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  • Treating a Peptic or Gastric Ulcer

    Hey all-

    Long story short, I think I have a recurring peptic ulcer. I've already done one treatment for it a couple months ago- my doctor prescribed me Prevacid for two weeks. It seemed to have calmed symptoms. This past weekend (St. Patricks Day), I gave in to peer pressure and went out drinking. A lot. I am fairly confident that my alcohol consumption/bad diet/extreme stress caused this in the first place. Now the same discomfort is back that I had before, and I'm thinking of giving the Prevacid another shot. However, I'm the last person on Earth that wants to put any sort of chemical medicine into their body so I'm hesitant.

    My question is this:

    What can I eat/do to try and offset the effects that a proton-pump inhibitor will have on my digestive system while I'm taking it? Also, are there any tried and true natural methods for healing an ulcer?

    I've searched around the forum and haven't found much, which I thought was interesting seeing as how ulcers are fairly common in the United States... Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Anthony

  • #2
    Ulcers can be a result of low stomach acid, so a proton-pump inhibitor is not going to be helpful in the long run. Adequate probiotics are also important in gut health.

    Don't do anything sudden with the PPI, if you are already on it. I would suggest you try "supplementing" apple cider vinegar & probiotics to see how that improves any symptoms you are having. Avoid wheat & alcohol entirely.

    I would think that in general, a paleo diet is good for gut health and so it would help for an ulcer. A GAPS-like diet (focusing on probiotics & bone broth) is great for gut health, especially when healing from something severe. Perhaps do some research into that?
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    • #3
      Thanks! I will look into it. I haven't started my second treatment with the Prevacid yet, but I probably will today. Apple Cider Vinegar is a staple in my diet, so I definitely feel like I've been getting a good supply of prebiotics, but maybe not enough probiotics... The bone broth is super interesting to me. Sounds good.

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      • #4
        You could also try hcl with pepsin.

        Paleo Diet Challenges & Solutions II: It’s All About the Gut!
        Why you want more stomach acid, not less. | Balanced Bites | Holistic & Paleo Nutrition Education

        Not specifically about ulcers, but covers stomach acid & gut health.
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        • #5
          These series of articles by Chris Kresser are really excellent at explaining exactly what is going on with ulcers and GERD:

          What Everybody Ought To Know (But Doesn’t) About Heartburn & GERD

          My husband had low stomach acid (from an H Pylori overgrowth - which caused him to start developing a gastric ulcer). We realized that to heal he needed to both relieve the pain from the ulcer (deal with the symptom) AND fix the root cause of the ulcer.

          Since H Pylori is a super common issue that was shown to cause most ulcers, there's a good chance that's your issue, too. The protocol for eliminating H Pylori that my husband found to be very effective was
          1) take 1 teaspoon of turmeric daily (this is POWERFUL stuff, you may have to start with a lower dose and work your way up)
          2) you can also use mastic gum, bismuth salicylate, and orange juice, which all have been shown to have anti-H Pylori action.

          Also, it's counter intuitive, but H Pylori downregulates stomach acid (while it also decreases stomach mucosa), so most people with ulcers actually don't have enough stomach acid, and require HCl supplementation with meals.

          To deal with the immediate pain of the ulcer, my husband got instant relief from chewing on DGL tablets, which work within minutes to increase the stomach mucosa. (The people from the countryside where he grew up would swallow a live snail to increase stomach mucosa, so if you're not grossed out by this, it's supposedly a great ulcer remedy!)

          He used to require 6-7 HCl pills to digest a meal but after irradicating the H Pylori, he now doesn't need any, and no longer has ulcer pain.
          Last edited by BestBetter; 03-21-2013, 11:28 AM.

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          • #6
            failing that you may need to get an actual H. Pylori diagnosis and take appropriate antibiotics to kill it.

            DiGel may indeed help symptoms for now though. Bismuth salicylate = pepto bismol and it's imitations; it should also work but it is a broad-spectrum antibiotic so be sure to follow it an hour or more later with probiotics to replenish the good bacteria.
            Natural products super cheap @ iherb: Use discount code SEN850 at http://www.iherb.com/?rcode=sen850 for $10 off first order; free shipping $20+ order in USA

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            • #7
              Yes, this diet will definitely help and will most probably cure it completely. It takes time, study, understanding and constant attention to the 'messages' (responses to your efforts) that your body is sending you. Unfortunately in the beginning your body is so messed up that the messages are very confusing. Either read and study first, or jump right in by reading Mark's pages and entirely giving up all grains, sugars, and alcohol, or both.

              Read "The Primal Blueprint", "Fiber Menace", and "Gut Sense" to start with.

              P.S. This thread is a nutrition thread.
              "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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              • #8
                Thanks everyone for your comments. They should help out immensely.

                Cryptocode- I know this is a nutrition thread... That's why I'm here asking about natural ways to help cure ulcers. With food/supplements... I've been fully primal for 20 days now and have read the Primal Blueprint. Sorry if I came off as a noob, I am still fairly new to all of this.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thehowlmoon View Post
                  Thanks everyone for your comments. They should help out immensely.

                  Cryptocode- I know this is a nutrition thread... That's why I'm here asking about natural ways to help cure ulcers. With food/supplements... I've been fully primal for 20 days now and have read the Primal Blueprint. Sorry if I came off as a noob, I am still fairly new to all of this.
                  Yes indeed, but you posted it in the "Odds and Ends" forum, not in the "Nutrition" forum.
                  No, sorry, you didn't come off as a noob at all. I'll try to be more helpful.

                  I have Ulcerative colitis and pre-ulcerative polyps. I've never had an ulcer though, my G.P. was certainly expecting one. That is the 'normal' progress. You eat CW food which leads to inflamation of the gastric mucusi which leads to IBS and constipation (or diahreha) which leads to Ulcerative Colitis and Diverticularosis which leads to Ulcers which leads to Cancer. G.I. doctors are surgeons. They treat symptons only and wait until an operation is called for, then they cut our all or part of the colon. Even this doesn't solve the problems and it goes forward. There are many other possible diesases that can be generated; they're all from the same inflamation cause.

                  The PB diet will cure (remove) the inflamation. The time it takes depends on your age and how sick you are (sicker than I was). As the inflamation is reduced your body goes thought many, many changes. You start with the diet, than you start responding to your body and learning.

                  Here were my problems and the length of time to cure on PB:
                  1. The tendency or desire to vomit was gone in 2 days. (GERD)
                  2. The heavy gastric production of mucus which caused drooling in sleep was gone in 1 week
                  3. The IBS gas and water bloating was 90% gone in 2 weeks. (IBS)
                  4. At 3 weeks I began taking Milk of Magnesia every other day instead of every day.
                  5. At 4 weeks the ability to control urine outflow returned (I'd been afraid I'd have to wear diapers.)
                  6. After 5 weeks my completely dead bowel began working again. Peristalsis returned.
                  7. At 6 weeks I began taking Vits. D3 and C (mainly to prevent hair loss) and Magnesium Citrate (800 mg) to soften my stools.
                  8. At 7 weeks I bought Mark's Damage Control Package (vitamins and minerals). I'd already been taking prebiotics and probiotics, etc.
                  8. At 8 weeks my ‘bleeder’ condition ceased. All the permanent indigo bruises on my arms started going away, and I no longer bled continuously when my skin was torn or pierced.

                  At 2.5 months my stools are softer now but I’m still constipated. But some IBS remains at the best of days, and on the worst, after 2-3 days of no Milk of Magnesia (MOM) is really bad and painful. Also the process of moving water from my stomach to my bladder is very slow, about 8 hours. So although I was trying to extend the time inbetween MOM, as soon as I was constipated (any straining at all needed), I'd take MOM that evening.

                  At 3 months I started reading Fiber Menace and added Potassium. At 4 months I was down to MOM every 4-5 days and had finished reading Fiber Menace. That is a fantastic book that everyone here should read. During this month I was experiementing with how much Potassium I needed, cutting capsules or tablets in half. At 4.5 months I declared complete success. No more MOM needed. (Also I've become one of those nuts who examine their stools daily to see how things are going. Sure never thought I'd do that.)
                  Last edited by Cryptocode; 03-21-2013, 01:32 PM.
                  "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the breakdown! Sorry, I didn't notice a nutrition thread, but yea this should have definitely gone in there... Any way to move it?

                    It sounds like I'm in a significantly different situation than you, but that was great information nonetheless. My only symptom at this point is an achy discomfort/pain just below my last rib on the mid-right side. It sorta feels like someone took their fingers and is pushing it up under my ribs. It is basically where my liver/gallbladder would be. I have had an MRI, blood work, and an ultra-sound to make sure that there was nothing going on with any internal organs- everything was "fine". I was then treated for an ulcer, which seemed to have worked.

                    This all stemmed from last summer (and probably the many years before that). I had a pretty bad diet, EXTREME stress, no exercise, and was still drinking a fair amount on the weekends. In July, I got appendicitis. Then an appendectomy. It was pretty much at that moment that I realized I had to change my lifestyle or I would forever be a slave to the chemical medicine system.

                    This recurring pain that I have didn't exist before my bout with appendicitis. So at first I thought maybe it was scar tissue/etc... Now I have pretty confidently narrowed it down to an ulcer that could have been caused by all of the things I have already listed, plus the pain meds/anti-biotics I was on after surgery, and then again binge drinking.

                    Anyway, moral of the story is, preventative medicine is the wise choice. Haha

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                    • #11
                      The two pages from NamelessWonder are good.
                      Especially the second one which discusses your situation exactly. I'd sure recommend that solution rather than the PPI.

                      Only the Administrator can move the page. No problem, I was just in a bitchy mood I guess.
                      Last edited by Cryptocode; 03-21-2013, 06:50 PM.
                      "When the search for truth is confused with political advocacy, the pursuit of knowledge is reduced to the quest for power." - Alston Chase

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                      • #12
                        So I decided to try the DGL instead of the Prevacid.

                        I can honestly say about twenty minutes after my first dose I felt markedly better. Still feeling much better today. Thank you guys for your recommendation.

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                        • #13
                          I also have a duodenal ulcer. It depends on how bad it is as to how you should treat it really. I have had them on and off for many years, not properly diagnosed. Actually starting paleo is what caused my ulcer to go through the roof... I had started to eat a lot more nuts and fat, the combination gave me a lot of pain. I have tried all the solutions, my naturopath gave me DGL which seemed to even aggravate it. Slippery elm helps calm a little. I have had to go up the ladder on medications to stop the pain and now I am taking Nexium. sometimes you just have to do it for a while to allow the ulcer time to heal without getting irritated with a lot of acid. This is not GERD... and can't be treated as such. I am going to try and change my meds. down the ladder after this next course and see how I do. Watch out for food allergies/intolerences as the can be the start of the irritation. Good luck. I hope that the DGL works well for you. I know it is supposed to be really good to help with healing.
                          Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                          Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                          Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                          • #14
                            So I got to the point where I was doing well again with the DGL, Cayenne, and Slippery Elm Bark supplements. It took about a week for me to feel "normal" again.

                            But, as usual, I succumb to peer pressure and start drinking. Needless to say, after last weekend, the pain is back. I started up all the supplements again (although taking it easy on the Cayenne as sometimes it bothers me more than helps) and am going to try the Pepto Bismol every day to try and kill the infection if that is what is causing my symptoms.

                            Any advice for treating with Pepto Bismol?

                            Thanks again everyone

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                            • #15
                              If you do have an ulcer Pepto Bismol is only going to be a band-aid. Pepto bismol does not kill H. pylori; only antibiotics can do that. I know you don't want to use medications, but that is really the only way to kill the bacteria.

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