What is a Stomach Ulcer?
A stomach ulcer (also called a peptic ulcer) is a tiny erosion / hole in the gastrointestinal tract in the body. Duodenal, the most common kind of stomach ulcer, happens in the initial 12 inches of the small intestine just beyond the stomach. The ones that occur in the stomach are gastric ulcers. An ulcer is neither contagious nor cancerous by nature. However, duodenal ulcers are almost always mild, whereas stomach ulcers have tendency to become potent.
Causes of Stomach Ulcers?
- The commonest reason for the occurrence of stomach ulcer is the damage of the gastric or intestinal mucosal lining of the stomach by hydrochloric acid, which usually occurs in the stomach’s digestive juices.
- Both gastric and duodenal ulcers are known to be caused primarily by the infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which may get infected from person to another via contaminated food and water.
- Any damage to the gastric mucosal lining or the weakening of the mucous defenses is also accountable for gastric ulcers.
- Surplus secretion of hydrochloric acid, genetic predisposition and any form of stress are significant reasons in the development as well as deterioration of the duodenal ulcers.
- One more important reason for occurrence of ulcer is acute use of anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin.
- Too much cigarette smoking could be yet another reason.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer
Symptoms of stomach ulcer vary from person to person. An important symptom of the occurrence of the stomach ulcer is a sharp burning feeling the stomach region and this could last between half an hour to three hours. This pain is often also termed by people as heartburn, indigestion or hunger. Though the pain is normally experienced in the upper abdomen region, at times it may also seem to occur just beneath the breastbone.
In some people who have stomach ulcer, the pain is known to begin instantly after they have completed eating. Whereas in some others, the pain starts hours after they have had their food. The pain caused by stomach ulcer is so sharp that it will wake up a sleeping person at night. Moreover, days of pain may be followed by days of no pain at all. In some cases, a person could experience appetite and weight loss as symptoms, whereas those with duodenal ulcers may experience weight gain.
Conditions Encouraging Development of Stomach Ulcer
- Family history of ulcers
- Having excess alcohol
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (aspirin) or corticosteroids.
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Incorrect diet, irregular or skipped meals
- Type O blood (for duodenal ulcers)
- Stress could be a contributing factor for stomach ulcer
- Chronic disorders like liver disease, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis may increase possibility of having ulcers
Home Remedy / Treatment for Stomach (Peptic) Ulcers
- For speedy relief, drink one or two large glasses of water.
- Refrain from having fried food, coffee, tea, salt, chocolate, spices and carbonated beverages.
- Eat small meals of foods from timer to time that are easy to digest.
- Drink freshly made cabbage juice every day.
- Not smoking can delay / prevent healing.
- Try to avoid stressful situations
- Aloe Vera juice brings relief from pain and induces fast healing.
- Licorice root is known as best remedy for healing gastric and duodenal ulcers.
- White oak bark and yarrow can be used to treat the inflammation and irritations due to an ulcer.
- Herbal amalgamations like PLS II are known to be helpful when treating intestinal inflammation and ulcers.
- Marshmallow root and slippery elm have calming effect on the irritated mucus membranes of the stomach and intestinal tract.