Understanding Ulcer!

Peptic Ulcer is a sore on the lining of your Stomach or in the first part of your Small Intestine (duodenum). If this sore occurs in your stomach, it is referred to as a Gastric ulcer and if it occurs in your Duodenum, it is called a Duodenal Ulcer. Gastric and duodenal ulcers are types of Peptic ulcers and a peptic ulcer can also occur in the Oesophagus. When a person develops Chronic Peptic Ulcers, the condition is referred to as Peptic Ulcer Disease. Care must be taken to differentiate Peptic Ulcer Disease from Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) that occurs when stomach acid flows into the food pipe and irritates the lining of the GIT. GERD is acid reflux and heartburn occurring more than twice a week, usually self-diagnosed, treatable by a medical Professional and rarely requires lab tests or imaging. Symptoms include a burning pain in the chest which usually occurs after eating, and worsens when lying down.

A healthy Gastro Intestinal Tract (GIT) usually has a layer of mucus coating that protects against acid deterioration, and if mucus decreases, or acid increases, then an ulcer could result. More often than not, ulcers are associated with infection by the Gram negative bacterium –  Helicobacterpylori. This organism is transmissible through food, water and close human contact. Other predisposing factors include Hyper secretory conditions like existing tumours; Genetic factors (when a first degree relative has had ulcer); Emigrant from a developing nation; Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol and stressing; and chronic use of Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) such as Aspirin.


This includes a burning pain sensation in your gut, about halfway between the navel and the breastbone, pain or discomfort 2-3 hours after eating (duodenal ulcer), pain or discomfort 30 minutes after eating (gastric ulcer), pain that wakes you up at night and is eased by eating, drinking or taking antacids, blood in stool or vomit, nausea, retching and vomiting.


If your doctor suspects you have ulcer he will most likely order a blood test to identify Helicobacter pylori, stool antigen test, urine based ELISA and rapid urine test. He may request an endoscopy, do a barium study and, or a urease breath test or a biopsy.



  • Eat smaller meals at regular meal times, eat slowly and chew food properly, Eat dinner 3-4 hours before bed.
  • Eat or take ulcer healing foods such as: Cabbage juice, Cold cucumber smoothie, Honey, Turmeric, Garlic, Liquorice, Chilli peppers, Aloe Vera juice, water melon seed extract, bananas, sugar cane and Probiotics.
  • Finally, avoid prolonged hunger states and snack between meals on bananas, cold cucumber and sugar cane to mention a few.



  • everydayhealth.comwww.uofmhealth.org>health-library
  • Google search
  • hopkinsmedicine.org
  • medscape.com
  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/book
  • ridgedalesurgerycentre.com
  • www.mayoclinic.org

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