Friday, January 7, 2011
Let’s Learn About Peptic Ulcers and Their Homeopathic Management!
Ulcers in the lower esophagus, stomach, duodenum or jejunum is referred to as the peptic ulcer. It may be acute or chronic; the acute without the evidence of fibrosis and chronic with fibrosis. Sadly the incidence of peptic ulcer is on rise all over the world, the reason being the excess use of junk food, irregular eating habits, and undue stress. Yes, it has been found that in many cases, ulcer has psychosomatic background, making it necessary to treat the psyche first!
Causative Factors for Peptic Ulcers-
(1) Genetic predisposition- Though there are many other risk factors associated with gastric and duodenal ulcers, the hereditary and genetic factors cannot be underestimated. Rather it is considered as one of the major factors contributing to the development of ulcers. Also the inheritance of blood group O, elevated levels of serum pepsinogen I enhance the risk.
(2) Helicobacter pylorus is considered by conventionalists as one of the most important causes for peptic ulcers. Secretion of gastrin (gastric hormone) is said to be stimulated by the presence of helicobacter pylori, which in turn stimulates acid secretion and an ulcer forms. However, why the person succumbs to such kinds of infections is not very clear.
(3) NSAIDs- Evident damage to gastric mucosa is found due to recurrent use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and this is said to be the cause in whooping 30% cases of gastric ulcers.
(4) Smoking- This is also one of the major risk factors for the development of gastric ulcers. Also the ulcers fail to heal and give rise to complications if the smoking continues during the treatment regime.
Clinical Features of Peptic Ulcers-
1) In chronic cases, peptic ulcers last for decades together with certain degree of relapse and remissions unless properly treated.
2) Recurrent abdominal pain is the presenting feature in most. The pain mostly is confined to epigastrium, is related to consumption of food, and occurs episodically. Even in initial stages, when ulcers are not formed, many people complain of pain due to exaggerated pain response resulting from irritated gastric mucosa.
3) Patient can often pin-point the location of pain, such is the localization of pain
4) In case of gastric ulcer, pain is often always aggravated by eating and in case of duodenal ulcer; pain is often aggravated by being on empty stomach.
5) Nightly attacks of pain that is relieved by having milk or food is almost always due to duodenal ulcer.
6) Vomiting almost always offers relief from pain; so much so that many patients of ulcers like to induce vomiting in an attempt to find relief.
Though clinical features are quite evident in case of peptic ulcer, the diagnosis can be confirmed by endoscopy.
Homeopathic Management of Peptic Ulcers-
As evident from the causative factors, high doses of strong medication is oftener the cause of peptic ulcer. No wonder many people are resorting to milder forms of treatment like homeopathy for relief from such ulcers and to avoid recurrence. The antacid prescriptions offer just temporary relief and may even rob the gastric mucosa from normal acid secretions, leading to problems of poor appetite, improper digestion, etc. Also the antibiotics used for nullifying the helicobacter pylori infection can further deteriorate the gastric mucosa leading to graver problems.
Homeopathic medicines instead offer quite quick relief from the symptoms when the drug is chosen according to symptom similarity. Homeopathic physician must consider all the aspects of patient’s health before prescribing any medicine, including the family history and childhood history of the patient. In many cases of peptic ulcers, unhappy childhoods can be traced where the answer to cure from ulcers lies.
Many patients come to homeopath after a long struggle with conventionalists and usually they are suffering from the relapse of the problem after initial suppression due to antagonist drugs. This is the time homeopath can seek all details from the patient to decide the miasmatic dominance and go for the constitutional prescribing that will help the patient get rid of the problem permanently.
Many remedies like Abies Canadensis, Abies nigra, Aloe soc, Nux vomica, Robinia, Pulsatilla, Kali bich, Chelidonium, Calcarea carb, etc can be used for acute prescriptions for various symptoms. One must however pay enough attention to the characteristic symptomatology in each case and treat individually! Certainly homeopathy has huge scope in the management of peptic ulcers!
Auxiliary Line of Treatment-
(1) Give apt priority to your eating schedules and correct the wrong habits. “I have no time” is the worst culprit that can set your gastric mucosa on fire!
(2) Avoid junk food too frequently, especially the one that is too spicy and pungent
(3) Quit smoking (Yes you definitely can!)
(4) Have good amounts of natural vitamins in your diet
(5) Drink good quantity of plain water
(6) Relaxing techniques work great to prevent gastric ulcer pathology
(7) Exercise enough to feel naturally hungry
(8) Do not leave long gaps between your meals
(9) Prioritize your jobs not to feel stressed about it