Peptic ulcer: An ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Peptic ulcers affect millions of people in the US yearly. Ulcer formation is related to Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the stomach, use of anti-inflammatory medications, and cigarette smoking. Peptic ulcer pain may not correlate with the presence or severity of ulceration. Complications of peptic ulcers include bleeding, perforation, and blockage of the stomach (gastric obstruction). Diagnosis is made via barium X-ray or endoscopy. Treatment involves use of antibiotics to eradicate H. pylori, elimination of risk factors, and prevention of complications
Signs & Symptoms:
Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching
Fatty food intolerance
The most common peptic ulcer symptom is burning stomach pain. Stomach acid makes the pain worse, as does having an empty stomach. The pain can often be relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication, but then it may come back. The pain may be worse between meals and at night.
Nearly three-quarters of people with peptic ulcers don’t have symptoms.
Less often, ulcers may cause severe signs or symptoms such as:
Vomiting or vomiting blood which may appear red or black
Dark blood in stools, or stools that are black or tarry
Nausea or vomiting
Unexplained weight loss
Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed.
Your digestive tract is coated with a mucous layer that normally protects against acid. But if the amount of acid is increased or the amount of mucus is decreased, you could develop an ulcer. Common causes include:
A bacterium. Helicobacter pylori bacteria commonly live in the mucous layer that covers and protects tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. Often, the H. pylori bacterium causes no problems, but it can cause inflammation of the stomach’s inner layer, producing an ulcer.
It’s not clear how H. pylori infection spreads. It may be transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. People may also contract H. pylori through food and water.
Regular use of certain pain relievers. Taking aspirin, as well as certain over-the-counter and prescription pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others), but not acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Peptic ulcers are more common in older adults who take these pain medications frequently or in people who take these medications for osteoarthritis.
Other medications. Taking certain other medications along with NSAIDs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), can greatly increase the chance of developing ulcers.
How To Cure:
Cabbage is a great remedy for a stomach ulcer. Being a lactic acid food, cabbage helps produce an amino acid that stimulates blood flow to the stomach lining. This in turn helps strengthen the stomach lining and heal the ulcer.
Plus, cabbage contains a good amount of vitamin C, which has been found to be particularly beneficial for patients with H. pylori infections. Also, experiments indicate that fresh carrot juice contains an anti-peptic ulcer factor (vitamin U).
Cut one half of a raw head of cabbage and two carrots into small pieces and put them in a blender to extract the juice.
Drink one-half cup of this juice before each meal and at bedtime.
Repeat daily for a few weeks. Be sure to use fresh juice each time.
For stomach ulcer treatment, both ripe and unripe bananas are very effective. There are certain antibacterial compounds in bananas that inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori.
To treat an ulcer, eat at least three ripe bananas a day. If you do not like eating bananas, you can make banana milkshakes.
Alternatively, peel two or three bananas and cut them into thin slices. Put the slices in the sun until they become dry. Grind the dried banana pieces into a fine powder. Mix together two tablespoons of this powder and one tablespoon of honey. Take this mixture three times a day for about a week.
Coconut is very good for people suffering from stomach ulcers because of its antibacterial qualities. It kills the bacteria that cause ulcers. Moreover, coconut milk and coconut water have anti-ulcer properties.
Drink a few cups of fresh coconut milk or tender coconut water daily. Also, eat the kernel of the tender coconut. Follow this treatment for at least one week to get positive results.
Alternatively, take one tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning and another at night for one week. As coconut oil is mainly composed of medium-chain fatty acids, it can be easily digested.