Peptic ulcers can be defined as ulcers in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcers) or duodenum (duodenal ulcers). For digesting food, stomach produces gastric acid and a chemical pepsin. The pH of this acid is 1.5 to 3.5. It is very strong acid and capable of digesting the lining of the stomach and duodenum. But theses linings are protected by layer of mucus and secretion of bicarbonate. This neutralises acid and thus protects the linings.
The two factors that upset the balance between attack and defence and contributes to ulcer formation are mainly taking of aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori. This bacteria causes infection in lining, inflammation and more acid secretion in stomach.
The treatment of ulcers in modern medicine involves antibiotic for treating bacterial infection and drugs that reduce acid level, such as proton pump inhibitors such as Rabeprazole, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole and H2 blockers such as Ranitidine, Famotidine.
Along with the medication, there are certain tips that helps to reduce discomfort and recurrence of ulcers.
These tips are as follows.
- Take timely and normal, nutritious, balanced meals. There is no need to follow a special diet. Take healthy diet including variety of foods and plenty of fruit and vegetables.
- Drink at least two litres of fluid every day.
- Avoid medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn).
- You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) with plenty of water.to get relief from pain.
- Stop taking alcohol, coffee, caffeinated soda, fatty foods, chocolate, and spicy foods.
- Avoid late night snacks.
- Do not take tobacco containing products such as cigarettes, guthka etc. as these products slows the ulcer healing.
- Reduce stress, tension and worries.
- Eat bananas (1-3) with cup of milk.
- Drink Amla juice, empty stomach in morning.
- Take Haritaki churna (2.5 -5 gm) with honey and gur.
- Take pure ghee (10-15 gm) with meal.
- Drink cold milk.