A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
The important actions such as digestion and assimilation of food occurs in the stomach, in addition, the vital organ also prepares the food in such a way that it is passed into the intestinal tract in a form which is easily absorbed. Gastric acids and enzymes break down the food constituents and strong muscles grind the food ensuring proper mixing of all the food particles-the stomach catalyzes other enzymatic reactions to digests matter and renders absorbable. Food stays in the stomach which can be said to also function as a holding bay, and this food is passed on to the intestinal tract only when it is ready to be assimilated by the intestines. Among the many physical symptoms induced by disorders in the stomach-symptoms include the presence of sharp and cutting pains that resemble knife inflicted pains, the development of a burning sensation, or a cramping and tightness in the muscles of the stomach, symptoms may also include a persistent ache that comes along with abdominal fullness, stomach disorders also induce belching, the presence of nausea and a loss of appetite for the duration of the disorder.
Gastritis is one type of stomach disorder; the condition is marked by the presence of a painful inflammation along the internal lining of the stomach. The physical symptoms induced by this condition generally tend to start in the period following a meal, it begins when a painful sensation is felt in the abdominal region above the navel, the condition eventually progresses to abdominal cramps and it will also induce nausea in the patient. The other physical symptoms that come along with the main symptom include abdominal bloating and the appearance of disorders such as diarrhea or constipation over the long term. Gastritis develops if the stomach lining receives repeated irritation; such types of inflammation often develop gradually and in response to persistent irritation of the stomach lining from different factors. Chronic forms of gastritis are marked by milder symptoms including the presence of heartburn, the induction of belching, the presence of pressure and fullness in the abdominal area. The presence of bad breath is also often another sign of stomach disorders. The ultimate destruction of the lining along the stomach can occur through repeated irritation of the tissues over a period of many years-this situation will result in a deficiency in the levels of stomach acids and enzymes. The appearance of a stomach ulcer is the ultimate result of continued irritation along the gastric lining.
Gastritis is not the only source of painful sensations in the stomach-there is many other reasons for pain in the stomach. The presence of painful stomach cramps and painful gripping sensations often accompany a case of stomach flu, this condition begins suddenly and abruptly enough and often comes along with diarrhea-the positive side of the disorder is that in a few days, it abates and disappears. The presence of severe and persistent stomach pain, which seem to radiate out to the areas along the lower right abdomen, is more likely to be a case of appendicitis than a normal stomach ache-such ailments must be considered to be a medical emergency.
The presence of a persistent abdominal irritation, the presence of an ulcer, the effects of food poisoning or an indigestion are the usual physical causes for other types of pain felt in the stomach. The acidity of the stomach can be increased by the consumption of many different substances which also irritate the lining along the stomach; these include beverages such as coffee, all drinks containing alcohol and the use of cigarettes. Inflammations tends to develop in the stomach in response to the presence of too much food and liquids in the stomach-as when people stuff themselves while eating, the use of large amounts of alcohol is another notable cause for inflammation in the stomach. Overburdening the stomach by eating large amounts of oily or fried foods can lead the development of indigestion, the production of gas and heartburn as such heavy foods tend to stay in the stomach much longer than the other foods consumed when eating light meals. Accumulated and trapped gases in the body cause the production of gripping and cramping pains in the stomach, such gases develop in the intestinal region as a part of the fermentation process which will occur if ingested food remains for long periods of time in the stomach or if the process of digestion is incomplete or if there remains inadequate from the lack of sufficient digestive enzymes in the stomach. The presence of sensitivities to food or allergic reaction to foods such as milk, eggs and other foods, must also be considered as possible causes of pain in the stomach. Inflammation in the stomach is sometimes due to the consumption of spoiled food, the ingestion of such foods can act as a trigger to indigestion and other stomach disorders.
The practice of other bad habits by an individual can significantly contribute to the severity of the problem. Behavioral issues as paying insufficient attention to mealtimes and eating on the run can often trigger stomach distress and other digestive problems for the person. The digestive process is also aided by the sense of smell, the taste of food and by factors such as proper chewing of food. The awakening of these senses and their response to food prepares the stomach by acting as a triggering mechanism for the start of enzymatic reactions within the stomach-these factors are thus necessary for digestion to occur. The digestive process can also be affected by the presence of very strong emotions including hiked emotional states such as stress and anxiety in the person. The source of pain in the stomach in certain cases is the presence of mental stress, which affects the body physically in some unknown way. The use of certain medications can also be the cause of stomach disorders in others. The digestive processes in the stomach can be easily affected by many different types of medications; these can include the use of certain anti-inflammatory drugs, the use of certain antibiotics and compounds like the cortisone. In normal and healthy stomachs, the disorders induced by stomach flu, caused by the presence of a viral or bacterial bug, cannot occur as the acids present in the stomach will kill most germs-in unhealthy people, such acids may not be present in sufficient quantities and stomach flu may establish itself due to this factor.
Supplements and herbs
The following nutritional supplements and the herbal remedies given here can be used in the treatment of stomach disorders. The first precaution is a dietary one, people affected by an irritation or infection which comes along with pain, must ensure that they take the supplements with food to avoid the risk of further irritating the already very sensitive stomach and worsening the situation. The stomach acids are neutralized by ingesting healing clay, this remedy is very soothing to the inflamed lining of the stomach-it will alleviate the symptoms associated with the inflammation. The supplements of the essential minerals calcium and magnesium will help regulate and bind the acids in the stomach and aid in maintaining the pH balance at a proper level, these minerals must be taken by all individuals suffering from stomach disorders due to high stomach acid levels. For permanent healing of the stomach, the underlying cause of the disorder must be examined and corrected as these supplemental measures are to be used as a temporary solution and will only alleviate the symptoms of the condition.
The presence of abdominal bloating and gas in a person, suggest deficiency of the vitamin B complex. In such patients, daily supplements consisting of high-doses of the B complex vitamins must be taken along with the meals for as long as necessary. The physical symptoms can also be relived by the supplements of an acidophilus combination remedy which contains the intestinal cultures of bacteria which can help replenish the health of the intestinal flora-the stomach disorder may result in the destruction of populations of intestinal bacteria which maintain intestinal health. Symptoms such as excessive gas can be eliminated by the continued supplemental use of these cultures of friendly bacteria. The supplemental use of the acidophilus bacteria is suggested in the treatment of all types of stomach pains, the use of these supplements can bring healing to the stomach and provide a solid basis for beating back the infection resulting in recovery from the disorder. The addition of supplemental digestive enzymes temporarily to speed up the digestive process and to help in the prevention of food from sitting too long can be done in cases of chronic problems with abdominal gas.
All of the herbs and herbal remedies given here can be used by patients affected by stomach disorders; the continual use of these remedies can calm the nervous system effectively and help bring relief from persistent cramps and pain in the stomach.
Persistent abdominal cramps can be soothed down through the supplemental use of an herbal combination consisting of fennel and peppermint teas. The herbs can be mixed together in water and steeped for an optimal period of twenty to thirty minutes, the solution can be strained and cooled down-this herbal tea can be taken daily to ease the symptoms of stomach cramps and pain. Alternately, taking a single tsp. of the essential oils of each of these herbs with some other fluid can also help in treating stomach disorders. Fennel can be used to soothe irritations in the stomach and the peppermint herb is an effective analgesic in the treatment of stomach irritations. The herbal teas made using the chamomile and slippery elm herbs also help in soothing the irritated mucous membranes in the stomach lining effectively. Prepare the herbal teas by using a tsp. each of the herbs in a cup of hot water and drink this tea thrice every day as treatment for inflammation in the stomach. The circulation system is benefited and warmed up by drinking a gentian root herbal tea on a daily basis. This herbal tea can also be taken in the same doses as the chamomile herbal. Taking a single tbsp. of the sage herbal juice daily is suggested to combat gastritis and enteritis-the astringent properties of this herb can effectively heal the stomach disorder affecting a person. Drinking the herbal teas made from the herbs such as the lemon balm, the peppermint, the St. John's wort, the valerian herb, the chamomile or the rue can help calm down jittery nerves and aid in healing damaged nerves. Topical herbal treatments are also suggested for individuals suffering from stomach ailments and take a relaxing bath with water infused by adding five drops of the herbal rosemary oil to a full tub is suggested for all patients. The abdominal area can be massaged using diluted arnica oil as a treatment against stomach cramps. The soothing actions of herbal juices made from the whole-leaf of the aloe vera herb can be healing even for stomach pains and abdominal cramps induced by the presence of peptic ulcers in the stomach. The pain in the stomach can also be relieved by drinking the herbal tea made from the licorice roots. Some caution is advised as the long term use of large amounts of the licorice herb has been known to hike blood pressure in people. This potential side effect is known to be caused by the presence of the compound glycyrrhetinic acid in the licorice herb. This side effect can be avoided by using DGL –deglycyrrhizinated licorice- this form of the herbal remedy is still effective in relieving stomach cramps while lacking all the side effects often induced by the pure form of the herb. A combination herbal remedy made from four-herbs-the burdock herb, the slippery elm, the Turkish rhubarb and the sheep sorrel is sold and manufactured by many different health companies. The combination herbal formula can be used as a remedy alone or it can be used in combination with the DGL, with some aloe vera juice or with the prescription medications in cases of stomach disorder which prove to be exceptionally resistant to all kinds of treatment.
Additional things you may do
Topical applications consisting of hot, moist apple cider vinegar compresses can be applied directly to the stomach in cases of stomach disorders that are caused by indigestion, this initial topical remedy must be followed by an application of an herbal poultice made using the fresh and crushed leaves of cabbage, this application will relieve the abdominal cramps immediately. Another helpful treatment is to direct a hot shower at the abdomen-this will temporarily help contain the pain within manageable limits. The presence of suppressed emotional issues can also induce stomach pain, it can thus result from the presence of excessive emotional stress and the suppression of many unresolved mental problems such as an uncontrolled zealous ambition, the lack of acceptance by supervisors and friends, unrequited love, the presence of some religious conflicts, the presence of exceptional temptations and the situations filled with financial and social failings-mental problems can cause stomach disorders. It is a good habit to eat all your meals in a relaxed and happy atmosphere, at the same time chew your food well before swallowing to aid in easier digestion. It is a good habit not to eat when emotionally upset or angry, at such times try to cool down by going for a brisk walk or by involving yourself in physical exercise. This is the best way to calm down, and to resolve emotional conflicts whenever they become apparent. It is important to spend enough time rest and relaxing, such periods of rest will significantly speed the healing process in the stomach, and this is especially in those cases where emotional stress was part of the cause for the original disorder. The presence of persistent high levels of emotional stress and intense anxiety can really hinder the ability of the person to recover from a case of gastritis and this can eventually cause to the persistence of chronic problems in the stomach.
Other beneficial herbs