Calm Your Stomach With Chinese Medicine

I get abdominal pains with burning and gnawing sensations, which has been diagnosed by my doctor as peptic ulcers what is a peptic ulcer and what can your treatments do to help?

Peptic ulcers are open sores or erosions in the lining of either the duodenum these are called duodenal ulcers or in the stomach (gastric ulcers). The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine just after the stomach. Ulcers are caused by stress, which leads to Helicobacter pylori infection. When the stomach’s natural protections from the effects of digestive juices (including acid and pepsin [an enzyme that helps breakdown protein]) stop working or the acid production is too overwhelming for these protective defences to work properly, these acids can burn the stomach lining and you can get an ulcer. There are a few different ways this happens.

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacterial organism, are responsible for most ulcers. This organism weakens the protective coating of the stomach and duodenum and allows the digestive juices to irritate the sensitive lining below.

The ongoing use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is the second most common cause of ulcers. It has been known for some people to even have part of their stomachs removed as a result of the over use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Some of the most common symptoms of ulcers are-abdominal pain with a burning or gnawing sensation, pain 2 to 3 hours after eating, pain that is often aggravated by an empty stomach; night time pain is common, heartburn indigestion (dyspepsia), belching, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite and weight loss.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine stomach ulcers are classified as stomach heat, how does this heat occur? Well as I stated earlier the root cause of all stomach upsets is usually stress related.

In Chinese medicine stress creates heat in the liver, this excessive heat then rises upwards and invades the stomach causing heartburn and various other digestive upsets. Acupuncture point to eradicate this liver heat is used in conjunction with cooling and calming herbs. In my own clinics I use two very important acupuncture points on the feet in the treatment of all ulcers, these points are specifically indicated to drain excessive heat from the stomach. I once cured a patient with these points who had ulcers for over 15 years, he had tried all western drugs available at the time for his condition but none worked, after about 10 acupuncture and herbal treatments all his pain and symptoms disappeared and then he had a further endoscopy (an endoscopy, is when a narrow, flexible tube with a fibre-optic light and camera at the end, is put down the throat and into the stomach to have a look for the presence of ulcers) to confirm if the ulcers had healed or not. To the surprise of the surgeon the test confirmed that the ulcers had healed.

Kim McMenamin Dip.Ac. Lic.Ac. C.Ac. China MQP