ulcers most frequently affect the stomach and the duodenum,
which is the upper part of the small intestine. Both the stomach
and the duodenum process high quantities of gastric juices.
These juices have to be strong in order to break food down into
digestible particles; in fact, they’re composed largely
of hydrochloric acid, a substance that can dissolve not just
last night’s dinner but body tissues as well. To protect
the stomach and duodenum walls against damage from gastric acid,
both organs are coated with a protective mucus layer. In addition,
bicarbonate ions are secreted by the lining of the stomach and
the duodenum. Under normal conditions, this mucus layer and
the alkalinizing bicarbonate ions prevent the acid from eating
away at the digestive tract lining. But when the lining is too
weak and there is decreased bicarbonate secretion, some of the
stomach tissues may be eroded. An eroded spot is called a peptic
Most people know that stress increases the output of gastric
acid. If you have an ulcer, reducing the levels of tension and
anxiety in your life will go a long way toward healing the physical
wound. But many other factors can cause or contribute to ulcers
as well. Some drugs are notorious for increasing acid production—most
notably, aspirin and the class of medications called nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, for short). People who take
aspirin or NSAIDs like ibuprofen on a regular basis are at a
high risk for getting stomach ulcers. Smokers develop ulcers
much more often than nonsmokers do. And as with every digestive
disorder, a poor diet, especially one that includes spicy foods,
citrus fruits, soda pop, caffeine, and alcohol, is frequently
at the root of the problem. Food allergies or sensitivities
can cause problems as well. One must also consider that low
antioxidant status appears to predispose one to ulcers.
Helicobacter pylori has been strongly linked to ulcer formation.
Studies show that some people with ulcers have this bacterium
in the affected organ, and elimination of H. pylori often helps
with healing. Antibiotic therapy, as well as natural therapies,
can be very effective for this infection. Make sure to supplement
with probiotics to replace the helpful bacteria that antibiotics
destroy. These good bacteria also play a role in preventing
H. pylori infection.
therapy generally focuses on antacid medications. This group
of medications suppresses stomach acid formation. For severe
acute ulcer problems, such as a bleeding ulcer, these medications
can be very effective and warranted. However, for many people
these medications are prescribed on a long-term basis that does
not treat the cause of the ulcer. In addition, long-term use
can contribute to digestive problems in other areas of the digestive
tract, as hydrochloric acid is required for protein digestion
and the liquefaction of foods. Without proper stomach acid digestion,
there is additional stress on the rest of the digestive organs.
Also keep in mind that stomach acid is a natural barrier to
bacteria such as H. pylori, as well as to other microbes. Suppression
of this acid in the long term theoretically makes you more prone
to an infection in the digestive tract. Finally, you require
stomach acid to absorb minerals, so with long-term acid suppression
you are prone to mineral deficiency.
are a common complaint, but that doesn’t mean they should
be ignored. Without treatment, the pain and the burning will
only get worse. In fact, the eroded area may grow larger and
deeper until it begins to bleed. The ulcer may even perforate
the stomach or intestinal wall. Bleeding or perforating ulcers
should be treated as medical emergencies; if left unattended,
they can be fatal.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective;
level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult
your doctor when taking any and all supplements.
Super Prescriptions – Ulcers
Prescription #1 Ulcer Relief - LifeSource
This complete Ulcer support contains: Mastic Gum, Slippery
Elm, PepZin GI, which have all been shown to provide a
defense against damaging assault on the stomach's mucosal
cells. PepZin GI™ also has the ability to "seek
out" and encourage the repair of injured thinning
Prescription # 2 Mastic gum (Pistachia lentiscus) See
Ulcer Relief above
Take 500 mg three times daily. This supplement comes from
the mastic tree and has been shown in test tube studies
to destroy H. pylori and in human studies to be effective
in healing ulcers.
Prescription #3 Aloe
Vera - LifeSource
Drink 1 ounce three times daily. Aloe promotes healing
of the lining of the intestinal tract and has antimicrobial
Prescription #4 Licorice root (DGL) (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Chew 500 to 1,000 mg twenty minutes before meals or between
meals, three times daily. DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice)
stimulates the regeneration of the mucus layer and has
anti-inflammatory effects. Preliminary research shows
an inhibiting effect on the growth of H. pylori.
Prescription #5 Dophilus
Plus Probiotics - LifeSource
Take a product containing at least 4 billion active organisms
twice daily, thirty minutes after meals. It supplies friendly
bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus
that prevent infection and aid digestion. It is particularly
important to take if you are using antibiotics.
Prescription # 6 Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) See Ulcer
Take 3 ml or 500mg of the capsule form or suck on a lozenge
three times daily between meals. Slippery elm has a soothing
and healing effect on the lining of the digestive tract.
Prescription #7 Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Drink a fresh cup of tea four times daily. Animal studies
show that it has anti-ulcer activity, and it also relaxes
the nervous system.
Burning or gnawing pain in the upper abdomen that usually
occurs when the stomach is empty or about an hour after eating.
Pain may also come at night.
Increased appetite (sometimes food actually soothes the ulcer)
Medications, including aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Dietary factors, including food allergies
Infection with H. pylori (you are more susceptible if you
have low stomach acid and not enough friendly flora)
If your stools or vomit are dark or bloody, or if you have intense
abdominal pain that doesn’t go away, you may have a bleeding
or perforating ulcer. Consult a doctor immediately.
you may not feel like eating, good nutrition is essential for
healing ulcers. Eat several small meals a day to avoid placing
a heavy burden on your digestive system.
Eat plenty of fiber. Although the smooth foods of the famous
“bland diet” were once thought safest for ulcer
patients, increased fiber intake has been shown to repair ulcers.
Focus on sources of soluble fiber, such as oats. Vitamin K has
been shown to repair damage from gastric juices. Eat several
servings of green leafy vegetables a day, and drink lots of
have shown that cabbage juice has remarkable healing powers
for ulcers. Drink a quart of cabbage juice daily. It may be
diluted with water or carrot juice. Cultured products will provide
the friendly “bacteria” that fights H. pylori. Drink
kefir milk or eat some live cultured yogurt every day. Zinc
is healing to the digestive tract. Good sources include pumpkin
seeds and whole grains. Consume garlic with your meals; test
tube studies show it has anti-Helicobacter pylori properties.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid sugar, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, coffee,
black tea, and alcohol. They all contribute to high levels of
gastric acid or are irritating to the stomach lining.
Consult the Food Allergies section, and use the elimination
diet to determine whether a food allergy is causing or aggravating
your ulcer. Although a reaction to any food can conceivably
cause an ulcer, milk allergies are strongly linked to gastric
Doctors once prescribed milk as a remedy for ulcers, but that
practice has largely stopped. We now know that milk actually
encourages stomach acid to form. In addition, many cases of
ulcers are linked to a milk allergy.
Do a three-day
juice fast to alkalinize your digestive tract. Stay away from
acidic fruit juices during this time, and focus on green drinks
and vegetable juices instead.
To keep your colon clean, take an enema on the first and last
day of your fast and then once a month afterward.
promotes tissue healing. Take 30 mg daily, along with 2 mg
Vitamin A stimulates the healthy growth of intestinal cells
and improves immune function. Take 25,000 IU daily, with a
doctor’s supervision. Note: Pregnant women or women
planning for pregnancy should avoid doses above 5,000 IU.
Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant in the stomach lining and
has been shown to retard H. pylori growth. Take 500 to 1,000
mg three times daily. Make sure to use a nonacidic vitamin
C. Reduce your dosage is loose stools occur.
Essential fatty acids have been shown to help heal gastric
and duodenal ulcers. Take 4,000 mg daily of fish oil or 1
tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily. Also, take 400 IU of vitamin
E to prevent oxidation of these essential fatty acids.
L-glutamine promotes healthy intestinal cells. Take 1,000
mg three times daily on an empty stomach.