Managing Peptic Ulcer through Naturopathy and Yoga
Peptic ulcers are lesions of the mucosal lining of the stomach and the duodenum which penetrate the muscularis mucosae, and are called gastric ulcers (GU) and duodenal ulcers (DU), respectively. They may affect the distal oesophagus as a result of chronic gastrointestinal reflux. Duodenal ulcers are the most common. Peptic ulcers are chronic affecting about 10% of the population. Peptic ulcers can be caused due to H. pylori infection, which can be attributed to bad food habits, food poisonings, contaminated water and long stored beverages. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) ingestion causes overproduction of the gastric acid. It mostly affects the elderly, but the others get more of these ulcers due to smoking who are twice as likely to develop the ulcer. Acute and chronic stress can be a major cause for peptic ulcer. NSAIDS, Alcohol, smoking and more caffeine intake can cause Peptic ulcer.
The signs and symptoms can be mildly differentiated with duodenal ulcer and Gastric ulcer. The people suffering with Duodenal ulcer feel burning sensation and gnawing in the upper and middle abdomen which occurs after eating and lasts for 1 to 3 hours. Sometimes, chronic ulcers can cause severe abdominal pain, blood in vomiting, and significant weight loss.
In Gastric ulcer, the individual can feel burning sensation in the upper abdomen, pain in the upper abdomen (Epigastric region) which can relieved by the intake of food and antacids. Sometimes, the infection of H. pylori can cause antral gastritis.
According to the Naturopathy principles, abnormal composition of blood and lymph and accumulation of morbid matter (toxins) lowers the vitality (Immunity), hence bacterial infections takes over the immune system and the body suffers from the consequences as the cause of diseases.
Naturopathy and yoga can play a strategic role to overcome the peptic ulcer effectively. Dietetics and Nutrition supports to heal gastric mucosa, fight infection and reduce recurrence. In addition to this, yoga and mind- body techniques such as meditation, deep relaxation and stress management may alleviate symptoms and enhance healing.
Diet and Nutrition
• Avoid dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. Coffee, even decaffeinated, should be eliminated because of irritating oils. Eliminate any known food allergens.
• Include sulfur-containing foods such as garlic, onions, broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower in the diet. Sulfur is a precursor to glutathione that provides antioxidant protection to the gastric mucosa.
• Have enough Bananas which contain potassium and plantain, both of which yield benefits.
• Butter milk can help normalize bowel flora and inhibit H. pylori.
• Include Vitamin C containing foods like melons, citrus fruits (orange, pineapple, strawberry) broccoli peppers and tomatoes, which decreases nitrosamines linked to stomach cancer and inhibits H. pylori.
• Include Zinc containing foods like nuts, seeds, cereals, whole grains, soybean that enhance healing. Vitamin E, A & Glutamine promotes healing of the ulcers. Cabbage juice (1 quart/day) is high in glutamine, although it may initially be irritating.
• Mud pack to eyes and to the abdomen for 20-30 minutes can help in relaxing nervous system and smoothens the gastric functions.
• Cold hip bath for 20 minutes can play a comprehensive role in treating the peptic ulcer and other gastric irritations.
• Cold abdominal compress / pack for 30-45 minutes can play an important role in treating ulcer, as the person with gastric ulcer can easily apply this and keep it in his daily work without interruption.
• Full mud bath for 45 minutes can help in removing toxins from the body.
• Massage to abdomen helps to maintain the diminished and hyper peristaltic movements.
• Therapeutic massage can help to alleviate stress and increase the sense of well-being.
• Performing asanas can help in improving blood circulations to the digestive organ, which leads to the increase in the recovery.
• Pranayamas like Nadhishuddhi pranayama (Alternate nostril breathing), Shitali, Shitakari (cooling pranayamas) can help to reduce the abdominal burning sensations, pain and enhance the recovery by relieving acute and chronic stress.
Peptic ulcer can be efficiently managed with the naturopathy and Yoga, without having any side – effects.