Sunday, 21 February 2016


Pls see a specialist doctor in addition to these natural remedies-Bless you all...

Not long ago, the stereotype of a person with ulcers was that of an aggressive, 

stressed-out businessman who worked long hours, surviving on three-martini 
lunches and too much spicy food. Many sufferers took a strange pride in that 
pain in the gut, considering it evidence of their ambition and selflessness.

What a letdown: Scientists proved in the 1980s that most ulcers are caused not 

by too much sweat and toil but ... by bacteria. What's more, while males were 
once thought to be the most common victims of this gastrointestinal menace, 
doctors now diagnose ulcers in women just as often as men. An estimated five 
million Americans have ulcers.

That doesn't mean stress, spicy foods, and alcohol aren't important. In fact, 

these and other lifestyle factors seem to worsen ulcers for some patients. So, 
what can you do to avoid the burning sensation in your abdomen, nausea, or 
other symptoms related to ulcers?

In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms for ulcers. We'll also 

review traditional medical treatment as well as steps you can take at home to 
care for your digestive tract. Let's get started with a look at the fundamentals 
of this condition.

An ulcer is an erosion (open sore) on the surface of an organ or tissue. Ulcers 

most commonly erupt in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, in which case 
they are known as peptic ulcers. About five million Americans have peptic ulcers.

The problem begins, in most cases, with a spiral-shaped germ that seems to live 

for one purpose, digging holes in our stomachs. This bacterium, known as 
pylori (H. pylori for short), is very common: It's found in about half 
of all people under 60 years old in the United States. H. pylori never causes 
problems in most people, but in an unlucky minority, the bug burrows through 
the stomach's protective mucous coating. The bacteria and stomach acid irritate 
the sensitive lining beneath, causing ulcers to form.

In some cases, H. pylori isn't the villain, however. People who use nonsteroidal 

anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and aspirin for pain relief over long periods 
can develop ulcers.

Heredity also plays an important role in contributing to ulcers. People who have

a family history of ulcers seem to have a greater likelihood of acquiring the condition,
as do people with type O blood. In addition, liver disease, 
rheumatoid arthritis, and emphysema are among the conditions that may 
increase vulnerability to ulcers. Stomach and pancreatic cancers also can cause 
these sores to form.

Ulcers can produce mild symptoms resembling heartburn or severe pain radiating

throughout the upper portion of the body. The most common discomfort of ulcers 
is a burning sensation in the abdomen above the navel that may feel like hunger 
pangs. Pain comes about 30 to 120 minutes after eating or in the middle of the 
night when the stomach is empty. At this time, the acidic stomach juices are 
more apt to irritate the unprotected nerve endings in the exposed ulcer. Usually, pain 
subsides after eating or drinking something or taking an antacid to neutralize stomach 

Some people experience nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Blood in the feces 

(discoloring them black), blood in the vomit, extreme weakness, fainting, and
excessive thirst are all signs of internal bleeding and may appear in more 
advanced cases.

Although ulcers are not usually life-threatening, they can cause serious damage 

if left untreated. Ulcers may erode nearby blood vessels and cause internal 
seepage of blood or hemorrhage (massive internal bleeding). A perforated ulcer 
may penetrate an adjoining organ, causing infection.

Physicians diagnose peptic ulcers primarily on the basis of an X-ray examination after

the patient has swallowed a special chalky substance called barium. The barium makes 
the digestive tract visible on X-ray film, allowing the doctor to view any abnormalities.

A second diagnostic technique is called an upper GI endoscopy (also called gastroscopy). 

The doctor inserts an endoscope (a flexible, lighted, tubelike instrument) through the mouth 
and down the esophagus to directly view the 
lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. An endoscopic examination 
and a biopsy (removal of a tissue sample for analysis) are necessary to confirm 
that an apparent ulcer is not actually a cancerous growth. Helicobacter pylori can 
be diagnosed with endoscopic biopsy or through a blood or breath test.

Most ulcers caused by H. pylori can be cured with a combination of antibiotics 

and acid-blocking drugs or bismuth subsalicylate (better known as Pepto Bismol). 
Unfortunately, even though this information has been widely disseminated in medical 
journals, some doctors still send ulcer patients home with little more 
than orders to take it easy, knock off the booze, and eat a bland diet. If you 
have ulcer-like symptoms, ask your doctor to perform tests that can determine whether you 
have the H. pylori bug, so that if prescription medications are appropriate for your condition, 
you get them.

Treatment of ulcers involves relieving the irritation so that healing is able to 

progress naturally. Antacids counteract stomach acid and relieve symptoms, but 
they can also cause complications. For example, sodium bicarbonate, a primary antacid
ingredient, contains large amounts of sodium, which can aggravate kidney disease or 
high blood pressure.

For treatment of more problematic ulcers, a physician may prescribe other preparations 

to promote healing. Sucralfate coats the stomach, protecting it 
against gastric acid. Cimetidine, ranitidine, and other H2 blockers inhibit gastric 
acid production. Antibiotics and antacids are often prescribed to treat ulcers 
caused by infection with H. pylori.

Although recent studies have shown that a bland diet is not necessary for ulcer management,

such a diet is sometimes recommended until the acute symptoms disappear. Thereafter, 
many doctors suggest avoiding only those foods known to cause stomach distress.

Most ulcers heal within two to six weeks after treatment begins. To prevent recurrence, 

patients should continue to avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and any foods 
or substances that appear to cause irritation of the digestive tract lining.

When drug therapy and diet cannot cure an ulcer, surgical repair may be 

necessary. Surgery is appropriate for ulcers that recur or are life-threatening, 
such as perforated ulcers. Sometimes, surgeons remove a portion of the stomach 
and parts of the vagus nerve (which controls digestive secretions) to reduce 
stomach acid production. Usually, ulcers do not reappear after surgery.

Recently, endoscopic cautery (burning of tissue through an endoscope), direct 

injection of medications, and lasers have been quite successful in stopping 
bleeding, reducing the size of lesions, and correcting strictures (narrowing of 
the ducts due to scar formation). These procedures have spared many individuals 
from surgery.

Once they leave the doctor's office, ulcer patients can help their condition by watching

their diet. Check out the next section for home remedies to take care 
of your digestive tract.

Home Remedy Treatments for Ulcers
If you've just been diagnosed with ulcers or have been living with them for years, you can 

usually find some simple home-remedy relief if you avoid foods that can irritate your condition. Watching your diet will require discipline. Here are some recommendations to help you 
take care of your digestive tract:

Go by gut reactions. Highly spiced and fried foods, long thought to be prime 

culprits in instigating ulcers, are now considered to have little bearing on either 
the development or course of an ulcer. However, they do bother some people 
who already have ulcers. If you find that spicy meals, for example, are always followed
by a severe gnawing pain, assume that there may be a cause and effect. The same goes
for any other food that seems to cause you discomfort.

Test your limits. An elimination diet can help you determine if any specific food triggers an 

increase in ulcer symptoms. An elimination diet involves avoiding frequently eaten and 
common food allergens for two or three weeks, then reintroducing them one by one, and 
taking note of which ones trigger symptoms.

Eat wisely. The real key to keeping gastric juices from attacking the lining of the digestive 

tract is to keep some food present as much of the time as possible. Try eating smaller meals 
more frequently. Don't overeat, though -- too much food 
causes formation of more gastric juices as well as weight gain. Simply spread your normal 
amount of calories over more and smaller meals. Snack on healthy treats, such as carrot 
sticks and whole-wheat crackers.

Up your fiber. People with ulcers should eat as many unrefined and high-fiber 

plant foods as possible. A diet rich in highly processed grains (such as white flour) 
deprives the body of fiber and protein, which can shield the digestive lining from stomach 
acid. Some high-fiber foods include spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.

Skip the milk solution. One of the earliest treatments for ulcer flare-ups was 

milk, which was believed to neutralize stomach acid. However, scientists now 
know that foods high in calcium increase stomach acid. So while the protein part 
of the milk may soothe, the calcium may make matters worse.

Drink lightly. The question of alcohol's impact on ulcer formation remains unanswered. 

Many medical experts believe that people who drink heavily are at higher risk of 
developing ulcers than those who drink lightly or not at all.

Give up the smoke screen. Although the results of research into the link between 

cigarette smoking and ulcers have been mixed, most medical authorities generally 
agree that there is a relationship between the two. Some believe smokers have 
double to risk of developing ulcers. Smoking increases stomach-acid secretion and 
inhibits the secretion of prostaglandins and sodium bicarbonate, substances 
naturally produced by the body that normally help protect the stomach lining 
(nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also interfere with the secretion of prostaglandins).
 Smoking also decreases blood circulation to the stomach lining 
(as well as to other parts of the body), which may negatively affect the lining's ability 
to heal -- and smokers' relapse rate is higher than normal.

Work on ways to effectively control (and eliminate) stress. 

Take a stress-management course, learn to meditate, do yoga, or exercise regularly! 
Do whatever it takes to let go of stress.

Self-medicate with care. Ulcer sufferers are never far away from their antacids. 

But if you use these medications, do so with care. Without a doctor's supervision, 
you may under- or over-medicate. Not to mention overspending -- you may end 
up paying as much as you would for prescription drugs. The sidebar below offers 
some tips to help you self-medicate with care.

Ulcer patients also can find some relief by relaxing more and using herbal 

For some, home remedies using natural herbs and household items can greatly reduce 

the pain caused by ulcers. From candy (yes, candy) to fruit, you might 
find your next ulcer remedy right in your own kitchen. The following are ulcer 
home remedies that may work for you.

Home Remedies from the Counter
Buy bananas. These fruits contain an antibacterial substance that may inhibit the 

growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori. And studies show that animals fed bananas 
have a thicker stomach wall and greater mucus production in the stomach, which helps 
build a better barrier between digestive acids and the lining of the stomach. 
Eating plantains is also helpful.

Get some garlic. Garlic's antibacterial properties include fighting H. pylori. 

Take two small crushed cloves a day.

Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Cut up some cabbage. Researchers have found that ulcer patients who drink 1 

quart of raw cabbage juice a day can often heal their ulcers in five days. 
If chugging a quart of cabbage juice turns your stomach inside out, researchers 
also found that those who eat plain cabbage have quicker healing times as well. 
Time for some coleslaw!

Pick plums. Red- and purple-colored foods inhibit the growth of H. pylori. Like plums, 

berries too can help you fight the good fight.

Kitchen Remedies from the Spice Rack
Add a shake of cayenne pepper. Used moderately, a little cayenne pepper can go 

a long way in helping ulcers. The pepper stimulates blood flow to bring nutrients 
to the stomach. To make a cup of peppered tea, mix 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
pepper in 1 cup hot water. Drink a cup a day. A dash of cayenne pepper can also 
be added to soups, meats, and other savory dishes.

Love that licorice. Several modern studies have demonstrated the ulcer-healing 

abilities of licorice. Licorice does its part not by reducing stomach acid but rather
by reducing the ability of stomach acid to damage stomach lining. Properties in 
licorice encourage digestive mucosal tissues to protect themselves from acid. 
Licorice can be used in encapsulated form, but for a quick cup of licorice tea, 
cut 1 ounce licorice root into slices and cover with 1 quart boiling water. 
Steep, cool, and strain. 
(If licorice root is unavailable, cut 1 ounce licorice sticks into slices.) 
You can also try licorice 
candy if it's made with real licorice (the label will 
say "licorice mass") and not just flavored with anise. Don't eat more than 1 ounce 
per day, because, surprisingly for a candy, an overdose can cause serious medical 
side effects.

Better get some bark. The bark of slippery elm is used for its ability to soothe the 

mucous membranes that line the stomach and duodenumm. It's often taken in 
powdered form. Some herbalists recommend taking about one teaspoon of 
powdered slippery elm bark (added to one cup of warm water to form 
a gruel-like substance) three times a day.

Mind your minerals. For example, bismuth salts, such as bismuth subcitrate, 

have antibacterial properties and can be effective in treating ulcers that are 
attributed to the Helicobacter plylori. Again, some common conventional drugs 
are made with bismuth.

Sometimes ulcers have no noticeable symptoms, and sometimes they can cause 

gnawing abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. If ulcers perforate, they can 
cause severe bleeding and even death. But with the home remedies mentioned 
in this article, you can change your diet, de-stress your lifestyle and make other 
changes to ease the pain.

Source: David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine

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