OVERVIEW OF ULCERS
I. Physiological Considerations
Ulcerations of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the stomach and duodenum, is a relatively common disorder which in most cases is associated with hyperacidity (at least in benign lesions). Increased acidity is brought about by a variety of mechanisms which again can be translated into disturbed function in the nervous, circulatory, and digestive systems.
It is now commonly accepted that people under high stress situations - e.g., tension jobs, the critically ill patient, etc.- have a greater tendency to develop ulcers. It is also known that there is ulcer diathesis with increased levels of steroid, whether endogenous (as in Cushon's disease) or exogenous (as in people on steroid therapy for various reasons). Yet another variation is found in the Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, a condition associated with a gastrin - (a hormone) secreting tumor of the pancreas which in turn stimulates excessive acid production leading to ulcerations.
Malignant ulcers are more often associated with normal or low acid level, which probably reflects a process of degeneration (from chronic irritation) from an initially benign lesion. The rapidity of such a degeneration would depend on the presence and intensity of a multitude of carcinogenic stimuli and inherent weaknesses (predisposition).
Turning now to the readings on stomach ulcers, we find that in reading 39-1, the inciting agent was excessive mental stress which brought about changes in the nervous and muscular activity leading to impairment in organ function. First the spleen, heart, and solar plexus were affected and then the stomach. The exact role of the spleen in the process of digestion is not well defined but seems to have to do with enhancement of digestive juices.
Malpositioning of the stomach then occurred with disturbances in pyloric sphincter activity, regurgitation of food (and thus digestive pancreatic enzymes) into the stomach, leading to lacerations and ulcerations.
The disturbed activity in the nervous system with attendant circulatory changes (these always go hand in hand) were responsible for a variety of symptoms and signs reflecting other organ system dysfunction, described in the reading.
In the majority of cases disturbances in assimilation and elimination were seen to be the underlying problem. The organs commonly involved are the stomach, pancreas, spleen, liver, kidneys, but other organs may also be reflexly involved.
Representative is case , in which there was deficiency in the secretions from the liver and gall bladder leading to overacidity and ulceration in the stomach, regurgitation of food into the stomach, impaired circulation, and poor eliminations through the blood, lymphatics, and gut. Pyloric sphincter disturbance and regurgitation into the stomach seem to be fairly common features, either causing the ulceration or being an associated condition.
In case [3570) this disturbance in the digestion/assimilation was brought about by an "overloading of the system" (overeating?) and that the resulting abnormalities were being perpetuated by an inadequate diet consisting of just fruits and vegetables (more on this under "Rationale of Therapy").
A somewhat different mechanism in the pathogenesis of ulcers has its origin in lesions in the spine (of traumatic origin or otherwise) usually in the third to fifth dorsal centers. (4786-1, 5641-1) Impaired nervous impulses result in malpositioning of the stomach, overacidity, sphincteric disturbances and ulcerations in the stomach. In reading 5641-1, this patient had even undergone corrective stomach surgery but continued to have problems because the problem in the spine had been overlooked.
Ulcers more often occurred at the lower end of the stomach, though in one instance (4786-1) the cardiac position (i.e., the upper portion) was involved and even the intake of water was quite painful. Widespread inflammation along the digestive tract may be seen as a complication.
Other mechanisms mentioned include deficiencies in the quality of the blood with functional abnormalities eventually leading to ulcerations (3768-1, 5440-1); cold and congestion settling in areas of weakness in the stomach thus producing ulcers. (5421-2)
In summary, ulcerations are brought about primarily by disturbances in the processes of digestion, assimilation and elimination. Other causes include spinal lesions, mental stress, circulatory disturbances, etc., which again reduce to the basic triad seen in all the readings - the digestive, nervous and circulatory systems. What affects one of these systems eventually affects the others if compensatory mechanisms are inadequate.
The importance of the digestive system in this whole process is reflected by the following passage:
The vibratory forces of a body are made up of the cellular units of that as is created by the digestive forces of the body, as they carry to the various portions of the system that necessary to resuscitate the living organisms of the body, that must reproduce themselves in the living organism. When these impulses are such (as is here) as to bring more of acids, or more of those impulses that bring those of distresses to a body, acting through the sympathetic, acting through the hypogastric, acting through the forces of the normal activity of brain itself, the impulses can be none other than that. (5641-1)
The factors leading to the formation of duodenal ulcers are similar to those described under stomach ulcers. It is therefore not surprising that both conditions quite often coexist in the same individual. For this reason, it is recommended that the reader also consult the Circulating File on stomach ulcers for additional details and read the section on stomach ulcers above.
In brief, the causative factors described in the readings include stress, described as overtaxation and general debilitation in the digestive system in the case of a 29-year-old person. (137-94) The stress may be primary as in the case of attitudes (negative), nervous personality, or secondary to some other disease process which creates anxieties. (1724-1, 5426-1) Also noted were disturbances indigestion, assimilation and elimination which may in turn be caused by other conditions; for example, intestinal flu (1724-1), adhesions (5021-1), abnormalities in the liver and gall bladder (4885-1, 5426-1), blood deficiencies leading to an overacid condition (5487- 1), to name a few.
In the case of  (ulcer caused by intestinal flu), the reading was given in 1938 and the patient only recalled a mild case of flu in 1918 with no gastrointestinal symptoms!
Common to all the conditions cited above are congestive changes which bring pressure to bear on nerve ganglia, producing a wide variety of effects (symptoms). In reading 137-95, for example, congestion in the gastric and hypogastric regions led to impaired ability to eliminate, which then threw toxins into the upper circulation, creating pressures in the head and neck region. This point is further illustrated:
Also reflexes are produced, of course, upon all the activities of the system through the digestive forces. Hence all the organs of assimilation become involved at times - as the activity of the liver, the spleen, the pancreas; as well as the eliminating forces and the excess condition for the activity of the kidneys, of course, in carrying off the disturbing forces. (1724-1)
Again the majority of cases seem to fall into the category of disturbed function in digestion, assimilation and elimination which arise from other causes.
II. Rationale of Therapy
The main thrust of the treatments should be directed at correcting the underlying problem in addition to treating distressing Symptoms. In some cases it may not even be possible to address one's full attention to the underlying problem until distressing symptoms are under control. Thus therapy may be approached in the following manner:
- Treating distressing symptoms. This is what often brings the patient to the physician, e.g., treatment of pain, nausea, excessive gas, etc. Other symptoms of reflex origin may include headaches, dizziness, weakness, even pain and heaviness in the extremities, reflecting circulatory disturbance. Not all these symptoms need be treated individually since by correcting the underlying problem these usually resolve themselves.
- Correcting the underlying problem. This is sometimes difficult to do since the original cause may be far removed in time and space (place) from the existing problem. In this instance when a simple approach proves ineffective, one has to rely on one's intuition (or seek the help of a reliable psychic) or try a "shotgun" approach consisting of using all or most of the modalities under the section on treatments (this would be rather infrequent).
These would be aimed at:
- Correction of digestive disturbances through proper diet, digestive aids, etc. One needs to be careful here, for a completely natural diet, when too restricted and carried on for long periods, is not necessarily beneficial, as reflected in reading 3570-1.
- Avoidance of excessive strain on the nervous system through proper mental and emotional attitudes.
- Correction of spinal lesions.
- Correction of circulatory disturbances.
III. Suggested Therapeutic Regimen
This should be as simple as possible to promote patient compliance. In more severe cases or where the underlying problem is obscure, one may need to use all or most of the therapeutic modalities outlined below.
- Castor oil packs over the stomach, duodenal, and liver areas to improve lymphatic drainage, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.
- Grape poultice over the stomach and duodenal areas to relieve pain due to excessive gas formation. This could be used daily for two hours at a time. (1970-1) This may be alternated with Glyco-Thymoline or Lavoris packs. (5216-1)
- Reducing intestinal acidity through charcoal prepared with honey (no directions on preparation). This would carry six times its weight in acid out of the system. (5641-1)
- Use of Glyco-Thymoline to soothe intestinal irritation, five to ten drops per glass of water twice daily; two to three drops may also be taken with elm water twice daily. (4148-1, 4464-1)
- Taking olive oil by mouth one to two teaspoons two to three times daily to promote healing.
- Combination of cinnamon and lime water helps to relieve nausea. (See 5641-4 for directions on preparation.) May be taken in sips every few minutes.
- Massages once or twice a week using various oils. One suggestion was a combination of olive oil and myrrh.
This is of paramount importance since ulcerations and lacerations are invariably associated with inflammation and congestion, thus leading to digestive, assimilative and eliminative difficulties. The food intake should therefore be one that is easily digested and assimilated, leaving very little in the way of wastes to eliminate. Examples:
Vegetables and fruits. All types of vegetables, but tuberous ones should be avoided in plethoric conditions; all fruits except raw apples, bananas, and acid-producing fruits.
Liquids. Natural juices as tolerated, including citrus juices. Beef juice, two teaspoons three to four times daily. Herb teas, such as yellow saffron, elm tea or elm water (pinch of elm in a glass of water). In one instance only these two drinks (saffron, elm) were prescribed exclusively as liquids. (3763-1) Milk and crackers could also be used initially as well as jelly, gelatin, beef juice, liver and liver extracts in small doses, etc. In one instance (5226-1) egg enemas were prescribed for nutrition since oral intake was difficult. Carbonated waters should be avoided in general but may be helpful in moderate amounts in some cases. The diet may then gradually be increased after about 10 days.
Solids. Whole grain cereals, bread, fish, fowl, raw egg in malted milk are very good. Avoid fried foods, starches and other meats.
Digestive aids. The teas mentioned above would stimulate better function and thus aid digestion. The following prescription may also be used: 10 drops of essence of lactated pepsin in one teaspoon of milk of bismuth or Milk of Magnesia in a glass of water twice daily. This may be alternated, and would stimulate better digestive juice flow. (556-2)
- Maintaining proper eliminations
This is especially important if this is the basis of the disorder. Step I will already aid in this, but in addition, regular colonics should be used. The frequency would be somewhere from three within a 10-day period to four to five at 10-day intervals.
Olive and white oils may also be used as enemas. (5440-1)
Castor oil packs to stimulate lymphatic drainage generally over the liver, stomach, and duodenal areas. The castor oil packs may be used five days in a row.
Begin Eno salts each morning after the first castor oil pack (one teaspoon in a glass of water). After the fifth castor oil pack, take a whole bottle of Castoria, one-quarter to one-half teaspoon every 30 minutes. (3570-1)
- Mechanical aids
- Elastic stomach brace to correct malpositioning of the stomach. Manipulations would also be helpful, especially when spinal lesions are at the root of the problem;
- Electrically driven vibrator over the spine (556-2);
- Ultraviolet light treatment;
- Light, color and sun treatment;
- Radium appliance (no longer available);
- Radio-active appliance to balance the circulation.
For adhesions: Castor oil packs five days on, five days off. Follow with olive oil, at least one tablespoon after the fifth day (night or morning). Massage area after each castor oil pack (not too vigorously) with olive oil (heated) two ounces, peanut oil two ounces, and lanolin (melted) 14 ounces.
- For cleansing the blood in case of poor eliminations: To 16 ounces of water (distilled water), add six ounces wild cherry bark. Reduce by simmering (not boiling) to one-half the quantity. Add to this, when strained, two ounces of cane sugar, dissolved in one ounce of hot water. Reduce to six ounces, then add:
- Elixia calisaya, 1 ounce
- Elixia Peruvian bark, 1/2 ounce
- Tincture valerian, 1/2 ounce
- Fluid extract burdock root, 1/2 ounce
- Fluid extract poke root, 20 minims
- Podophyllum (dry), 3 grains
- Cut in two ounces of grain alcohol, three drams balsam of tolu.
- Add all this to the solution. The dose of this would be a teaspoonful three times each day, taken before meals. (3968-1)
- A variation would be:
- Dogwood bark, 2 ounces
- Prickly ash bark, 2 ounces
- Buchu leaves, 1/2 ounce
- Black root, 2 ounces
- Elder flower, 4 ounces
- This should be put into one gallon of water, reduced by simmering, not boiling, to one quart. Strain; and add one-half pint spiritus frumenti, eight years old, with six ounces of sugar (beet sugar preferred). A dose of this would be one tablespoon four times each day. (3968-1)
- For coordinating the nervous system and eliminations: To two ounces of simple syrup, add:
- Compound syrup of sarsaparilla, 1/2 ounce
- Tincture valerian, 1/4 ounce
- 10% solution iodide of potassium, 20 minims
- 10% solution bromide of potassium, 10 mimins
- Elixir calisaya, 1/4 ounce
- Then add to these solutions - when they are combined - onehalf ounce grain alcohol. Shake solution together before the dose is taken. Take a dose about three times each day, one-half to three-quarters teaspoonful, either plain or in water. (137-101)
- Finally, one should have a proper mental and emotional outlook, avoid stress, and have adequate rest during the acute phase of the illness.
[Note: The preceding overview was written by Hezekiah Chinwah, M.D. and is excerpted from the Physician's Reference Notebook, Copyright © 1968 by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, Virginia Beach, VA.]