If you are looking for a solution to your gastric problem or want gastric pain cure, or looking for answers to how to cure gastric pain? or for home remedies for gastric, or looking for tips to gastric pain relief or want to know about gastric pain remedy or gastric pain cure, this is the right place to be!
This article covers all these issues. Towards the end, I will also suggest the most harmless and appropriate home remedies. Home remedies may not give you instant relief from gastric pain, but as practiced in traditional medicine and as one of the most useful of the home remedies, these practices are most often very harmless, easy and sustainable.
Causes of the gastric pain
I will not go through the details of the causes of gastric pain in this article but just short notes so that if you have not previously gone through the topic, you may learn something here.
Gastric pain is a kind of general term which laymen use to refer to the pain or discomfort arising from the stomach (gastric) area. People may refer to the pain of ulcer of the stomach called gastric ulcer or the pain arising from the ulcer of the first part of the intestine, the duodenum. They may also refer the gastric pain to very common disorders like indigestion, overeating, dyspepsia, stomach over acidity, etc.
However, in this article I am focusing more on the gastric pain that occurs due to dyspepsia, indigestion, slight over acidity, gastritis, and reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus – also called Gastroesophageal Reflux or in short the GERD. This gastroesophageal reflux or GERD is the common cause of gastric pain in chest, which many people misattribute to pain in the heart and therefore also call ‘heartburn’. The heartburn is not due to any heart problem but due to reflux of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus or just due to some indigestion, gastritis or over acidity in the stomach.
Caution: Here is my advice to practice extreme caution in this matter. Since the heartburn or the gastric pain that is felt in the chest, commonly due to GERD or gastritis, occurs at the same position as the chest pain due to heart attack or other heart problems, it is extremely important to get yourself diagnosed properly and get confirmation that pain occurring in the chest is not due to any heart or other problem. Once this is confirmed and properly diagnosed by the competent and qualified physician, that the pain is not due to any serious or a heart condition, then you can try home remedies for the gastric pain relief.
Features and Symptoms of the gastric problem
Whether you have a gastric problem with ulcer of just a gastric pain due to gastritis and non-ulcer dyspepsia, indigestion or GERD, there may be some distinguishing symptoms or these conditions may have overlapping symptoms.
If there is ulcer or gastritis you may be feeling
- Pain or discomfort in the upper part of the abdomen which may or may not be relieved by eating
- Nausea, vomiting or reflux of stomach contents may occur
- If long-standing gastritis or peptic ulcer, loss of appetite or weight loss may occur
If the gastric problem is just dyspepsia without any ulcer, indigestion the symptoms tend to be more like this:
- Feeling of burning sensation in the upper abdomen or in the chest
- There may be excessive wind (passing gas)
- Feeling of bloating in the stomach
Why gastric problem actually occurs?
Again I am not going to write all the causes of the peptic ulcer and non-ulcer gastric problems but just to give you a little bit of a gist, here is a brief info.
The basic mechanism of the causation of these gastric problems is as follows:
In the stomach, acid (gastric acid) is produced as part of the digestive process. However, this acid does not injure the stomach and intestinal wall (mucosa) due to the presence of a kind of a barrier. When that barrier is gone, for any reason, the acid starts to irritate the stomach wall causing all these gastric symptoms. Let me go through briefly these factors that cause the gastric problem and gastric pain in many cases. In many of these cases the protective barrier is weakened or the balance between these two factors – acid and the barrier – is jeopardized (more acid or weak barrier) and this leads to the pain and inflammation of the wall of the stomach or small intestines.
Causative and predisposing factors for gastritis with ulcers
In the case of ulceration and gastritis, it may well be due to the presence of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (or just H. pylori). How it causes, probably no one knows. Maybe it is not the bacteria itself that causes the ulcer or gastric inflammation but the immunologic reaction of the body that causes it.
Other factors to consider
Gastritis or gastric / peptic ulcer mostly occurs in those people who either smoke, drink alcohol, take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines called (NSAIDS) for joint pains or take Aspirin for the heart problem or stroke, or take food that increases the stomach acid release.
Causative and predisposing factors for gastritis and dyspepsia without ulcer
Sometimes the acid levels in the stomach or the digestive enzymes are low in the stomach. This can also lead to heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD or GOR). Why is the acid level low? This is a separate important topic and I am not going to talk about this here. There can be many reasons for this low level of acid in the stomach and some may need to be treated properly by the competent physician. That is why I mentioned earlier that get the proper diagnosis first before trying any traditional or home remedy, including those I am mentioning here in this article.
People with lactose intolerance are also prone to some gastrointestinal symptoms. Again, I am not going into the details of the lactose intolerance. However, very briefly, to let you know, the lactose is a milk sugar and it needs lactase enzyme to be digested. But due if someone lacks that enzyme, called ‘lactase’, the lactose sugar can’t be digested and will lead the gastric and some other gastrointestinal symptoms. Why lactase enzyme is not produced in the gastrointestinal tract is again another topic and beyond the scope of this article. But the best thing to do in case of lactose intolerance is to avoid consuming milk and milk products.
Smokers, alcohol drinkers, caffeine takers (tea & coffee), consumers of spicy and oily food, overweight people and those having lots of stress are also more likely to get gastric problems.
There are some serious or complicated problems that can also be the cause of a gastric problem. These include irradiation in the past, autoimmune reactions, Crohn disease, atrophy of gastric mucosa, and more serious problems like the multiorgan failure, portal hypertension gastropathy, and sarcoidosis. This is another important reason to get properly diagnosed before starting any over the counter product, traditional therapy of home remedies.
Free radicals and reactive oxygen species
Free radicals produced in the body or to be specific, in the gastrointestinal mucosa, by factors like smoking, excessive alcohol intake, physical and emotional stress, damages the gastrointestinal mucosa leading to the irritation, inflammation, and ulceration of the gastric, intestinal and esophageal walls. These free radicals are also produced by the presence of H. pylori bacteria. Addressing this problem of free radicals is important for overcoming the gastric problem. Later, I will also write more about how this issue can be tackled.
Osteopathic approach to the causation of gastric problem
I have tried to mention some of the most common causes of gastric problems above. However, there is another school of thought and they are Osteopaths. I don’t want to overlook the causative factors that osteopaths believe cause the gastric diseases and problems. According to them, the mechanical stress or pressure on certain nerves at the spinal, cervical or clavicular level may be responsible for this, especially through the vagus nerve. There are also opinions, according to which effects on the lymphatics, somehow due to the diaphragm can lead to hypersecretion of the stomach acid. Another opinion states that the sympathetic nerve irritation can well be the causative factor that may lead to chronic gastric disease. Thus the osteopaths believe, the osteopathic manipulative therapies can be useful not just for gastric pain relief but may well actually cure the gastric pain problem.
So how to cure gastric pain? What are the home remedies for gastric? How to get gastric pain relief? Which gastric pain remedy should you try at home without getting into trouble? What is the gastric pain cure?
Having talked about the causes and predisposing factors for the gastric problems, indigestion, gastritis, nonulcer dyspepsia, and the peptic ulcer let us see what are the treatment options and what we can do at home.
Let me stress again here about the importance of correct and proper diagnosis by the qualified physician. This is most important and there is no alternative to this. Having yourself correctly diagnosed, and treated, there are some lifestyle and dietary regimens that can be incorporated into the daily life for a better home management of the gastric problem. I am definitely not going to discuss detailed medical treatments here but just a brief info and will only confine to the details of other remedies that can be tried together with the medical treatment and in consultation with your physician.
If your diagnosis confirms you have Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, please remember, the eradication of the bacteria is important and your doctor should be able to give you the appropriate medicines for that. Some combination of multiple medicines are currently used for this and these do work. So if H. pylori, get the appropriate treatment first before resorting to home remedies etc.
The oversecretion in most cases can be controlled by use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) group of medicines. Your doctor is the best person to prescribe you the right PPI medicine and the correct dose. Another type of medicine used is histamine receptor blockers or H2 blockers. Protectants, like Sucralfate, is given to protect the ulcer surface from coming in contact with the stomach acid so that it can be healed quickly and prevent recurrence.
Surgery is rarely used these days for the treatment of the peptic ulcers and is confined to the life-threatening complications or if the ulcer is unresponsive to the treatment by other methods, which is rare.
Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy (OMT)
OMT, as mentioned earlier is asserted by the osteopaths and the chiropractors. They claim that some kind of spinal manipulations can be used for the treatment.
Changes in the diet
This is a very important aspect and should be followed. The dietary changes that can help include the following:
- Abstaining from consumption of sugar, alcohol, tea, and coffee, because all these only worsen and prolong the peptic ulcer problem
- Micronutrients like vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and vitamin C are very helpful in the recovery phase and diets rich in these can be very useful
The herbs used for peptic ulcer or gastric problems are mostly in combination as there is no single herb that can help overcome the gastric symptoms. The combination may include any of the herbs. Naturopaths have many formulas and here I give some herbs for reference only. It would not be out of place to mention here that herbs too have side effects and may not be appropriate to be taken together with your other medicines. So it is important to discuss with your doctor before taking and herb or herbal medicine.
Herbs with demulcent properties are considered useful. Marshmallow root (Althea off.) has a soothing effect. Some naturopaths use Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) as demulcent as a gastric problem remedy. However, it should neither be taken during pregnancy nor for prolonged period of time. A word of caution also for those who have high blood pressure, vascular disease of heart, or diabetes, kidney or liver problems. Some naturopaths advise potassium-rich food, like bananas to be consumed together with licorice. Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva)of North America is used as it contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a smooth gel when mixed with water and coats the surface of stomach and esophagus (hence useful in GERD as well).
Astringent herbs that reduce irritation, swelling, and inflammation, and may create a barrier between the surface of stomach and intestines. The naturopaths consider these useful in gastric problems for their properties. These include (i) Cranesbill (Geranium maculatum). However, because this herb is strongly astringent, the naturopaths consider it more appropriate for the duodenal ulcer instead of gastric ulcer. Gastric ulcer and gastritis and other stomach problems may actually get worse with the use of Cranesbill.
Herbs for H. pylori eradication: Garlic (Allium sativum) and Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea purpurea) are said to have some antibacterial effect and therefore it is claimed that if used, it can help eradicate H. pylori. There is, however, insufficient evidence in this regards. Garlic oil capsules may contain allicin, which prevents the growth of bacteria. Also, please bear in mind that herbs like these may interact with your current medicines and therefore do make yourself aware of the drug interactions. Discussing with your doctor would be ideal in this regards.
Nervine herbs: Since the stress and anxiety have a role in gastric problems, probably due to acid oversecretion. The nervine herbs like Chamomile are said to be helpful. Marigold (Calendula officinalis) as tea, may possibly be helpful in healing ulcer and gastric problems. Both Chamomile and Marigold have anti-inflammatory properties. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is also helpful, but it is notable that St John’s Wort cannot be taken in many cases. Therefore, you must be careful and take it only after consultation with your doctor. Certain antiviral medicine can’t be taken together with this herb.
Acupuncture and acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure have been used traditionally for more than 2500 years in China. Currently, more researched and better options for treatment of gastritis, gastric and peptic ulcer, non-ulcer dyspepsia are available but sometimes these traditional methods may also help in gastric pain relief. It may have some role in decreasing the acid secretions and therefore may be considered as a gastric pain remedy.
Massage: Massage therapist claim some benefits from Therapeutic Touch, Shiatsu, and Swedish Massage. Probably these may have an indirect effect by virtue of lessening the stress levels.
Manipulative Therapy: Spinal manipulations, as mentioned earlier is said to have a therapeutic effect on the gastric problems.
Bicycling exercise alone or together with drinking water or other fluids (e.g., isotonic drink) is said to help in the gastric emptying and help in overcoming the gastric problem. This modality can be considered as one of the home remedies for gastric.
Yoga: Various yoga poses, especially Apanasana, Spinal twist, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Paschimottanasana, Marjaryasana, Bitilasana, Balasana, Adho Mukha Savanasana, Uttanasana, Trikonasana, Utkatasana, and Pranayama, either all or some may be considered.
- Try to eat smaller portions of meals. Eat regularly and frequently.
- Avoid oily fried and spicy food
- Avoid coffee, tea, alcohol, and smoking
- Eating in sitting position on the dining table is best, instead of eating in any other position or eating while sitting on a sofa, etc.
- Discuss with your doctor about stopping NSAIDs / Asprin. These have a causative role in the ulcer.
- Keep the upper part of the body higher by raising the head-side of the bed by 6-8 inches. In this way, the semi-digested food won’t not regurgitate into the esophagus and thus help minimize the esophageal problem of heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux, and non-ulcer dyspepsia.
Home remedies for gastric pain – How to cure gastric pain due to non-ulcer dyspepsia and indigestion
Gastric Pain Relief Tip (Belch Button Pressing)
The Belch Button point is located on the back, just below the rib. Pressing this point firmly for few seconds can help release the gas trapped in the stomach and thereby improving the gastric pain and indigestion.
Homeopathic medicines can be used if the symptoms of the gastric problem are matching with the conditions in which Nux Vomica or Cabovegitablis are effective. The homeopathic practitioner can give you the most appropriate homeopathic medicine. These can be good for burping or bloating stomach.
Together with small portions regular and frequent meals, containing balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, it is advisable to chew the food fully before swallowing.
The Probiotics, like capsules of Lactobacillus acidophilus, are used for both preventive and curative purposes. They are said to act by enhancing the production of prostaglandin, mucins, growth factors and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and by improving gastric mucosal integrity, transmucosal resistance and angiogenesis (formation of new blood vessels).
These can be purchased over the counter but it is better to consume judiciously. Gaviscon is considered good in alleviating GERD dyspepsia symptoms.
Peppermint tea or peppermint sweet is said to be good for indigestion and non-ulcer dyspepsia, but not appropriate for ulcer and gastroesophageal reflux. So use with caution.
Lastly, I would like to mention one more remedy and that is the easiest to incorporate into the daily routine and said to be very beneficial for both ulcer disease or non-ulcer dyspepsia and GERD – the gastroesophageal reflux. That is the Siberian Pine Nut Oil.
Siberian Pine Nut Oil
Being traditional and dietary therapy, the way the Siberian pine nut oil helps to improve gastric problems is not fully understood. What we know so far, I will try to discuss below. However, right now, let me say that it works well!
Let us see what are the constituents of the Siberian pine nut oil and what are their actions on the body. This will enlighten us on the way these help us in our gastric problems.
The Siberian pine nut oil contains high concentrations of this polyunsaturated fatty acid. The nuts of the Siberian pines have pinolenic acid to the extent of 27%. The Korean pine nut oil also contains pinolenic acid in lesser quantities.
The main physiologic function of the pinolenic acid in the body is triggering cholecystokinin and glucagon-like-peptide-1 (GLP1). Cholecystokinin slows the gastric emptying, relaxes the proximal part of the stomach, accelerates the ulcer healing (by upregulation of cholecystokinin-A receptors, enhanced somatostatin release, stimulation of sensory nerves and hyperemia in the ulcer area) [PMID: 10458643]. The GLP-1 also relaxes the stomach by decreasing its motility and emptying through mechanisms which are not yet known (PMCID: PMC3124003]. The second important function is its anti-inflammatory effect. Due to this property, it helps to overcome the inflammations in the stomach, intestine, and esophagus and thereby helping in overcoming the problems like gastritis, dyspepsia, ulcers, and GERD.
Some extra benefits
Although not used as primary or mainstream cholesterol lowering agent, it increases the uptake of LDL by the liver and therefore helps lower the LDL cholesterol. So consumers of the Siberian pine nut oil who consume it for gastric problems may also have few extra benefits. If there is obesity or overweight problem the appetite suppressant role of Pinolenic acid may be helpful and if you have some high cholesterol problem, that too will benefit! The other extra benefits include possible prevention of cancer spread (metastasis).
Free radicals, Reactive Oxygen Species and Siberian Pine Nut Oil
As mentioned earlier, the routine daily activities like smoking, stress, excessive alcohol consumption etc. produce lots of free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS). These free radicals damage the stomach wall as well as walls of the small intestine and the esophagus. Another source of free radical damage is the presence of H. pylori bacteria. Continuous free radical damage may not just cause gastritis, ulcer, and dyspepsia, but may also lead to cancerous development in the gastrointestinal or esophageal tissues. Siberian pine nuts contain very potent antioxidants which very effectively neutralize the free radical damage and thereby helps solve the gastric problems. Let me explain below how this oil from Siberian pine nuts is able to do this.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and it is present in the Siberian pine nut oil as naturally occurring d-alpha-tocopherol. This naturally occurring vitamin E is more bioavailable (which means body can absorb and use it better) and is twice as potent as the one present in the vitamin E capsules (dl-alpha-tocopherol). Also, the Siberian pine nuts oil is richer in this form of vitamin E as compared to the other vegetable oils.
Carotenoids and Provitamin-A
These are also very powerful antioxidants to remove free radicals from the gastrointestinal and other body tissues. Siberian pine nut oil is rich in these carotenoids and provitamin – A substances. The bioavailability of these substances is very high as these are dissolved in the oily medium of the Siberian pine nut oil.
Besides this, the Siberian pine nut oil makes available three amino acids, viz. cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. Our cells make glutathione from these amino acids. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant. So, the Siberian pine nut oil not just acts as an antioxidant itself but also helps the body make more antioxidants to eradicate reactive oxygen species (ROS / free radicals).
The two enzymatic antioxidants to consider here are (1) Superoxide dismutase (SOD), (2) catalase. Here, we can also mention the glutathione peroxidase. Superoxide dismutase (SOD), converts free radicals [harmful] into ordinary oxygen [harmless / beneficial] and hydrogen peroxide. Since hydrogen peroxide also has damaging effects, the enzyme catalase degrades it. Some of the remaining peroxides are degraded by the glutathione peroxidase.
We have mentioned the role of the enzymatic antioxidants above. However, what exactly is the role of Siberian pine nut oil in these activities? Here is the answer: The SOD requires zinc, manganese, and copper to function. The Siberian pine nut oil has plenty of these trace elements. Both SOD and catalase need iron for their proper functioning and there is no dearth of iron in the Siberian pine nut oil.
Last but not the lease, let me mention the adverse effect of the Siberian pine nut oil so that you know everything and you can make an informed and considered decision regarding its use.
Adverse effects of the Siberian Pine nut oil
- Allergies – as with any other substance, if you have allergy with any constituent of this oil, you may not consume it. Some advice use of patch test before starting its consumption.
It is advisable to exercise precautions or consult your doctor if you have any of the following:
- Seizure disorder: Although it may be suitable for those with generalized convulsive epilepsy, it may not be suitable for those with nonconvulsive epilepsies. Please refer to your doctor, if you have any seizure problem, before consuming
- Using blood thinners like warfarin, clopidogrel (Plavix), etc.
- Taking antibiotic ceftazidime (effect of this antibiotic may increase), anticancer treatments, such as doxorubicin, cisplatin, carboplatin, idarubicin, mitoxantrone, tamoxifen, vincristine, and vinblastine (effect may increase), or immunosuppressive drug – cyclosporine (effect may increase)
- If you are at risk of prostate cancer.
I think I have covered most of the good and bad effects of the Siberian pine nut oil. In light of these, I can safely say, that the overall effect of it on the gastric problems, is excellent. Moreover, it is generally harmless.