The term peptic ulcer usually refers to an ulcer in the lower esophagus, stomach, or duodenum. Peptic ulcer disease is present when an acid-peptic injury to the gastrointestinal mucosa results in defects (ulcerations) through the epithelial layer. The term peptic ulcer usually refers to an ulcer in the lower esophagus, stomach, or duodenum.

Cause

1. Heredity –
Patients with peptic ulcer often have a family history of the disease, this is particularly so with duodenal ulcers that develop below the age of 20 years.

2. Helicobacter pylori –

This is the most important etiological factor in peptic ulcer disease, accounting for 90% of duodenal ulcers and 70% of gastric ulcers. By causing gastritis it reduces the resistance of the gastric mucosa to attack be acid and pepsin and a gastric ulcer may result.

3. Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) –

These damages the gastric mucosal barrier and are an important etiological factor in up to 30% of gastric ulcers.

4. Smoking –
confers an increased risk of gastric ulcer and to a lesser extent duodenal ulcer.

 

Symptoms

• Abdominal pain
• Hunger pain
• Night pain
• Episodic pain/ Periodicity
• Other symptoms
• Waterbarsh
• Heartburn
• Loss of appetite
• Vomiting

Peptic Ulcers – Diagnosis

Esophagogastrodudenoscopy

Barium swallow or upper GI and small bowel series may reveal the presence of the ulcer.
Laboratory analysis may detect occult blood in stools.
Serologic testing
Carbon 13 urea breath test results reflect the activity of H. pylori.

General Management

• Avoid cigarette
• Aspirin and Bon-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.

Homeopathic Treatment

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, his/her family history, his/her general physical and psychological characteristics etc. This hard work on the part of homeopaths 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.

Some of the commonly used medicines for gastritis and duodenal ulcers are
 argentum-nit,
 arsenic-alb,
 atropine,
 geranium,
 hydrastis,
 kali-bichrom,
 merc-cor,
 ornithogalum,
 phosphorus,
 uranium-nit,
 terebintha,
 lycopodium,
 pulsatilla,
 graphites,
 natrum-phos,
 medorrhinum etc.

Alumina phos. –

wonderful medicine for peptic ulcer; useful when the patient vomits food mixed with blood and is suffering from Tuberculosis of the intestines. Bleeding peptic ulcers.

Anacardium –

Pain and burning begins 2-3 hours of taking the meals when the stomach is empty. Eating gives relief temporarily. Weak digestion, with fullness and distention. Empty feeling in stomach. Eructation, nausea, vomiting. Eating relieves the Anacardium dyspepsia. Apt to choke when eating or drinking. Swallows food and drinks hastily

Arsenic album –

lot of burning in the stomach and epigastric regions, worse at night and after eating and drinking..–Cannot bear the sight or smell of food. Great thirst; drinks much, but little at a time. Nausea, retching, vomiting, after eating or drinking. Anxiety in pit of stomach. Burning pain. Craves acids and coffee. Heartburn; gulping up of acid and bitter substances which seem to excoriate the throat. Long-lasting eructations. Vomiting of blood, bile, green mucus, or brown-black mixed with blood. Stomach extremely irritable; seems raw, as if torn. Gastralgia from slightest food or drink. Dyspepsia from vinegar, acids, ice-cream, ice-water, tobacco. Terrible fear and dyspnea, with gastralgia; also faintness, icy coldness, great exhaustion. Malignant symptoms. Everything swallowed seems to lodge in the oesophagus, which seems as if closed and nothing would pass. Ill effects of vegetable diet, melons, and watery fruits generally. Craves milk.
Phosphorous –
best selected especially for duodenal ulcers; eating is followed by flatulence. Hunger soon after eating. Sour taste and sour eructations after every meal. Belching large quantities of wind, after eating. Throws up ingesta by the mouthfuls. Vomiting; water is thrown up as soon as it gets warm in the stomach. Post-operative vomiting. Cardiac opening seems contracted, too narrow; the food scarcely swallowed, comes up again. Pain in stomach; relieved by cold food, ices. Region of stomach painful to touch, or on walking. Inflammation of stomach, with burning extending to throat and bowels. Bad effects of eating too much salt.

Lycopodium –

it is useful for peptic ulcers when the patient passes wind in both directions along with burning in the oesophagus. Incomplete burning eructations rise only to pharynx and burn there for hours. Dyspepsia due to farinaceous and fermentable food, cabbage, beans, etc. Excessive hunger. Aversion to bread, etc. Desire for sweet things. Food tastes sour. Sour eructations. Great weakness of digestion. Bulimia, with much bloating. After eating, pressure in stomach, with bitter taste in mouth. Eating ever so little creates fullness. Cannot eat oysters. Rolling of flatulence (Chin; Carb). Wakes at night feeling hungry. Hiccough. Incomplete burning eructations rise only to pharynx there burn for hours. Likes to take food and drink hot. Sinking sensation; worse night.

Robinia –

great medicine for peptic ulcer where there is great acidity. The remedy for hperchlorhydria. In cases where albuminoid digestion is too rapid and starch digestion is perverted. The gastric symptoms with the most pronounced acidity are well authenticated, and are the guiding symptoms. The acidity of Robinia is accompanied by frontal headache. Intensely acrid eructations. Acrid and greenish vomiting, colic and flatulence, nightly burning pains in stomach and constipation with urgent desire.–Acidity of children. Stools and perspiration sour. Incarcerated flatus.

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