Peptic Ulcers

Peptic ulcer is a general term used for a sore that occurs when any part of the protective lining of the digestive tract is damaged. The stomach juices eat away at the gut lining, forming an ulcer. This could be in the stomach itself, in the upper part of the small intestine (the duodenum) or, more rarely, in the gullet (the oesophagus).

One in ten people develop an ulcer in their lifetime. Until relatively recently, the accepted medical view was that ulcers were triggered mostly by stress, or medications such as NSAIDs or aspirin. In the mid- 1980’s, research by two Australian doctors turned established medical thought on its head. When they found a common bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori in large enough numbers in ulcer sufferer’s stomachs, to suggest that this bug could be the actual cause of ulcers.
Marshall and Warren were pioneers and they certainly attracted some flak. So convinced was Dr. Marshall by his research that he used himself as the first guinea pig, swallowing a heavy suspension of the offending bacteria and giving himself an ulcer. It’s recorded that Dr. Marshalls wife was, not surprisingly, extremely unhappy about his potentially dangerous experiment. But his dedication and commitment paid off and his antibiotic therapy worked, proving that it was, indeed, the bacteria that caused the ulcer.

Dr. Marshall’s experiments found that people infected with H. Pylori can produce up to six times more acid than normal ( the body’s natural response to fight the infection), but also some patients the bacteria itself inhibited the production of stomach acid- which can lead to problems such as bloating, allergies and poor digestive function.

Ulcers are a serious condition and you should always check with your doctor, if you have any of the symptoms of an ulcer, such as: pain in the shoulder blade, pain associated with eating, pain that comes on two to four hours after food, pain at night, gnawing, burning pain or heartburn and nausea.

Most patients today get an antibiotic treatment for ulcers, which can clear up the condition but it worth mentioning that it’s all too easy to become re-infected so it’s worth following a number of simple steps to prevent re-infection.

Avoid milk products – milk will cause a temporary easing of pain but once milk hits the stomach it stimulates the secretion of even more acid.

Try raw cabbage juice and raw potato juice and drink three glasses per day before meals.

Avoid rich and fatty foods; cut back on sugar, sugar increases acid production dramatically.
Tea and coffee can also be harmful for ulcers.

Slippery elm is an ancient soother of mucous membranes and especially valuable if symptoms bother you at night. Take two slippery elm capsules with water half an hour before bed.

Natural anti-acids like Silica work as well as drugs. Take a tablespoon of gel in a glass of water fifteen minutes before eating; it puts a protective lining over the digestive tract and aids healing of ulcers.

Udo`s Choice Super 8 Microbiotics

Follow a course of Probiotics at least once a year and always after antibiotics.
Maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal flora not only strengthens immunity but, research shows, also inhibits the growth of H. Pylori.

Manuka Honey is one of the most effective remedies both to control and cure peptic ulcers due to its antibiotic properties. Taking a tablespoon twice a day will keep H. Pylori in check long-term.

David Foley
MRCHM, MNIMH
Medical Herbalist