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Posted on 08-04-2017

Do I Have An Ulcer?

Many patients have come into the office complaining about their peptic ulcers. We wanted to create a blog to help people who have peptic ulcers by giving them an understanding of what ulcers are, and some ways to get rid of them.

There are two different types of peptic ulcers. There are gastric ulcers, which form in the lining of the stomach, and duodenal ulcers, which form in the upper small intestine.

When we eat something, our stomach produces a strong acid to help digest the food and protect against microbes. To protect the body’s tissues from this acid, it also secretes a thick layer of mucus. If the mucus layer is worn away and stops functioning effectively, the acid can damage the stomach tissues, which then causes an ulcer.

One in ten people are likely to develop an ulcer at some time in their lives. You’re most susceptible if you suffer from stress or exhaustion, work day and night shifts, are exposed to noise from industrial jobs or traffic sounds, have type O blood, or have a history of ulcers in your family. Type A personalities (more competitive, outgoing, ambitious, impatient, and/or aggressive) are likely candidates for ulcers as well as if you drink alcohol, smoke, take a lot of aspirin (irritates the stomach), consume rich foods, and are prone to stomach and intestinal infections.

Symptoms of ulcers include gnawing pain that recurs day after day, nausea, burping, bloating, retching, and black stools, which may indicate the ulcer is bleeding. In any case, ulcers are a wake-up call that something in our lifestyle must change!

First, let’s start by cutting out ALL the things that are harming us from our diet.

Now, let’s add foods that are good for treating ulcers. During the acute stage, a bland, low-fiber diet should be eaten. You can later move to a more high-fiber diet. Cabbage has been found to be especially helpful in curing ulcers.

Other foods that soothe ulcers include avocados, barley, buckwheat, chia seeds, oatmeal, cream of brown rice cereal, sweet potatoes, Irish moss, kudzu, tapioca pudding, bok choy, green leafy vegetables, blended carrots, okra, sea vegetables, turnips, apples, bananas, plantains, persimmons, yogurt, and fresh ground flax seeds.

We should also incorporate herbs into our diet that have been used to heal ulcers. Look for combinations that contain several of these herbs and take them as needed, up to 3 times daily. These include the following:

  • Aloe Vera – Drink 1 shot glass 10 minutes before each meal.
  • Licorice – Three chewable tablets can be taken daily (consult with your health practitioner if you have high blood pressure or edema).
  • Marshmallow Root – This is rich in mucilage, and it reduces inflammation in the digestive tract.
  • Plantain – This is rich in mucilage.
  • Psyllium – Drink 1 teaspoon in a glass of water or juice three times daily.
  • Slippery Elm – This is rich in mucilage.

A few vitamins can also help heal an ulcer. These include the following:

  • Vitamin A (10,000 IU daily) helps strengthen the mucous membranes.
  • Vitamin C (500 mg daily) helps promote wound healing.
  • Vitamin E (400 IU daily) helps promote healing and prevents scar tissue.
  • Calcium (1,000 mg daily) and Magnesium (500 mg daily), help one to be less likely to develop ulcers due to stress.
  • Zinc (15 mg daily) speeds up healing time.
  • Essential Fatty Acids (such as fish oils) can reduce ulcer inflammation.
  • Probiotics can inhibit the growth of H. pylori and promote beneficial intestinal flora.

Dr. Bellefeuille can also help with ulcers! When there is pressure on our nerves of the mid- to upper-neck region, mucus production to the stomach cells slow down. When that happens, the acid can damage the stomach lining. When Dr. Bellefeuille adjusts us and removes pressure on those nerves, our mucus production will be functioning back to normal again. Cold Laser Therapy also can help because it repairs the mitochondrial cell wall which will create ATP (energy) that aids in healing and reduces inflammation.

Most people with ulcers just have stomach pain but some people don’t have any symptoms at all. Ulcers may cause other health problems and sometimes they bleed. If the ulcers become too deep, they can break through the stomach. This is called a perforation. Ulcers can block food from going through the stomach (commonly called an obstruction). This causes nausea, vomiting, and weight loss. Get help right away if you have any of the warning signs listed below:

  • You vomit blood.
  • You vomit food eaten hours or days before.
  • You feel cold or clammy.
  • You feel unusually weak or dizzy.
  • You have blood in your stools (blood may make your stools look black or like tar).
  • You have ongoing nausea or repeated vomiting.
  • You have sudden, severe pain.
  • You keep losing weight.
  • Your pain doesn’t go away when you take your medicine.
  • Your pain reaches to your back.

Don’t wait to start loving your stomach and small intestine, they work hard for you and deserve to be fed well!

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