The most recent ulcer statistics state that one in ten people in the US are at risk for getting an ulcer in their lifetime.
Although most doctors still feel stress is a major culprit contributing to ulcers, people living in a relatively calm state of being also get ulcers. This has lead researchers to further investigate probable causes.
Recent studies also suggest that a certain bacterium, Capylobacter pyloridis, may cause ulcers.
Factors Causing Stomach Ulcers
Question for Dr. Leia: I’m interested in learning how to treat my stomach ulcers at home. Could you point me to some holistic remedies to help relieve stomach ulcers? I don’t like to take over the counter medications for ulcers because they don’t really work or address the real problem.
Dr. Leia’s Answer: Stomach ulcers are also called gastric ulcers, which should be distinguished from duodenal ulcers or ulcers present in the duodenum or small intestine. Duodenal ulcers are usually caused by acid reflux problems.
These 4 factors have been found to contribute to or cause ulcers:
- increased stomach acid
- food irritants
- a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, also abbreviated as H. pylori.
You should be tested for the H. plyori bacteria (renamed from Capylobacter pyloridis). If your ulcers are caused by this bacteria, as are the majority of ulcers, then your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic which will help to get rid of this bacteria.
If you want to try to get rid of this bacteria yourself, you might want to try using manuka honey.
Learn more about > Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
Stomach Ulcer Irritants
You should avoid alcohol, spicy foods, a high salt diet, soya sauce, caffeine and coffee, tea, cola drinks, milk and dairy products, smoking, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs known as NSAIDS—which include aspirin, acetaminaphen, Tylenol, and ibuprofen.
All of the above substances irritate the lining of the stomach and aggravate the ulcers.
Natural Approaches to Soothe Stomach Ulcers
Natural ways you can soothe ulcers include adding some helpful medicinal foods to your diet. Foods indeed can act as medicines.
Slippery Elm powder is a wonderful herb to add to your diet. It is particularly good for women and children. You can mix some of this herbal powder with a juice or liquid and it will soothe and upset or nervous stomach. Taken in this form, it travels down the digestive system from the mouth to the stomach to the intestine and soothes the lining of the gut.
Another food that is wonderful for all types of digestive and stomach issues is raw cabbage juice.
As mentioned, manuka honey (acts as an antibacterial) is helpful, and so is deglycyrrhized licorice (called DLG tablets). You can take 750 mg of DLG 30 minutes before each meal. Make sure that you use DLG or deglycyrrhized licorice, and not regular licorice root. The root of licorice when taken for extended periods of time can cause kidney damage and problems.
It is very important to be checked for bleeding ulcers, which will show up as hidden blood in your stool. Make sure you schedule regular check-ups, as stool occult blood is important in monitoring your ulcers.
It you have severe on-going pain, please make sure that your doctor knows about this. Complications from ulcers can include anemia and hemorrhaging from severe chronic bleeding.