stress and gastrointestinal disorders, when administered by a trained practitioner.

Yoga, meditation, self hypnosis and Duodenal or Gastric Ulcers

Daily yoga practice, meditation and / or self hypnosis help alleviate stress and anxiety which are the major cause of increased acid secretion in the stomach and thereby irritating ulcers.

Diet and Nutrition
  • Avoid overeating and don't eat too quickly.
  • Chew everything very thoroughly.
  • Dont be anxious or stressed at meal times.
What to eat

Eat foods which are rich in fibre. Fibre rich food has cancer preventing substances. Fibre also prevents development of duodenal ulcers. Fibre in food, increases mucin secretion, which helps in protection of the duodenal lining.

What to reduce ?
  • Alcohol consumption should be reduced. I think it should not be more than 2 units per week.
  • Intake of pain killers like aspirin, ibuprofen and so on, should be drastically reduced. In my view, the help of homeopathy should be taken to treat the cause of the pain.
  • What to avoid ?
    • Decrease your intake of milk. It is a myth that milk coats the stomach and thus helps in preventing ulcers and acidity. The fact is that milk increases the production of the acid in the stomach.
    • Foods to which you are allergic. Everyone is different; one thing which may be good for someone may not be good for you. See what does not suit you and then avoid it. Use trial and error methods, preferably under the supervision of a homeopathic physician.
    • Stop smoking. Nicotine in cigarretes is known to suppress the pancreas from producing enzyemes which help neutralize the acid in the stomach.
    • Do not depend on antacids for treatment of acidity and ulcers. They do not treat the cause of the increased acid secretion and in the long run, actually stimulate the body to produce more acid, thus requiring more antacids. Antacids have serious side effects like osteomalacia (softening of bones), because they deplete phosphate levels.
    • Iron supplements also should be taken in moderation, because too much or prolonged iron supplementation can cause irritation of the stomach lining and ulcers.
    • Added salt and hot spices.
    • Coffee and soft drinks.
    Herbal Therapy

    Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is effective in the treatment of ulcers, because it stimulates the production of mucus in the stomach.

    Method of consuming licorice: In 1 cup of water, add 1 tsp of shredded licorice root. Boil for about 15 minutes. Drink this preparation hot, three times daily.

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