What Is a Stomach?
The stomach is a muscular, J-shaped organ in the upper part of the abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, extending from the mouth to the anus. The size of the stomach is almost the same for people of the same age.
What Is Peptic Ulcer?
A peptic ulcer is a disruption of the mucosal integrity of the stomach or duodenum leading to a local defect due to active inflammation; it can also be termed a break in the mucosal surface greater than 5 mm in size.
What Are the Naturopathy and Yogic Understanding of Peptic Ulcers?
Naturopathic treatments attribute ulceration to abuse at various levels like eating, drinking, smoking, sex, and emotions. The right food and water consumption, frequent changes of the mucosal layer, and bile regurgitation are seen as the four natural protections provided to the stomach lining. If any of these mechanisms get altered or fail, it results in acidity or ulcers. However, there may be reflux of gastric contents of the stomach into the esophagus, which gives rise to heartburn.
Heartburn, if it continues for a longer duration (commonly seen in people who consume excess sugar or the wrong food combination), results in irritation followed by inflammation in the lining of the stomach and esophagus. There will be no erosion or ulceration at this stage. The acids of decomposition resulting from overeating and eating the wrong combination of food complicate and cause gastric and duodenal ulcers.
Preliminary to the ulcer, there is a persistent inflammation, followed by surface hardening and subsequent tissue breakdown. The increased hardening blocks arterial circulation and terminates oxygen supply to that area, which breaks down the tissue and gives rise to open sores or ulcers. If not remedied by proper lifestyle changes, this phenomenon can eventually result in cancer.
What Therapies Are Used in the Treatment of Gastric Ulcers?
1. GH Pack (Gastro-Hepatic Pack): GH pack for 40 minutes is recommended in case of ulcers. It prevents or mitigates congestion over the abdominal area, which is the main reason for inflammation and induration. The mechanism of action is usually derivative and reflex effects of the hot and cold application over the lumbar and hypogastric region.
2. Hip Bath: A hip bath involves only the hips and the abdominal region below the navel. A special type of tub is used for this purpose. A cold hip bath at 10 to 18 degrees Celcius is a routine treatment for many diseases.
3. Alternative Hot and Cold Hip Bath:
Alternate hot and cold hip bath for 20 minutes is also anecdotally prescribed in treating ulcers. This usually enhances blood flow, which helps to eliminate allogenic chemicals and facilitate muscle relaxation. Cold abdominal packs and steam baths may act through prostaglandins to induce epithelial cell proliferation.
Duration - 20 minutes.
Action - Enhances blood flow, removes pain-producing chemicals (algogenic chemicals), and facilitates muscle relaxation.
4. Mud Pack:
It is prepared by keeping soaked mud in a thin wet muslin cloth and making it into a thin flat brick, depending on the part to be applied. Cold mud packs also influence prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which prevent unwanted aggregation of platelets resulting in sclerosis, and may prove beneficial in treating ulcers.
Adults (abdomen) - 10" × 6" × 1".
Eyes - 9" ×6×1/2.
The duration is usually 20 to 30 minutes. Prostaglandin and leukotrienes prevent unwanted aggregation of platelets which results in sclerosis.
Duration - 15 to 20 minutes.
Sun exposure is associated with a reduced incidence of GI disorders, especially GIT cancer. It stimulates the body's vitamin D, which protects against cancer. Vitamin D3, the active form of vitamin D, is postulated to counteract this intracellular cell death and improve epithelial regeneration. Hence, exposure to the sun for 15 to 20 minutes is an effective therapeutic option in managing peptic ulcers.
The green color is the standard choice in the treatment of ulcers as it restores the balance in the body. Chromotherapy revolves around the concept that the difference in metabolic rate and glandular secretion is due to color, and autonomic responses in the body are involved with color. The therapeutic application can be direct exposure to green color over the abdominal area through green filters or charged water.
The north pole is the front side of the abdomen, i.e., the spot of pain, and the south pole is the back side opposite the north pole.
What Diet Chart Is Recommended in Patients With Peptic Ulcer Disease?
What Lifestyle Modifications Help in Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD)?
People with PUD should eat a healthy balanced diet.
Avoid foods and drinks that cause discomfort for you. These include alcohol, coffee, caffeinated soda, fatty foods, chocolate, and spicy foods for many people.
Avoid eating late-night snacks. If you smoke or chew tobacco, try to quit. Tobacco will slow the healing of your ulcer and increase the chance that the ulcer will come back.
Try to reduce stress levels and learn ways to manage stress better.
On following the naturopathic and yoga treatments with precautions and diet and regular follow-up of treatments for a minimum of four months, there is a significant improvement in the gastric ulcer. Yoga and naturopathy being a lifestyle, incorporating diet, stress management training, target cutting down the root cause of gastritis to prevent it and improve the current condition.