Duodenal ulcers are raw sores that develop on the inside lining of the duodenum, i.e. the upper segment of the small intestine. The commonest symptom is pain and the condition needs prompt attention.
Signs and symptoms of duodenal ulcer include:
- The chief symptom is burning pain. Pain caused by a duodenal ulcer is aggravated by stomach acid that comes in contact with the sore area. The pain occurs anywhere between the sternum to the navel. It worsens when the tummy is empty. It is relieved by eating foods which buffer stomach acid or when you take an acid-reducing medication.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- The vomiting of blood – which may appear red or black.
- Bloody stools.
- Inexplicable loss of weight.
- Appetite changes.
Common Causes Of Duodenal Ulcer
A duodenal ulcer occurs when acid in the GI tract corrodes the inner surface of the duodenum. The acid creates an open sore which is painful and bleeds.
The GI tract has a thick mucus layer which protects against acid. However, if the quantity of acid increases or the amount of mucus diminishes, you develop an ulcer. Common causes are:
- Pylori: Helicobacter pylori bacteria live in the mucous layer which protects the lining of the small intestine. Usually, the bacteria cause no problems at all, but occasionally, there could occur an inflammation producing an ulcer.
- Regular use analgesics: Certain over-the-counter and prescription pain killing drugs are known to inflame the lining of the GI tract. Those who take these medications on a regular basis develop GI ulcers.
- Other medications: Certain other medications may also cause ulcers – drugs to manage osteoporosis and potassium supplements.
Natural Treatment For Duodenal Ulcer
The treatment regimen for duodenal ulcers depends up on the cause. Treatment options include:
- Antibiotics to kill H. pylori. You’ll need to take antibiotic for 14 days, along with drugs to decrease stomach acid.
- Drugs to hamper acid release and promote healing: Proton pump inhibitors decrease stomach acid. However, confer with your health care provider about the correct dosage and possible side effects.
- Drugs to decrease acid production: Acid blockers decrease the quantity of stomach acid released into your digestive tract, this helps allay the ulcer pain and promotes speedy healing.
- Your physician will include an antacid in your treatment regimen to help neutralize the stomach acid. Mint is a natural remedy which helps battle stomach acidity effectively. Have 1 to 2 glasses of herbal teas daily.
- Most essentially, opt for a healthy diet. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Ensure that you consume plenty of vitamin C rich foods like limes, lemons, oranges, bell peppers, papayas, mangoes; these expedite the healing of the ulcer.
- In case you are taking pain relievers for a protracted interval of time, talk to your doctor and change them.
- Manage your stress better: Stress aggravates the symptoms of duodenal ulcer. Ascertain the sources of your stress and address those causes correctly. Learn to deal with stress – exercise daily, pick a hobby, or spend time with friends.
- Quit smoking: Smoking makes the GI more vulnerable to the development of an ulcer. Smoking also increases stomach acid.
- Steer clear of alcohol: Too much of alcohol irritates, inflames and erodes the mucous lining in the GI tract.