What is inside of one-sixth of the world’s population and is a thousand times smaller than the head of a pin? It is Helicobacter pylori, the darned bacterium behind ulcers.
Stomach ulcer, aka peptic ulcer, is a common and painful ailment. They are a result of a small break in the inner lining of the stomach. Ulcers form due to a number of reasons – faulty diets (processed foods, fried and spicy foods), alcohol, nicotine, and stress. They may also be a result of some other underlying condition. The digestive tract comprises of the esophagus, the stomach, the duodenum, which is the first part of your intestines.
These sores are commonly found in the duodenal and are known as duodenal ulcers. When they occur in the stomach, they are referred to as gastric or stomach ulcers. In some individuals, they form in the esophagus and are known as esophageal ulcers. These crater-like sores generally range anything from ¼ inch to about ¾ of an inch. In some cases, they could be as large as 1 to 2 inches.
Some stomach ulcers do not produce any symptoms. If present, they can include abdominal pain just below the ribcage, indigestion, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, bright or altered blood present in vomit or bowel motions, and light-headedness.
Though ulcers often heal on their own, you should not ignore their warning signs. If not properly treated, ulcers can lead to serious health problems, including:
- Perforation (a hole through the wall of the stomach).
- Gastric outlet obstruction from swelling or scarring that blocks the passageway leading from the stomach to the small intestine.
You may be more likely to develop ulcers if you:
- Are infected with the H. pylori bacterium.
- Take NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
- Have a family history of ulcers.
- Have another illness such as liver, kidney, or lung disease.
- Drink alcohol regularly.
- Are 50 years of age or older.
Will drinking milk help cure ulcer? No. In fact, milk can make an ulcer worse. Milk provides brief relief of ulcer pain because it coats the stomach lining. But milk can also stimulate the stomach to produce more acid and digestive juices, which can aggravate ulcers.
To reduce the risk of developing ulcers:
- Don’t smoke.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Don’t overuse aspirin and/or NSAIDs.
- If you have symptoms of an ulcer, contact your doctor.
Home Remedies for Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcer treatment can be done at home naturally by following a proper diet. A fiber-rich diet helps provide protection against ulcers. Make sure you follow a stomach ulcer diet that includes legumes, vegetables, fruits and whole grains that help produce certain substances that protect your stomach lining. Avoiding foods that are spicy is another way to control the formation of ulcers. Home remedies for stomach ulcers usually focus on strengthening and protecting the stomach lining against acids.
- Cabbage Juice – Raw cabbage is a popular home remedy for stomach ulcer. It is known to produce an amino acid which helps boost blood flow to the stomach lining. This in turn helps strengthen the stomach lining and heal the ulcer.
- Honey – Raw honey has potent healing properties. When ingested, it attacks bacteria and strengthens the stomach lining. You could include it in your daily meals or have it at regular intervals by spreading it on wheat bread or mixed grain bread.
- Banana – Eating bananas is a great way of neutralizing the hyperacidity in the stomach that is caused by the gastric juices. For those who do not like eating bananas, you can consume them in the form of banana milkshakes. The fruit is known to protect the system by negating the acidity of gastric juices, reducing inflammation and strengthening the stomach lining.
- Fenugreek leaves – Fenugreek leaves when brewed are an effective home remedy for stomach ulcer. Fenugreek contains a mucilaginous compound which coats and protects the stomach lining and helps the body to heal from the ulcer.
- Wood apple leaf – Extracts from wood apple leaves also help to reduce pain and inflammation. Soak some wood apple leaves in water and leave overnight. The following day, strain and drink the water.
- Fiber and citrus rich diets – The simplest home remedy for stomach cancer is incorporating citrus and fiber-rich foods in your diet. While the former help in the digestion process, the latter protect the stomach lining.
- Application of a hot pack on the abdominal region also relieves ulcer.
- Consuming the juice of five blanched almonds daily helps bind the acids present in your stomach and also provides the required amount of protein to strengthen the stomach’s lining.
- Lime is also extremely beneficial in curing ulcers. The mineral salts and citric acid that is present in lime helps treat the problem. Make sure you include lime juice in salads or drink lime juice.
- Spinach and carrot juice when combined with and cabbage juice mixed together is also useful in treating peptic ulcers.
- Make a paste mixing around 10 grams of drumstick leaves with water. To this paste, add some yoghurt (½ cup) and have this on a regular basis.
- Drink dandelion or chamomile tea at regular intervals twice a day. It not only cleans your internal system but also clears any bacteria. These teas are extremely effective in healing any type of infection.
- Fruits rich in vitamin A such as watermelon, oranges, peaches and blackberries also cut down the risk of duodenal cancer. You could either eat the whole fruit or consume its juices.
- Coconut water.
However, it is essential to consult a doctor before combining home remedies for stomach ulcer with conventional treatment.
Antibiotics are strong and come with side effects. Home remedies are gentler on the body; they are safe and cause little or no side effects. Home remedies are also cheaper and easily available. These remedies aim towards preventing, controlling and curing the ulcer; they heal not just the symptom but the root problem ensuring long term relief and health.
Lastly, drink as much water as possible as it helps dilute the acid that is there in your stomach and restricts any further damage to your intestine. Avoid packaged and junk food as they contain preservatives that can aggravate the situation. Also make sure you restrict your intake of hot beverages such as tea and coffee. Stop drinking carbonated water as well as cold drinks. Avoid getting stressed as much as possible as it aggravates peptic ulcers. Certain yoga postures such as the palm tree pose are also considered to be extremely beneficial in treating patients suffering from stomach ulcers.