An ulcer is a sore or a lesion that destroys the tissue lining the stomach or duodenum. The stomach produces stomach acid such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin to digest food. If these stomach acids and digestive juices injure and corrode the stomach lining of protective mucus, an ulcer may form. The ulcers in the stomach are called gastric ulcers while those found in the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers. They can happen at any age but are generally uncommon among children and adolescents. Stomach ulcers tend to affect people over 60, particularly more women than men.
Symptoms and Signs
The symptoms and signs of a stomach ulcer include:
* Upper abdominal pain below the breastbone
* Pain in the back
* Swelling or fullness after eating
* Loss of appetite
* Weight loss
* Blood in the stool
Diagnosis of stomach ulcers
If you suspect a stomach ulcer, your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination and medical history. A range of tests can be performed to check their blood, tissue, or breath to see if the bacteria H. pylori. Additional tests may also be conducted and include:
* Radiographs of the stomach and duodenum
* Contrast Barium
What causes ulcers?
There are a variety of factors may contribute to the development of an ulcer and these include:
* The bacterium called Helicobacter
* Certain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including aspirin, ibuprofen and analgesics
* Excessive amounts of alcohol
* Family history of ulcers related to being type O
* Voltage physics as major surgery or trauma and severe burns
Help for stomach ulcers
Stomach ulcers can not be cured overnight, but with correct treatment and changes in lifestyle, a replay can be prevented. Legal drugs such as antacids can be used to treat mild symptoms but are generally not effective.
Antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors or histamine receptors may be prescribed to stop the acid production and to kill the bacteria H. pylori. Some of these medications may lead to some negative side effects include diarrhea, dizziness, headaches and nausea. Changes in lifestyle, for example consumption of several smaller meals, more healthy during the day, eliminating caffeine, alcohol and smoking, as well as reducing stress may diminish gastric irritation.
A natural alternative to reduce the symptoms of stomach ulcers is the use of herbal and homeopathic treatments. These remedies have been used for many years and can be prevented safely and effectively recurrence of ulcers and other digestive problems.
The carefully selected herbs such as Matricaria recutita (German chamomile) and Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) provide a balance and a tonic effect on the body system and also promote healthy levels of stomach acid and digestive secretions. Other herbal ingredients such as Zingiber officinale (ginger) and Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) are both commonly used as a digestive aid to support healthy digestion.