Symptoms of Hyperacidity
The presence of the gastric juices help in digesting the food. If the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach increases in quantity, the condition is known as hyperacidity. It is this condition which gives rise to gastric (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach) and ulcers-gastric, peptic and duodenal. Almost all these disease present some difficulty in diagnosis because of confused symptoms, unless there is a bleeding ulcer. Generally, the symptoms of dyspepsia appear.
Symptoms of Ulcers
Ulcers were at one time supposed to be the diseases from which industrialists, politicians and intellectually active persons, beset with worries, suffered, but lately it has been detected among manual labourers too. Of the cause, the most important is dietetic indiscretion, like ingestion of heavy meals, addiction to alcohol and smoking. Food poisoning, infections like influenza, septicaemia and toxins like uremia and gout are the other causes of gastritis and ulcers. The mucous membrane of the stomach gets congested and too much of acid gives rise to wounds or ulcers. The size of the ulcer is from ¼ to 1 inch in diameter, and it is either round or of an oval form. It tends to penetrate through in the stomach.
The first symptoms of ulceration in the stomach include dizziness, nausea, eructation and loss of appetite. Acidity goes on increasing leading to a burning sensation or even pain in the stomach, which is relieved after ingestion of food. As the disease progresses there is distention of the stomach due to excessive flatulence, mental tension, insomnia, bad temper and gradual weakening of the body. Constipation also appears and sometimes the stools are tinged with blood.
Serious complications like haemorrhage, perforation and obstruction of the pylorus (the orifice through which food passes from the stomach to the intestine) also appear. Unless it is detected in time massive bleeding may lead to death. Traditional medicines has recourse to blood transfusions in an emergency but there is little else it can do for the patient.
In addition to dietetic indiscretions, habits of thought also play a vital role in cases of ulcers. Those given to excessive worry, anger, tension, jealousy and hurrying are more prone to suffer from ulcers.
Allopaths also prescribe bland food free from acidity and condiments for ulcer patients, but they generally forget the psychological aspects of the disease. They advise the ulcer patients alkaline diets or drugs containing alkali, but that is not anything more than a palliative.
Ulcer patients should avoid spices and seasoned or fried foods. Nothing that is likely to augment the acidity of the stomach should be taken. Alcohol is, of course, the first thing which is forbidden. Milk, cream, butter, fruits and boiled vegetables are the best diet for an ulcer patient. The fruit recommended are banana, mangoes, muskmelon and dates. The regimen would progressively reduce the acidity in the stomach.
Those in an advanced state of disease should take only mil and fruits. Milk should be taken in moderate quantities-say about 250 to 300 millilitres-every hour. Leafy vegetables should be avoided in the beginning. The various types of gourds should be boiled without their rind because the rind is likely to create friction in the stomach. Flea-seed husk-10 to 15 grammes-should be taken with water or milk after every meal.
The ulcer patient must take one to one and a half litres of water during the day. He must bathe in cold water twice daily. Hip bath for to fifteen minutes and clay plastered over the lower abdomen for half an hour in the day can help the ulcers to heal. The hipbath or the mudpack should be taken on an empty stomach and should be followed by a walk. In case of constipation, daily enema should be administered.
Daily massage and deep breathing exercise also help. The patient must also try to get rid of his worries and stay cheerful. It has to be remembered that hyperacidity does not come up suddenly: it is a gradual development and its cure is also a gradual process. If the patient does not lose patience and continues the regimen suggested, he can get rid of his ailment.
Distension of Dilation
Associated with hyperacidity is another disease of the stomach: distention or dilation. It can occur with out giving rise to any symptoms. If food is retained for a long time in the stomach, it gives rise to fermentation. The condition is both painful and irritating. It also tells upon the general health of the sufferer.
Here too, the only hope is the naturopathic way of controlling your diet. The regimen suggested for ulcers and hyperacidity can help such patients to recover quickly.