Complementary Medicine - Cam
Peptic Ulcer (Holistic)
About This Condition
Ulcer pain? Undo the damage. Peptic ulcers can cause serious discomfort and damage to the digestive system if left untreated. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Peptic ulcers are erosions or open sores in the mucous lining of the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). The term “peptic” distinguishes peptic ulcers from ulcerations that affect other parts of the body (e.g., diabetic leg ulcers).
Peptic ulcer should never be treated without proper diagnosis. They are usually caused by infection from Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). People with peptic ulcer due to infection should discuss conventional treatment directed toward eradicating the organism—various combinations of antibiotics, acid blockers, and bismuth—with a medical doctor. Ulcers can also be caused or aggravated by stress, alcohol, smoking, and dietary factors.
Peptic ulcers are occasionally painless. However, the most common symptom is a dull ache in the upper abdomen that usually occurs two to three hours after a meal; the ache is relieved by eating. Other common symptoms include weight loss, bloating, belching, and nausea. Untreated, peptic ulcers often bleed and may cause sharp burning pain in the area of the stomach or just below it.
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Aspirin and related drugs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),1 alcohol,2 coffee3 (including decaf),4 and tea5 can aggravate or interfere with the healing of peptic ulcers. Smoking is also known to slow ulcer healing.6 Whether or not an ulcer is caused by infection , people with peptic ulcer should avoid use of these substances.
Emotional stress has been shown to increase acid production in the stomach.7 The reported association between stress and peptic ulcer might be attributable to a stress-induced increase in gastric acidity.8 , 9 During the air raids of London in World War II, British physicians observed an increase of more than 50% in the incidence of ruptured peptic ulcers.10 , 11 More recently, an increased incidence of bleeding stomach ulcers was seen in survivors of the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in Japan.12 Whether stress reduction techniques or psychological counseling helps prevent ulcers or ulcer recurrence has not been adequately studied in medical trials.
The right diet is the key to managing many diseases and to improving general quality of life. For this condition, scientific research has found benefit in the following healthy eating tips.
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Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.
For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.
3 Stars Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
2 Stars Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
1 Star For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.
1. Allison MC, Howatson AG, Caroline MG, et al. Gastrointestinal damage associated with the use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. N Engl J Med 1992;327:749–54.
2. Lenz HJ, Ferrari-Taylor J, Isenberg JI. Wine and five percent ethanol are potent stimulants of gastric acid secretion in humans. Gastroenterology 1983;85:1082–7.
3. Cohen S, Booth GH Jr. Gastric acid secretion and lower-esophageal-sphincter pressure in response to coffee and caffeine. N Engl J Med 1975;293:897–9.
4. Feldman EJ, Isenberg JI, Grossman MI. Gastric acid and gastrin response to decaffeinated coffee and a peptone meal. JAMA 1981;246:248–50.
5. Dubey P, Sundram KR, Nundy S. Effect of tea on gastric acid secretion. Dig Dis Sci 1984;29:202–6.
6. Korman MG, Hansky J, Eaves ER, Schmidt GT. Influence of cigarette smoking on healing and relapse in duodenal ulcer disease. Gastroenterology 1983;85:871–4.
7. Bresnick WH, Rask-Madsen C, Hogan DL, et al. The effect of acute emotional stress on gastric acid secretion in normal subjects and duodenal ulcer patients. J Clin Gastroenterol 1993;17:117–22.
8. Lam SK, Hui WM, Shiu LP, Ng MM. Society stress and peptic ulcer performation. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 1995;10:570–6.
9. Piper DW, Tennant C. Stress and personality in patients with chronic peptic ulcer. J Clin Gastroenterol 1993;16:211–4.
10. Stewart DN, de R. Winser DM. Incidence of perforated peptic ulcer. Effect of heavy air raids. Lancet 1942;2:259–61.
11. Spicer CC, Stewart DN, de R. Winser DM. Perforated peptic ulcer during the period of heavy air raids. Lancet 1944;1:14.
12. Aoyama N, Kinoshita Y, Fujimoto S, et al. Peptic ulcers after the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake: Increased incidence of bleeding gastric ulcers. Am J Gastroenterol 1998;93:311–6.
13. Grimes DS, Goddard J. Gastric emptying of wholemeal and white bread. Gut 1977;18:725–9.
14. Rydning A, Berstad A, Aadland E, Odegaard B. Prophylactic effect of dietary fiber in duodenal ulcer disease. Lancet 1982;2(8301):736–9.
15. Ryndning A, Berstad A. Fiber diet and antacids in the short-term treatment of duodenal ulcer. Scand J Gastroenterol 1985;20:1078–82.
16. Sonnenberg A. Dietary salt and gastric ulcer. Gut 1986;27:1138–42.
17. Katchinski BD, Logan RFA, Edmond M, Langman MJS. Duodenal ulcer and refined carbohydrate intake: a case-control study assessing dietary fiber and refined sugar intake. Gut 1990;31:993–6.
18. Suadicani P, Hein HO, Gyntelberg F. Genetic and life-style determinants of peptic ulcer. A study of 3387 men aged 54 to 74 years: The Copenhagen Male Study. Scand J Gastroenterol 1999;34:12–7.
19. Yudkin J. Eating and ulcers. BMJ 1980;Feb 16:483 [letter].
20. Cheney G. Rapid healing of peptic ulcers in patients receiving fresh cabbage juice. Cal Med 1949;70:10.
21. Doll R, Pygott F. Clinical trial of Robaden and of cabbage juice in the treatment of gastric ulcer. Lancet 1954;2:1200.
22. Thaly H. A new therapy of peptic ulcer: The anti-ulcer factor of cabbage. Gaz Med Fr 1965;72:1992–3.
23. Dunaevskii GA, Migonova DK, Rozka IM, Chibisova SM. Value of preserved juice of white cabbage in the complex therapy of peptic ulcer. Vopr Pitan 1970;29:29–33.
24. Noess K. Ulcer-fiber-cabbage and vitamin U. Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen 1986;106:693–4.
25. Kern RA, Stewart G. Allergy in duodenal ulcer: incidence and significance of food hypersensitivities as observed in 32 patients. J Allergy 1931;3:51.
26. Reimann HJ, Lewin J. Gastric mucosal reactions in patients with food allergy. Am J Gastroenterol 1988;83:1212–9.
27. Goso Y, Ogata Y, Ishihara K, Hotta K. Effects of traditional herbal medicine on gastric mucin against ethanol-induced gastric injury in rats. Comp Biochem Physiol 1996;113C:17–21.
28. Beil W, Birkholz W, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Helicobacter pylori growth. Arzneimittelforschung 1995;45:697–700.
29. Beil W, Birkholz C, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Helicobacter pylori growth. Arzneimittelforschung 1995;45:697–700.
30. Al-Said MS, Ageel AM, Parmar NS, Tariq M. Evaluation of mastic, a crude drug obtained from Pistacia lentiscus for gastric and duodenal anti-ulcer activity. J Ethnopharmacol 1986;15:271–8.
31. Huwez FU, Al-Habbal MJ. Mastic in treatment of benign gastric ulcers. Gastroenterol Japon 1986;21:273–4.
32. Huwez FU, Thirlwell D, Cockayne A, Ala’Aldeen DA. Mastic gum kills Helicobacter pylori. New Engl J Med 1998;339:1946 [letter].
33. Hills BA, Kirwood CA. Surfactant approach to the gastric mucosal barrier: Protection of rats by banana even when acidified. Gastroenterology 1989;97:294–303.
34. Sikka KK, Singhai CM, Vajpcyi GN. Efficacy of dried raw banana powder in the healing of peptic ulcer. J Assoc Phys India 1988;36(1):65 [abstract].
35. Bandyopadhyay U, Biswas K, Sengupta A, et al. Clinical studies on the effect of Neem (Azadirachta indica) bark extract on gastric secretion and gastroduodenal ulcer. Life Sci 2004;75:2867–78.
36. Beil W, Birkholz C, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Helicobacter pylori growth. Arzneimittelforschung 1995;45:697–700.
37. Patty I, Benedek S, Deak G, et al. Controlled trial of vitamin A therapy in gastric ulcer. Lancet 1982;2(8303):876 [letter].
38. Patty I, Tarnok F, Simon L, et al. A comparative dynamic study of the effectiveness of gastric cytoprotection by vitamin A, De-Nol, sucralfate and ulcer healing by pirenzepine in patients with chronic gastric ulcer (a multiclinical and randomized study). Acta Physiol Hung 1984;64:379–84.
39. Pfeiffer CJ, Cho CH, Cheema A, Saltman D. Reserpine-induced gastric ulcers: protection by lysosomal stabilization due to zinc. Eur J Pharmacol 1980;61:347–53.
40. Jimenez E, Bosch F, Galmes JL, Banos JE. Meta-analysis of efficacy of zinc acexamate in peptic ulcer. Digestion 1992;51:18–26.
41. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;2:793–6.
42. Nishiwaki H, Kato S, Sugamoto S, et al. Ulcerogenic and healing impairing actions of monochloramine in rat stomachs: effects of zinc L-carnosine, polaprezinc. J Physiol Pharmacol 1999;50:183–95.
43. Arakawa T, Satoh H, Nakamura A, et al. Effects of zinc L-carnosine on gastric mucosal and cell damage caused by ethanol in rats. Correlation with endogenous prostaglandin E2. Dig Dis Sci 1990;35:559–66.
44. Cho CH, Ogle CW. A correlative study of the antiulcer effects of zinc sulphate in stressed rats. Eur J Pharmacol 1978;48:97–105.
45. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;2:793–6.
46. Kashimura H, Suzuki K, Hassan M, et al. Polaprezinc, a mucosal protective agent, in combination with lansoprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin increases the cure rate of Helicobacter pylori infection. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1999;13(4):483–7.
47. Nishiwaki H, Kato S, Sugamoto S, et al. Ulcerogenic and healing impairing actions of monochloramine in rat stomachs: effects of zinc L-carnosine, polaprezinc. J Physiol Pharmacol 1999;50:183–95.
48. Arakawa T, Satoh H, Nakamura A, et al. Effects of zinc L-carnosine on gastric mucosal and cell damage caused by ethanol in rats. Correlation with endogenous prostaglandin E2. Dig Dis Sci 1990;35:559–66.
49. Cho CH, Ogle CW. A correlative study of the antiulcer effects of zinc sulphate in stressed rats. Eur J Pharmacol 1978;48:97–105.
50. Frommer DJ. The healing of gastric ulcers by zinc sulphate. Med J Aust 1975;2:793–6.
51. Kashimura H, Suzuki K, Hassan M, et al. Polaprezinc, a mucosal protective agent, in combination with lansoprazole, amoxicillin, and clarithromycin increases the cure rate of Helicobacter pylori infection. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1999;13(4):483–7.
52. Beil W, Birkholz C, Sewing KF. Effects of flavonoids on parietal cell acid secretion, gastric mucosal prostaglandin production and Helicobacter pylori growth. Arzneimittelforschung 1995;45:697–700.
53. Mills SY. Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine. New York: Viking Arkana, 1991, 544–7.
54. Weiss RF. Herbal Medicine. Gothenburg, Sweden: Ab Arcanum and Beaconsfield, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd, 1988, 334–5.
55. Chang HM, But PPH. Pharmacology and Applications of Chinese Materia Medica vol 1. Singapore: World Scientific Inc., 1986, 521.
56. Salim AS. The relationship between Helicobacter pylori and oxygen-derived free radicals in the mechanism of duodenal ulceration. Internal Med 1993;32:359–64.
57. Salim AS. Allopurinol and dimethyl sulfoxide improve treatment outcomes in smokers with peptic ulcer disease. J Lab Clin Med 1992;119:702–9.
58. Sivam GP, Lampe JW, Ulness B, et al. Helicobacter pylori--in vitro susceptibility to garlic (Allium sativum) extract. Nutr Cancer 1997;27:118–21.
59. Chung JG, Chen GW, Wu LT, et al. Effects of garlic compounds diallyl sulfide and diallyl disulfide on arylamine N-acetyltransferase activity in strains of Helicobacter pylori from peptic ulcer patients. Am J Chin Med 1998;26:353–64.
60. Ernst E. Is garlic an effective treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection? Arch Intern Med 1999;159:2484–5 [letter].
61. Graham DY, Anderson SY, Lang T. Garlic or jalapeno peppers for treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. Am J Gastroenterol 1999;94:1200–2.
62. Shive W, Snider RN, DuBilier B, et al. Glutamine in treatment of peptic ulcer. Texas State J Med 1957;Nov:840.
63. Yan R, Sun Y, Sun R. Early enteral feeding and supplement of glutamine prevent occurrence of stress ulcer following severe thermal injury. Chung Hwa Cheng Hsing Shao Shang Wai Ko Tsa Chih 1995;11:189–92.
64. Sea buckthorn contains flavonoids and other constituents that promote healing, and sea buckthorn oil has been shown to both prevent and heal peptic ulcers in animal studies. Direct application of sea buckthorn oil to ulcers during medical treatment with endoscopy has been reported to improve results, but no studies of treating peptic ulcers with sea buckthorn oil supplements have been done.
65. Nikitin VA, Chistiakov AA, Bugaeva VI. Therapeutic endoscopy in combined therapy of gastroduodenal ulcers.Khirurgiia (Mosk) 1989;4:33-35 [in Russian].
Last Review: 10-16-2013
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