First of all, what is an ulcer? It’s an open wound in your stomach or duodenum that hasn’t healed. It can bleed and cause all sorts of digestive disturbances. It’s different from heartburn/gastritis which is more of an inflammation of the lining of the stomach vs a wound. However, if left unchecked gastritis can develop into an ulcer. Additionally, ulcers are typically caused from a bacteria called H.pylori. Having adequate stomach acid is a good way to prevent recurrence of H.pylori as the Hydrochloric acid in your stomach kills it. There are tests that can detect H.pylori such as a Urea breath test, blood test or stool antigen test. Consult your doctor for the best option.
It goes without saying that getting rid of h.pylori is the first step in addressing an ulcer. So how do you do that? This can be done by taking an antibiotic to kill the bacteria. The problem with taking antibiotics is that they kill off both good and bad bacteria, so adding in a broad strain probiotic is essential to repopulate the good bacteria. There are several probiotics that I recommend specifically for this.
Genestra HMF Antibiotic care is perfect for the job. Coming in at a whopping 100 Billion CFU’s per dosage (CFU – Colony forming units) really helps to restore proper gut flora.
Another options is Designs for Health ProBio Med 100 contains 10 of the most highly researched probiotic strains. It also has 100 Billion CFU’s.
If your antibiotics are causing diarrhea and intestinal upset, Genestra HMF Travel is a great choice. To be used before, during and after antibiotic treatments. I also recommend this probiotic for travellers diarrhea because of the specific strain of live organism called saccharomyces boulardii. It’s a great Amigo for taking on vacation to places known for traveler’s diarrhea.
Beyond killing the h.pylori and further repopulating your good gut bacteria, there are other great ways to soothe the GI tract. Demulcents in herbal medicine are meant to soften irritated or inflamed tissue due to their slippery characteristics which coat, protect and lubricate membranes so that healing can occur. Slippery elm, Liquorice, Marshmallow root, Mullein and comfrey root are examples of demulcents. There are several products that contain amazing healing properties. Designs for Health GI-Revive is an all in one product containing herbs known for their healing effect on the mucosal lining of the GI tract. This product is also suitable for IBS/Crohns and Colitis.
There are also products such as Py-Plex by Douglas Labs which is also useful in killing h.pylori because it contains mastic gum but also soothing demulcent herbs. Alpha Science Labs DG-Licorice doesn’t contain mastic gum but contains deglycyrrhizinated licorice to soothe and heal the GI Tract.
Aloe Vera (stops bleeding) and can be taken 2-3 times/day. Other vitamins are such as Vitamin A and Vitamin E as well as l-glutamine are also suitable for healing ulcers.
In terms of a diet for healing ulcers, I would recommend staying away from spicy food and eating an non-inflammatory diet. Stay away from raw vegetables and get an adequate amount of fibre. Fibre supplements like Alpha Science labs Fibre Plus can be used to help ensure adequate fibre is taken. Broccoli sprouts are an excellent addition and have been shown to reduce H.Pylori colonies in the stomach (Journal of Cancer Prevention Research Apr ‘09)
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