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How do you live with an ulcer?

By November 16, 2008 - 11:10am
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Does anyone know the best way to deal with an ulcer? I stay away from spicy foods but I still feel like my stomach is on fire. Any ideas?

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I will assume you are referring to peptic ulcers. Do you have a confirmed diagnosis? If not, make sure to visit your doctor so he/she can order a test. Nowadays you can get a result in seconds by swabbing a saliva sample. Medical literature states that as much as 80% of ulcers are associated with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (or H-pylori), so a simple lab test should confirm presence of this bacteria which lives in the acidic environment of the stomach. H-pylori is usually treated with a combination of specific antibiotics, antacids (containing bismuth) and H2 antagonists (drugs used to block histamine actions).

Since peptic ulcers seem to be the result of hyperacidity (increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach) whether a result of stress or H-pylori or not, this strong acid, secreted by the cells lining the stomach, erodes the inner lining of the stomach. Dietetic discretion may be required to prevent ulcers from flaring or reoccurring. Overeating, heavy meals, highly spiced foods, coffee, alcohol, and smoking are known contributing factors to ulcers. Avoiding them may help control or eliminate symptoms

Other causes of peptic ulcers are stress which typically go along with poor eating habits. I was having ulcer-like symptoms back in 1999 when I was going through tons of stress and was not taking care of my body. When H-pylori presence was confirmed by a doctor I was given a course of 3 antibiotics plus Pepto Bismal and Zyrtec. Later on, as I gained more knowledge and training on natural alternatives, I came across very easy ways to maintain a healthy gut and manage stress.

Here are some of the things I use to keep my gut acid free:
•Lactopriv/B (non-sugar made in Germany but sold in most healthfood stores)
•Aloe Vera
•Fruits containing Citric Acid (limes are wonderful!)
•Banana smoothie with milk (banana neutralizes the over-acidity of gastric juices, reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach)
•Raw cabbage & carrot juice
•Deep breathing to relax the digestion process
•Avoid all sugars and gluten from refined flours
•Chamomile tea –has calming effects by reducing intestinal spasms.
.Water with high levels of pH such as Fijii water. Low pH levels are indication of high acidic conditions in the body hence symptoms like GERD, Acid Reflex, etc. You can check you pH levels by purchasing the strips in any healthfood store or pharmacy.

November 16, 2008 - 4:28pm

Dear Loca,
I can't imagine living with a stomach that feels like it is on fire!

Have you been diagnosed by a doctor? If so, have you been told that you have a peptic ulcer, or another type of ulcer?

The following information may/may not be outdated (I will do more research from credible, updated sources after I hear back from you--have you been diagnosed? Can you provide more details about your situation?).

HOWEVER, I'm sending you this information primarily for it to cause you to ask more questions, rather than provide answers. Ask your health care provider if the following is true in your situation:

" Some ulcers are caused by medications called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), which include aspirin and ibuprofen, but in 1982, the bacterium H. pylori was discovered to be the main culprit. Study after study has shown that destroying the microbe with antibiotics cures peptic ulcers in most people."

This same article said that, "...doctors thought that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy food and alcohol, and the cure was bed rest and a bland diet. Later, stomach acid was blamed, and antacids were added to the list of cures."

So, perhaps why your bland-food diet is not working is, that you have another type of ulcer??

November 16, 2008 - 3:06pm
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