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Home >> Gastric Disorders

GASTRIC DISORDERS

Information about Gastric Disorders

Peptic Ulcer

Both stomach (gastric) ulcers and duodenal ulcers are referred to as peptic ulcers. Whereas duodenal ulcers affect four times as many men as women, stomach ulcers are more or less equal distributed; for women, however, the risk of ulcers increases after the Menopause, perhaps because high levels of estrogen have a protective effect.
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Stomach ulcers are coin-sized raw areas on the walls of the stomach where the protective mucus coating has been eroded by acidic gastric juice after infection has damaged the lining. A bacterium is nearly always found in those with gastric ulcers, it is present in only 40 per cent of healthy stomachs. It can be diagnosed by a breath test. It is also more common in people in poor social and economic groups and with a poor diet. May be due to over-production of acid PROBLEMS, failure to produce enough mucus, or regurgitation of bile from the duodenum, which may in turn be due to heavy smoking or drinking, irregular eating habits, Allergy to foods such as wheat and mild Stress, recurrent Gastritis, or drugs, especially aspirin, steroids, and non - steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

The symptoms of a stomach ulcer are a gnawing or burning pain in the chest or upper abdomen, sometimes lasting for 1-2 hours, Indigestion and Nausea and vomiting pain may or may not coincide with eating. Groups most at risk are older people, people on low incomes, and blood group A. With time, if ulcers are left untreated, there maybe losses of appetite and Weight (if ulcer perforates stomach wall), pyloric stenosis (if ulcer blocks exit from stomach), and cancer of the stomach, are also slight risks. A bleeding stomach ulcer is fairly rare, but can cause rapid blood loss and Shock, Anemia..

Duodenal ulcers are raw spots in the lining of the duodenum eroded by acid from the stomach; somewhat smaller than stomach ulcers, they usually cause gnawing upper abdominal pain 3-4 hours after eating. As with stomach ulcers, heavy smoking, aspirin, steroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs, and over-production of stomach acid are the culprits; condition is more common in blood group O and among people with emphysema or alcoholic Cirrhosis of the liver. Possible complications include bleeding, leading to Anemia, pyloric stenosis (narrowing of exit from stomach), and Peritonitis (infection of abdominal cavity if ulcers perforate duodenal wall).

Conventional treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers includes bed rest; antacids, H2 receptor antagonists (such as ranitidine and cimetidine), and proton pump inhibitors such as omeprezole; also antibiotics and bismuth to eliminate Helicobacter.
Indigestions and Nausea and vomiting for specific homeopathic remedies; many of these include 'peptic ulcer' as one of their symptoms.

Hyperacidity Problem

The acid-producing cells in stomach can produce too much or too little hydrochloric acid; either condition can cause Indigestions.
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Over-acidity is one of the causes of Peptic ulcer and Gestritis. Coffee, especially decaffeinated coffee, increases acid production. Under-acidity allows food to ferment in the stomach, causing Bad breath, Belching, and flatulence. Marijuana, pollutants such as DDT, and Fever seem to depress acid production. Among the conditions associated with under-production of acid are Anemia, Asthma , Osteoporosis, Diabetes, Food allergy, celiac disease.

For homeopathic remedies, see indigestion or Peptic ulcer read whichever of the above entries seems appropriate. Normalizing acid secretion by making dietary or lifestyle changes is infinitely preferable to taking antacids, drugs, or supplements of hydrochloric acid on a long-term basis.

Cirrhosis of the Liver

Damage to intricate architecture of liver caused by alcohol, malnutrition, Hepatitis, Hart failure, and certain drugs and toxins, magnesium deficiency may also be a factor. Damaged tissue is replaced by hard lumps of scar tissue, yellowish in appearance, which cut off hard-working liver cells from the vessels and ducts, which enable them to function.
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As liver function deteriorates, there is Weight loss, loss of appetite, Nausea and Vomiting, Indigestion, general weakness, and a tendency to bleed and bruise easily; in later stages, Jaundis develops and periods cease, followed by fluid retention (oedema) and liver failure. Sufferers are always advised to stop drinking alcohol, and to cut down intake of salt and fat; diuretics, steroids, cytotoxic drugs, and vitamin and mineral supplements may also be prescribed.

Hepatitis

An infected liver; infection may be chronic and grumble on for months or years, or it may be sudden and acute, caused by hepatitis A or B virus, or by the viruses which cause Glandular fever and yellow fever or by alcohol and certain drugs. In some cases acute episodes may lead on to chronic infection.
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Hepatitis A onsets suddenly, although incubation time is up to 3 months; virus is spread by faucal-oral route, through contaminated food or sewage. At first, symptoms resemble those of Influenza (aching, weakness), often with Nausea and loss of appetite; as these subside,Janundic appears and lasts for 2-3 weeks, until the liver is sufficiently recovered to remove yellow pigment from blood. Person feels weak, run down, sometimes depressed, for a month or two afterwards, and may suffer further attacks, but no lasting damage is sustained by the liver.

Hepatitis B produces similar symptoms to hepatitis A, has a longer incubation time (3-6 months), and is potentially more serious as it can lead to acute liver failure or chronic hepatitis Virus is transmitted by blood (unspecialized needles used in tattooing, acupuncture, ear piercing, or drug-taking, transfusions in countries where blood screening is poor) or by body fluids (saliva, semen, vaginal secretions); a few people are carriers of the virus, though they may not know it until they donate blood.
Chronic hepatitis is rare, causing fatigue, Indigestions, loss of appetite, some degree of Jaundice, and eventually Cirrhosis of the liver. It may develop insidiously, or set in after an attack of hepatitis B, or occur in conjunction with Ulcerative colitis or crohn’s disease. Though the root cause is thought to be an autoimmune reaction the culprit may also be large quantities of alcohol or paracetamol.

Since acute hepatitis is virally caused, antibiotics are of no use; the liver has to be helped to heal itself, by rest, abstention from alcohol, fatty foods, and other causative or aggravating agents, and by taking plenty of fluids. In the case of chronic hepatitis, steroids may be prescribed to retard further damage to the liver. Injections of gamma globulin, which boost resistance to hepatitis A for about 6 months, are a sensible precaution if you live with a hepatitis A sufferer or travel to counties where the disease is endemic.

Homeopathic treatment of chronic hepatitis is constitutional. In cases of acute hepatitis, or while waiting for a diagnosis, the remedies below may be beneficial.

Ulcerative Colitis

A fairly rare condition in which lining of rectum and colon become progressively ulcerated, causing periodic attacks of left-sided Abdomen pain, Diarrhea, mucus and blood in faces, and in severe cases Fever and Nausea. Complications include Anemia, as ulcers bleed, and Septicemia, as toxins from ulcers get into bloodstream; risk of developing cancer of the colon or rectum - see Cancer is slight.
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Cause is not known, but broad-spectrum antibiotics can aggravate condition. Diagnosis is by barium enema and endoscopies of the rectum and lower colon. Conventionally treated by steroids; in severe cases steroids and nutrients may have to be given intravenously to rest colon and allow it to heal; colostomy, or surgical removal of affected part of colon, is a last resort.

After a first attack, constitutional homeopathic treatment is recommended.

Also known as functional or nervous diarrhea, colon or vegetative neurosis, or mucous colitis; main symptoms are Constipations and Diarroea, turn and turn about, occasional cramping pains in lower abdomen, and sometimes pain on defecating. Muscular contraction in the colon or ileum is uncoordinated and spasmodic, though not for any reason which can be detected by X-rays or endoscopy; causes are as likely to be psychological - family, marital, or work problems, cancer Phobia, in fact Stress in general - as dietary.

However, a low-fiber diet, or intolerance to wheat, corn, dairy products, citrus fruit, tea, coffee, apples, pears, and salads - in that order- is sometimes the culprit Less often, spasms can be triggered off by a bowel infection, bowel parasites (, tapeworms, amoebae, etc.), overgrowth of bowel flora, , spinal maladjustment, or excessive use of laxatives. Twice as many women are affected as men.

Cholecystitis or Gallstones

An acute condition in which the gall bladder becomes inflamed and swollen because flow of bile into duodenum is blocked by Gallstones result is biliary colic - intense pain in upper right abdomen or between shoulders, Indigestion, especially after fatty food, and Nausea with or without vomiting; untreated, condition can lead to Jaundice and occasionally, if gall bladder bursts, to Peritonitis

Constipation

Delayed transit of solid wastes through colon, resulting in irregular, infrequent, or difficult bowel movements; the longer faeces stay in the colon, the more water is absorbed from them, the harder they become, and the more straining is required to pass them; the risk of faucal toxins passing into
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the bloodstream and adversely affecting the metabolism of the rest of the body is also increased Though conditions such as cancer of the colon or rectum Irritable bowel syndrome, Deverticular disease, Anal fissure, and piles may contribute to difficult or painful movements, the root cause of constipation is usually dietary - not enough fibre, not enough fluids, a lack of Vitamin B1, B5, B6, potassium, magnesium and zinc, too much animal protein (meat, eggs), too many dairy products, too much Vitamin D, too much aluminum, and too much vinegar, pepper, salt, and spices.

If diet is not at fault, cause may be eating meals too fast, not taking enough exercise, tension, Anxiety, Depression, delaying or not regularly obeying the urge to open the bowels, taking antibiotics or abusing laxatives (both of which upset balance of micro-organisms in gut), abuse of certain over-the-counter drugs, especially cough mixtures, hypothyroidism, liver malfunction leading to inadequate bile production, impairment of nerves supplying colon due to spinal abnormality or injury. . .

The list of disorders for which constipation is blamed, or in which constipation is thought to play a part, is even longer, ranging from vague symptoms such as 'liverishness' and sluggishness to heart disease and Cancer. The roll call includes Headache, Insomnia, , various skin complaints, eye problems, dental problems, Epilepsy, Stroke, Arteriosclerosis, premature ageing, Asthma, Tuberculosis, Diabetes, Gallstone, liver trouble, Ulerative colitis, Piles.

In homeopathy, constipation is regarded as a constitutional problem, and is therefore treated constitutionally; bowel nosodes may be given The remedies given in Self Help section are for use on an occasional basis only, for example when travel or holidays disrupt normal diet and exercise habits

Diarrhea

Failure of the large intestine to absorb water from farces; this can happen with Irritable bowel syndrome (diarrhea alternates with constipation), Gastroenteritis (diarrhea and vomiting), Ulcerative colitis (blood in farces), Food poisoning (diarrhea and vomiting), worms and other intestinal
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parasites (tapeworms), lactose intolerance and other food intolerances, and even Anxiety. Certain drugs, especially antibiotics cause diarrhea; also antacids because of their magnesium content, and so does a lack of Vitamin B3 or floated; too much Vitamin D can cause constipation as well as diarrhea. Liquid stools can also be the price of eating too many purses or prunes. Chronic diarrhea can cause potassium deficiency.