Stomach Ulcer - Symptoms and simple remedies to heal
Stomach ulcers are sores in the stomach lining or the small intestine.
Usually, our stomach and intestines are protected by a mucus. But when this mucus becomes ineffective, ulcers occur.
A study by Alexander C Ford et all showed that almost 1/10th of the total population in western countries face this problem at some point of their lives.
Symptoms of stomach ulcers
1. Distressing pain
Burning or Dull pain around the stomach or between the chest and belly button is the most common symptom.
This gnawing pain is more intense when your stomach is empty or in between meals or at night. It lasts for few minutes to many hours.
This pain stops briefly if you eat food or take antacids.
Also referred as indigestion. It is mostly confused with heartburn or acidity
3. Unexplained Weight loss
Due to frequent pains or indigestion post eating, the person with stomach ulcer may refrain from consuming proper meals.
Inadequate food intake further causes weight loss.
4. Nausea and vomiting
Vomiting can include blood strains or might look like coffee grounds.
5. Constant burping or belching
You feel full every time you see food or otherwise.
Characterised by lethargy, pale skin, or shortness of breath.
A term for dark tarry stools. It happens in case of bleeding ulcers.
The ulcer might cause erosion of mucosa and bleeding in the long run. This retained blood in the stomach might regurgitate in the mouth and is spitted out.
However, some symptoms may go unnoticed and show no pain. These kinds of ulcers are usually diagnosed after the ulcer starts bleeding. The severity of symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcers.
Though quick and immediate relief can be obtained from medical treatment, it is quite useful that you follow the home and natural remedies to cure the ulcers permanently.
Honey is known to strengthen the stomach lining and fight with the bacterial growth.
A spoonful of honey when consumed raw everyday or with meals can reduce the inflammation and pain.
Banana is almost found in every household. This easily available fruit can effectively neutralize the hyperactivity of gastric ulcers.
Having banana on an empty stomach or with meals or along with honey drizzled on it can be beneficial.
I don’t need to emphasize or specially mention the refreshing and cleansing property of cucumbers. Sliced cucumber with some black salt sprinkled on it can be a great refreshing snack.
Cucumbers not only yield a cool and soothing effect in the stomach, but also reduce the burning sensation.
4. High fibre diet
Adding the colourful red and greens on your plate can increase your daily dose of fibre.
Green leafy vegetables like Palak, Kale, coriander, Methi are highly alkaline in nature. They reduce stomach acid secretions.
5. Not so cold milk
A moderate cup of slightly cold milk or rose added milk acts as a buffer and also helps in creating a protective coat on the stomach lining.
However, when consumed in excess, it may worsen the situation.
6. Go berries
Berries play an important role in digestive and urinary tract issues. The colourful Indian gooseberries, cranberry or blueberry can be consumed raw or squeezed it into fresh juices.
Berries are also rich in flavonoids which help body fight against H. Pylori Bacteria.
7. Ginger and Garlic
One or two cloves of raw garlic with meals has miraculous results in treating gastric ulcers naturally.
People who are Strict Jain or who dislike the raw pungent smell of garlic can opt for natural garlic pills easily available over the counter.
Ginger on the other hand has gastro protective effects. Studies by Raghavendra Haniadka et al. Food funct. June 2013 suggest that ginger can help treating gastric ulcers
As mentioned in my previous article about curing the weak digestive system, Probiotics are living bacteria which are important for a healthy digestive tract.
Probiotic rich foods include curd, buttermilk, bananas, sauerkraut or even in supplements.
Studies by Fengzhen Ma et al. Pak J Pharm Science May 2015 have shown that probiotics might be helpful in wiping out H Pylori infection
Chamomile flower teas have anti-ulcer properties too. Therefore, sipping chamomile tea post dinner can help reducing stomach ulcers.
10. Lifestyle changes
Also, certain simple lifestyle changes like prefer eating small frequent meals (approximately 5 to 6 meals) each day.
Finish up your dinner 3 hours before going to bed.
Also try sitting in an upright position or standing for some time after last meal of the day to avoid acid reflux and to improve digestion.
Foods to be avoided
Not to forget, but you must have knowledge of the Non- Compliant foods too which includes Alcohol, Coffee, Caffeinated foods and drinks, fatty meats, fried and high fat foods, spicy and salty foods and chocolates which need to be avoided.
The final windup
Along with these simple home remedies, your Doctor may prescribe you to take antibiotics, Proton Pump inhibitors or sucralfate to reduce the stomach acid and protect the stomach lining.
Combination therapies help address pain, prevent further damage and cure any kind of infection.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sneha Jain, Dietician
Sneha is a Post graduate with specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a university topper and holds 5+ years of experience in Apollo hospitals, VLCC, slimsutra and first cry fit-kids . She has successfully counselled clients all over India for weight loss, weight gain, diabetes, hypertension, PCOD, hypothyroid, Pregnancy and lactation and growth charts for children. She has her own diet consultation e-clinic (diet_diariez)
She believes in customized diets and eating local and seasonal foods. Her counselling not only involves diet planning, but also lifestyle modification and stress relief strategies.