Hyperacidity $ ulcer
Purgative taken to relive the constipation merely aggravate the disease. Catarrh of the intestines takes many years to develop and its treatment in the natural way can, take at least months: the patient should therefore, not lose patience. A start should be made with fasting. Only water, preferably lukewarm water, should, be taken. One should continue to fast as long as one is able to between four days to a week. Break the fast with clear soup of boiled vegetables without adding salt or any other seasoning. This should be continued for two-three days and then the patient should go to boiled vegetables, adding churned curd of cow’s milk. The curd, churned and mixed with water, may be taken upto two litres in a day.
When the discharge of mucus with the stools starts, warm water enema should be taken. Clay mixed with cold water may be plastered, over the lower abdomen upto half an hour. Mud pack can help deal with colic or dysentery.
A patient suffering from catarrh of the intestines needs rest and fresh air. After he has gone through the regimen of a fast and then soup fo boiled vegetables, he should preferably take vegetables, potatoes and plantains roasted over coals and curds. Cereals should be avoided as they tend to increase acidity. Salt should also be taken in small quantities and condiments, chilies and seasonings should be totally given up. Fats, particularly oils, should be avoided. Butter can be taken in small quantities. Honey could be used for sweetening instead of sugar. The vegetables should be peeled off their outer covering before cooking. Flea seed soaked in water may be taken twice in the day in the beginning of the treatment.
In certain chronic case the curd treatment might be needed but complete rest is advised throughout the treatment. Light exercise, walking, might be advisable after some days of complete rest.
Catarrh of the intestines is an intractable disease and would need strong will power on the part of the patient to deal with. Patient must have faith and confidence that he would recover not that without the faith and confidence his recovery would be hampered, it would only be slower. The greater the confidence and mental resilience in the patient, the quicker would his recovery be.
But if you take plenty of water, exercise and avoid heavily spiced, fried things, you are not likely to fall a prey to the disease. Do not delay to answer the “call of nature”. Suppression of the urge to void your bowels is the villain of the piece in many cases of catarrh of the intestines.
HYPERACIDITY AND ULCERS
Symptoms of Hyperacidity:
We have discussed the digestive processes in the previous section, and have noted the presence of the gastric juices which help in digesting the food. When the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach increases in quantity, the condition is known as hyperacidity. It is this condition which gives rise to gastritis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the stomach) and ulcers – gastric, peptic and duodenal.
Symptoms of Ulcers:
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 distension 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.
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.
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 fruits recommended are banana, mangoes, musk melon and dates. This regimen would progressively reduce the acidity in the stomach.
An advanced state of the disease should for only milk and fruits diet is recommended. 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 ten to fifteen minutes and clay plastered over the lower abdomen for half an hour in the day can help the ulcers to heal. The hip bath or the mud pack 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 exercises 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.
Distension or Dilation
Associated with hyperacidity is another disease of the stomach: distension or dilation. It can occur without 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.
Some people form excessive wind in the stomach. There is a rumbling sound issuing from the insides a couple of hours after meals. The sound is so loud that even others can hear it.
Rumbling sound after ingestion of food indicates a state of putrifaction in the stomach and the intestines. It indicates over-eating and bad digestion. People who gulp down their food generally suffer from this malady. One must masticate the food properly. If one eats sweet, sour and refined foods one is merely inviting trouble. One should take natural foods: breakfast on fruits and lunch mainly on boiled vegetables.
Take a cup of hot water half an hour before meals. Exercising your abdomen muscles and walking can help in ameliorating the condition.
WORMS THAT INFEST THE INTESTINES
The four kinds of worms: The intestines are sometimes infested by parasites which trouble the patient. The most commonly noticed parasites in India are: threadworm, tapeworm, hookworm and the roundworm. They exist in the intestines because they find a congenial climate for their growth which again is the result of wrong type of feeding which most people indulge in. Patients suffering from these worms generally acquire a voracious appetite, but in spite of massive quantities of food they take in, there is no gain in weight. Sometimes they are pale and sickly and, therefore, gloomy. Infants and young children are likely to be irritated all the time and are prone to throw tantrums at the slightest excuse.
The most common and the least harmful parasite infesting the intestines is the threadworm, or enterobius vermicularis. When they are expelled from the anus, they tend to create uncontrollable itch and the patient is forced to scratch his anus. They are small, thread-like creatures which can be noticed in the stools of children. The hookworm and the tapeworm resemble earthworms: they are, fortunately, less common in our country than threadworms.
Causes: It is the dirty habits, like eating food without washing your hands, putting the finger first in the nostril then in the month, eating contaminated food, scratching the anus and then eating food without thoroughly washing your hands, using underwear worn by a person suffering from threadworms, constipation, and mucus in the stools, which encourage the parasites to infest the intestines.
Treatment: Naturopathy, aim at strengthening the intestines so that they can purge themselves of the parasites. The stools of a child suspected to be suffering from threadworms could be examined visually: in some cases they would be found sticking to the anus of the child.
Treatment of threadworm infested patient must start with cleanliness. A child suffering from it should be administered a warm water enema to which juice of half a fresh lime has been added. It should be followed by administration of about 50 to 100 millilitres of coconut oil with the help of a syringe through the anus. The child should be asked to strain himself at the time of passing the stools.
The best course would be to start the treatment with fasting: if the young patient or his mother cavils at it, he should be administered fruit juice or clear vegetable soup mixed with water. Lukewarm enema must be given during the treatment both in the morning and evening. Enema would help expel mucus and threadworms from the intestines. Bed clothes of the patient must be aired in the sun every day and he should stay in a well-ventilated room.
If the child is walking he should be encouraged to fast for two days followed by a diet of fruits and boiled vegetables for five to six days. Raw vegetables like carrot, cucumber and onions can be given in addition to tomatoes. Milk and cereals should be totally avoided. Potatoes roasted over the coals and raisins soaked in water could also be given. After that the patient could be allowed porridge or gruel. When he has started taking cereals, milk should not be given to him, nor lentils.
Cold compresses and mud pack applied from the navel to the pubes can also help in the initial stages of the treatment. Juice of garlic could also be taken recourse to since it kills the parasites without harming the patient.
Causes and Symptoms: Piles or haemorrhoids, is a varicose and often inflamed condition of the veins about the lower end of the bowel. Haemorrhoids are either external, internal or mixed. In external piles there is not much bleeding but a lot of pain, whereas the internal piles consist in discharge of several ounces of dark blood.
Piles is not a disease in the strictest sense of the term but a symptom. Even modern medicine recognize this since its practitioners agree that it is caused primarily by constipation. The pressure applied in voiding a constipated bowel tends t distend the veins and the external piles may be swollen causing pain making it difficult for the patient to sit. The piles become enlarged and red and give off a thin, blood-stained discharge.
Allopathy depends more on surgery than drugs in the case of intractable piles, but even removal of the offending part does not give relief since the disease is likely to recur.
Treatment: Treatment of piles must start with treatment of the basic cause and that is constipation. The use of violent and irritating purgatives should be avoided and care must be taken to secure soft motions. The naturopathic way is to regulate the diet. The diet of a person suffering from piles – even though the goal is to relieve constipation – should be a little different from the one recommended for dealing with constipation. The best diet to secure a soft stool, the instrument of relieving constipated bowels, will comprise wheat porridge, whole meal (wheat flour without being passed through a sieve), green vegetables, particularly spinach, gourds of the various varieties, cabbage, radish, fruits like papaya, ripe banana, musk melon, apple, pear and milk. Lentils and daals should be avoided since they tend to constipate the bowels. Dry fruits like coconuts, figs, raisins and currants are also recommended. The best regimen for the piles patient could be to breakfast on papaya, musk melon and milk. For lunch he should have porridge and leafy vegetables and his dinner should consists of (i) any vegetable and raisins; (ii) vegetables, figs and currants or cooked vegetables in medium quantities. Dry fruits like raisin, currants and figs could be taken upto 200 grammes at one time, but the best way is to soak them in about 400 millilitres of water and take them along with the water. Flesh of fresh coconut could be taken upto 125 grammes and dry coconut up to 75 grammes at one time.
The above regimen will give relief in a majority of the cases, but in chronic or intractable cases where the patient passes dry, hard stool aggravating his condition flea seed (Isbagol) is recommended. Flea seed or its husk should be taken in small quantities of five to ten grammes. The best way is to soak it in water, 20 times is volume for 24 hours and take it before every meal. The quantity should be reduced when the condition improves.
Persons suffering from piles are generally in the habit of taking less water than their bodies need. They must drink 2 to 3 litres of water in 24 hours.
Mud treatment can also benefit the patient. Take 1 to 1 ½ kilogrammes of dry clay and knead it into soft dough like consistency. Spread it like plaster from the navel to the pubes; a ball of clay should be kept on the rectum for half an hour. The mud treatment should best be taken one and a half to two hours before breakfast and repeated before dinner. After the mud is removed, a brisk walk for three to four kilometers is recommended.
If no relief is experienced from the treatment outlined above, the patient should take resort of fasting. Fasting should last from three to seven days, during which nothing but water should be taken. It would be difficult to do it in the beginning and the patient should try it for three days in the first instance. Lukewarm water enema must be taken in the morning or evening during fasting. And a fasting patient should return to normal diet only gradually, starting with vegetable or fruit juices, going on to porridge and milk and then to regular food.