Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Gastric Ulcer

A discontinuity on any lining membrane in the body is termed an ulcer. The body is prone to a lot of ulcers and when they occur on the stomach lining, we call them gastric ulcers.

A stomach ulcer or a gastric ulcer belongs to the group of Peptic Ulcer Diseases (PUD) which is accompanied by Duodenal ulcer. It is estimated that peptic ulcer disease affects roughly 4 million people throughout the globe per year.

Though a lot of causes can be cited for the development of gastric ulcers, the Helicobacter pylori infection requires more attention. It is a helix-shaped gram-negative bacteria that is found in the stomach. In some people, the inflammatory response induced by this bacteria on the body leads to gastritis, gastric mucosa irritation, and gastric ulcers over time.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and Ibuprofen are the second major cause of gastric ulcers. Studies have shown that they make gastric mucosa more susceptible to irritation and ulcers. Stress, dietary choices, smoking, chemotherapy, diseases like Crohn’s, etc are thought to be less significant factors that trigger stomach ulcer formation.

Signs and Symptoms of Gastric Ulcer

It is hard to number the symptoms, as they are closely linked to various factors like the location of the ulcer and the person’s age. It even remains asymptomatic in some people for a significant period. Yet, to sum up, some of the common symptoms are-

  • Either a burning pain or a dull ache in the stomach (epigastric region)
  • Stomach pain that aggravates on eating
  • Poor appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A feeling of abdominal fullness
  • Sensitivity to certain foods
  • Foul-smelling excrement
  • Nausea and vomiting, sometimes blood is seen the vomitus due to a bleeding ulcer
  • Frequent belching
  • Rarely, no symptoms

The pain in the epigastric region is often misunderstood as hunger. This can go on from about 30 minutes to several hours. The erosion of the gastric membrane is not the sole culprit of pain, but its contact with stomach acids is also to be accused. The ulcers are bound to heal on their own and appear again so that the symptoms will be episodic.

When not diagnosed properly, peptic ulcers can lead to complications such as-

  1. Perforation of the gastrointestinal tract – may cause pouring of stomach contents to the abdominal cavity
  2. Bleeding- the ulcers may bleed over time, and when it is uncontrolled, the condition can get fatal
  3. Stenosis- shrinking of different parts of the stomach

Diagnosis and Lab investigations

The primary diagnosis can be derived from the symptoms themselves. Anyway, endoscopic methods like Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)/gastroscopy and barium contrast x-rays can be employed to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, if not healed even after treatment. Blood tests are not very effective here, as they are most likely to give false negative results. The presence of H.pylori can be determined through a urea breath test and stool antigen test.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Gastric Ulcer

Based on the symptoms, the gastric ulcer can be correlated to annadrava shoola according to Ayurveda. This is a kind of colicky pain that can occur in any phase of digestion. Vitiation of vata dosha caused by viruddha ahara (incompatible foods), abhojana (starvation), atibhojana (overeating), vegadharana (suppression of natural urges), continuous use of dry, alkaline, salty, sharp foods, etc can be cited as the reason for annadrava shoola. For ulcer formation, the role of pitta and kapha are also to be suspected. Mild shodhana chikitsa with cool, nourishing drugs like ksheera vasti, niruha vasti, etc are highly effective in alleviating the doshas, especially vata, and healing the ulcers. They bolster the mucosal lining and prevent damage induced by free radicals. Different types of healing ghrita (ghee), rasayanas (rejuvenators), and drugs that have shoolahara (analgesic), and vranahara (anti-ulcer) properties are plenty in Ayurveda.

AyurVAID Approach

When appropriately managed, gastric ulcer is never a nightmare. Here at AyurVAID, we approach such conditions with proper Ayurvedic means and help you recover completely. AyurVAID is a pristine institution that bears the virtue of Ayurveda. Our doctors, skilled and proficient in their field, are here to help you by providing comfort and reassurance. In-depth assessment of the condition, precise diagnosis, thorough samprapti vighatana (breaking the disease pathway), properly planned prakriti-oriented treatment, quality procedures, safe and hygienic environment, etc are our peculiarities. We offer you complete care for the conditions that ail you.

We are:-

  • First NABH-accredited hospital in India
  • The winner of the esteemed National Award for Best Ayurvedic Centre of the year 2017 from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry
  • Industry’s best customer satisfaction score of 92%, rated by our clients

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the pain like, in gastric ulcers ?
The characteristics of pain depend on the location and intensity of the ulcer. It is often presented as a burning sensation just below the sternum (breast bone). It may last from 30 minutes to about 3 hours and is likely to worsen on taking food. Sometimes the pain will be dull so it could be mistaken for hunger. Pain that improves on eating and increases at night may indicate a duodenal ulcer, ie, another type of peptic ulcer.
Is gastric ulcer curable ?
Yes, but the results vary greatly with the intensity and number of ulcers. Usually, with the right treatment, they heal within 4-6 weeks. But they are likely to recur if the cause is not identified and completely eradicated.
Is treatment necessary for stomach ulcers, or will they heal on their own ?
Some gastric ulcers, a few of them, will heal by themselves. And sometimes, the person won’t even notice. But that is not the case for all of them! The majority of ulcers in the stomach demand medical care. They may show symptoms for a long time if not carefully managed, and lead to various life-threatening complications.

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