A Holistic Approach To Health
Living With Ulcers
I had a question the other day about ulcers.
Peptic ulcers are holes or breaks in the protective lining of your duodenum (the upper part of your small intestine) or your stomach – areas that come into contact with stomach acids and enzymes.
Duodenal ulcers are more common than stomach ulcers.
Esophageal ulcers are rarer and are often a result of alcohol abuse.
It used to be thought ulcers formed as a result of stress, a genetic predisposition, and/or poor lifestyle habits.
It was believed these things contributed to a buildup of stomach acids that erode the protective lining of your stomach, duodenum, or esophagus.
While excessive stomach acid certainly plays a role in the development of ulcers, it’s now believed a bacterial infection is the primary cause of peptic ulcers.
Recent research has shown that H. pylori is present in more than 90% of duodenal ulcers and about 80% of stomach ulcers.
Other factors also seem to contribute to ulcer formation.
Overuse of over-the-counter painkillers (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen), heavy alcohol use, and smoking exacerbate and may promote the development of ulcers.
Heavy smokers are more prone to developing duodenal ulcers than are nonsmokers, people who drink alcohol are more susceptible to esophageal ulcers, and those who take aspirin frequently for a long period of time are more likely to develop stomach ulcers.
Other studies show stomach ulcers are more likely to develop in older people.
This may be because arthritis is prevalent in the elderly, and alleviating arthritis pain may mean taking aspirin or ibuprofen daily.
Another contributing factor may be with advancing age your pylorus (the valve between your stomach and duodenum) relaxes and allows excess bile (produced in your liver to aid in digestion) to seep up into your stomach and erode your stomach lining.
Also, for an unknown reason, people with type A blood are more likely to develop cancerous stomach ulcers.
Duodenal ulcers tend to appear in people with type O blood, possibly because they don’t produce a substance protecting the lining of the duodenum.
Fortunately, peptic ulcers are relatively easy to treat.
Still, the dangers associated with peptic ulcers (anemia, profuse bleeding, stomach cancer) are serious, so ulcers should always be monitored by your health care professional.
To deal with an ulcer it’s beneficial to:
*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water.
*Try drinking a large glass of water to relieve pain.
*Consider any connection to dietary items.
*Beware of antacids with aluminum. Antacids may create a vicious cycle of dependency.
*Explore fresh cabbage juicing to help heal stomach lining.
*Eat smaller more frequent meals.
*Eat lots of life-giving, enzyme and nutrient-rich, fresh, raw fruits and veggies daily (organic whenever possible).
*Eat some RAW vegetables with every meal.
*Consider a liver, gallbladder, and/or colon cleanse.
*Ensure optimal elimination (at least 2 bowel movements per day).
*Consider stress relief techniques.
*Increase intake of Essential Fatty Acids.
*Relax, eat slowly, chew well, appreciate your food.
*Supplement with digestive enzymes.
*Investigate “hidden” allergies, which often trigger or aggravate the condition. Common triggers are dairy, wheat, corn, eggs, gluten, and additives.
*Try to eliminate processed, instant, sugar-laden, chemical-laden, hydrogenated foods.
*Avoid chewing gum, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, dairy products, large animal protein meals, fried foods, spices.
*Don’t use milk to ease symptoms as this stimulates more acid production.
*Avoid use of aspirin and ibuprofen.
*Minimize drinking right before, during or after meals.
*Consider peppermint, anise, fennel, chamomile, and/or ginger teas.
*Try fresh pineapple or papaya because they are rich in digestive enzymes.
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