The stomach is among the most important organs in the human body. A great number of diseases originate precisely from problems with the gastrointestinal tract, even if this is not visible at first glance. That is why it is of particular importance to pay attention to stomach ailments and to take timely measures for their treatment.
Defects in the stomach lining are called ulcers. They can be located in the stomach itself, in the esophagus, or the duodenum. Usually, we talk about one ulcer, but sometimes patients are diagnosed with two or more. The initial stage of the disease occurs with a violation of the mucous membrane, but its development can reach a point when the ulcer affects the muscle layer. The consequences are usually severe and cause bleeding or peritonitis.
Many factors lead to disturbances in the stomach balance. The major ones are stress, smoking, the intake of certain types of drugs, excessive consumption of alcohol and/or food, and other unhealthy habits. They cause excessive stomach acid to be released, which damages the mucosa to varying degrees over time.
In most cases, however, it depends on the presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the body. It is a common bacterium easily transmitted from one host to another through sharing food utensils and cutlery, kissing, etc. Helicobacter pylori negatively affects the secretion of gastrin, which stimulates the release of gastric juice. As a result of increased hydrochloric acid, mucosal damage occurs. In most cases, the bacterium does not cause any consequences, but the development of ulcer disease is observed in about 1/5 of those infected with it.
Life-threatening hemorrhages or particularly severe conditions unresponsive to medical treatment are subjected to surgery. In all other cases, a group of medications is prescribed to reduce the acidity in the stomach and thus relieve the patient’s pain.
The downside of medical treatment is that over time the concentration of gastric juice becomes too low and fails to cope with even ordinary microorganisms penetrating the body. The patient’s immunity decreases and becomes susceptible to viruses and other infections. For this reason, many patients prefer to reduce their medication intake as much as possible.
They focus on more conservative methods to relieve the condition, such as:
Patients limit or exclude foods that cause increased stomach acid secretion from their menu. These include all hot dishes and spices, canned food, alcohol, appetizers, and sausages. Only cooked or baked food containing white meat and dairy products is consumed.
Taking bee pollen and propolis is particularly popular. Making tea of St. John’s wort, yarrow, fennel seed, calendula flower, linseed, and many other herbs helps to soothe the stomach and relieve pain.
Along with a diet, this method is mainly used by patients with proven presence of Helicobacter in the body. Eradication of the bacterium is difficult and is achieved with several courses of treatment. They are given a combination of different antibiotics and a group of medicines called proton pump inhibitors. However, their intake is not entirely harmless and does not always have the desired effect.
Regulation of acidity levels is a slow process and more difficult to achieve with this anti-invasive treatment. Still, with persistence, it is possible to achieve satisfactory results that would lead to healing the ulcer and pain relief. Additionally, your organism’s natural immunity is also strengthened.
After everything said so far, our advice is: do not underestimate the seriousness of the problem and seek help from a gastroenterologist at the slightest discomfort or ulcer symptoms before irreversible complications occur.