Most likely you are suffering from duodenal ulcer if there is pain in the upper abdomen which is relieved by eating. If it increases after eating, it may be because of gastric ulcer. Gastric ulcers and Duodenal ulcer come under the category of Peptic ulcer disease (PUD). It is a lesion in the mucosal lining of the digestive tract, typically in the stomach as gastric ulcer or duodenum (1st part of the intestines) as Duodenal ulcers. These are caused by the digestive action of pepsin (a digestive enzyme) and stomach acid.
Nearly 70–90% cases of such ulcers are linked to a spiral-shaped bacterium called H. PYLORI that thrives in the acidic environment of the stomach. The incidence of peptic ulcers occurring in the duodenum (the initial tract of the small intestine) is four times higher than those arising in the stomach.
Causes of Peptic Ulcer:
The underlying process that results in Peptic ulcer formation is an excess of acid production in the stomach and damage to the protective barrier inside the stomach. Certain things that can trigger excess acid production or can cause damage to the protective lining of the stomach are:
- Emotional stress
- Foods (spices, pungent foods, etc)
- Overuse of certain drugs, especially NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Infections (H-Pylori)
Symptoms of peptic ulcers include:
- vomiting tendencies
- pain in the upper and middle portions of the stomach after a meal and at night
- blood in the stool
- weight loss
- bleeding in the gastrointestinal region
||Common to Both
||Duodenal Ulcer Symptoms
|More likely to be felt immediately after eating.
||More likely to be felt after few hours of eating
||Loss of appetite
||Pain when eating high fat food
||Pain when stomach is empty
||Pain in the stomach that may feel like burning
- Perforation of ulcer
- Gastric outlet obstruction (obstruction in terminal part of stomach)
How to Prevent Peptic Ulcers
Certain lifestyle choices and habits can reduce your risk of developing peptic ulcers. These include:
- not drinking more than two alcoholic beverages a day
- not mixing alcohol with medication
- washing your hands frequently to avoid infections
- limiting your use of ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and quitting smoking and other tobacco use will also help you prevent developing a peptic ulcer.
Homeopathic Treatment For Peptic Ulcers
Homeopathy offers some very good medicines for peptic ulcer disease. But for a homeopath, the symptoms of the disease are much more important than the ulcer itself. This is because to select the right medicine a homeopath needs to differentiate between the finer presentations of a disease which, vary from person to person. A homeopath not only tries to heal the ulcer but also tries to remove the general predisposition to acquire it. The homeopath not only tries to find ‘What is wrong?’, but also ‘Why it went wrong?’; ‘Where it started going wrong?’; ‘How it evolved to the current stage?’ etc. To find the answers to all these questions, a homeopath tries to gather as much information as possible regarding the past and present medical history of the patient, the family history, general, physical and psychological characteristics, etc. This hard work on the part of homeopath not only helps in removing the acute symptoms and the ulcer but also is usually able to remove the tendency for relapse. The ‘on-again/off-again’ nature of the disease is often removed and the general health of the person also improves as a result.
Effective Homeopathic Medications For Peplic Ulcer
Some of the most effective homeopathic medications used in the treatment of peptic ulcers are mentioned below. However, you shouldn’t try to self-medicate as it is best to consult with a doctor who can properly diagnose the problems and prescribe medication which are specifically tailored for you.
- Argentum Nitricum – One of the most effective medications in treating ulcers, Argentum Nitricum is usually prescribed when you experience sharp burning pains from peptic ulcers that radiate to different areas of the abdomen. The pain is akin to the feeling of gnawing inside the stomach. Other symptoms such as vomiting, belching and nausea may also be present.
- Nux Vomica – If you have peptic ulcers and even eating the slightest amount of food causes pain, then Nux vomica may be a good option and thus be prescribed by your doctor. Another indication in such cases is where the abdominal region is very sensitive and you may feel pain even with the slightest touch. Nux Vomica is also very effective if your peptic ulcer symptoms tend to get worse after the consumption of tea, coffee, spicy foods or alcoholic beverages.
- Kali Bichromicum – Sometimes, peptic ulcers may cause the food in your stomach to sit like a heavy load immediately after meals. This can make you very uncomfortable and unable to do any other form of work. This is often times accompanied by a low appetite. In such cases, Kali Bichromicum has been seen to work wonders.
- Lycopodium Clavatum – If you have burning pain in your stomach along with the bloating of your abdomen, then Lycopodium Clavatum is the best medication for you. Other indications for this medication are when ingestion of warm water helps relieve pain. If consuming certain vegetables such as cabbage and beans worsen the situation, then Lycopodium Clavatum could be the best medication in such a case.
- Carbo-veg – An all-rounder in the field of homeopathy, Carbo-Veg is also effective when treating peptic ulcers which are accompanied by heartburn and acidity as well as sour belching. The pain from the ulcers may extend from the stomach all the way to the back. Other indications wherein Carbo-Veg may be effective is where the stomach area becomes very sensitive to touch and even small amounts of food may suddenly cause the symptoms to deteriorate.
- Hydrastis Canadensis – Stomach or abdominal pain accompanied by weight loss is one of the major indications where this medication may be prescribed. The patient may become emaciated and have sharp cutting pains in the stomach. In such cases, Hydrastis has been seen to be very effective.
- Graphites – This medication is extremely useful where along with the ulcer pain, you may end up vomiting your food immediately after a meal. A sensation which is painful and constricted may be present in your stomach. Along with these symptoms, Graphites are also very effective when you suffer from excessive belching.
- Phosphorus – If you exhibit typical symptoms of peptic ulcer such as sour belching and a burning sensation in the stomach after eating, Phosphorus could well be the panacea.
When the underlying cause of peptic ulcer disease is successfully treated, the prognosis (expected outcome) for patients with the condition is excellent. To help prevent peptic ulcers:
- Avoid cigarette.
- Aspirin and non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs should be avoided.
- Spicy and rich food may aggravate. If so, it should be avoided.
- Drink lots of water.
- Take frequent small meals instead of two or three big meals.
- Bland diet and hygienically prepared food.
- Proper cleaning of utensils for food.
- Proper cleaning of hands before preparing and eating food.
- Avoid alcohol
- Common sources of Helicobacter pylori bacteria (e.g., contaminated food and water, floodwater, raw sewage)
- Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Good hygiene can help reduce the risk for peptic ulcer disease caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. Washing the hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after using the restroom and before eating and avoiding sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses also can reduce the spread of bacteria that can cause PUD.