Introduction to Stomach Ulcers
Also known as a peptic or gastric ulcer, a stomach ulcer is an open sore thatdevelops on the inner lining of the stomach, upper intestine or the esophagus. Ulcer occurs when the lining of these organs is corrodedby the acidic digestive juices.
This is not an uncommon condition, affecting almost five million peopleworldwide each year. And so far, billions of dollars have been spent ontreating this condition and its complications.
Not that long ago, the main culprits for stomach ulcers were thought to bestress and spicy foods. However, this has been proven wrong, and the doctorsnow know that the main cause of most peptic ulcers is the bacterium Heliobacterpylori. This is a bacterium that lives in the mucous layers of the stomach.That mucous layer is what protects the abdomen from the destructive effect ofthe hydrochloric acid that is in the stomach. Normally, H. pylori causes noproblems. But sometimes, it can cause the mucous layer to inflame, thusproducing the sore.
Other causes of this condition are: smoking (some chemicalsin the tobacco may increase the production of stomach acid), excessive alcoholconsumption (not only does it increase the amount of stomach acid, but it alsoerodes the mucous lining), and regular use of pain relievers.Stress, although not an actual cause, usually aggravates the symptoms andeven delays the healing.
The main symptoms of stomach ulcer are: burning pain (that may be felt anywherefrom the breastbone to the navel), nausea accompanied by vomiting (the vomitmay be red or black), loss of appetite, dark stool, and inexplicable weight loss,etc.
It is important that one consult a doctor as soon as thefirst symptoms have presented themselves. In that way, the treatment will bemore effective.
Remedies for Stomach Ulcer
The doctor may prescribe antacids, acid blockers, antibiotics, cytoprotectiveagents or proton pump inhibitors. All of these have two goals: to kill thebacteria that has caused the ulcer and reduce the acid level in one’s stomach.
As for unconventional methods, there are a few things onemight do that have been proven to be effective when it comes to relievingstomach ulcer symptoms.Drinking plenty of water. This will help the digestivesystem get rid of toxins.Avoiding smoking, alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, fattyfoods and salty foods. These have been proven to aggravate the symptoms, thusshould be avoided.Drinking cold milk. This helps neutralize the stomachacid.Eating raw honey, lime and bananas. Honey (especiallymanuka honey) and lime destroy the bacteria, heal the lining and reduce thelevel of stomach acid, while bananas reduce the inflammation.Drinking fresh vegetable juice, especially cabbage andcarrot juice. They help protect the lining of the stomach.
There are a couple of natural remedies that might also helpin the healing of ulcers.Soaking leaves of wood apple in water over night, andthen, in the morning, straining and drinking it.Brewing fenugreek leaves or seeds with tea and drinking it.