It used to be that ulcers were blamed on stress. We now know that stress is indeed one of the causes, but that a bacteria is really the cause. When we are stressed, worried, rushed and thinking fearful thoughts, our body goes into “fight or flight” mode. Adrenaline pumps, blood pressure increases, and a thousand other chemical changes occur in the body to prepare us to run or fight, or to stop bleeding from a wound.
All these actions help us if there really IS a tiger chasing us, but mostly, it’s just our To-Do List and the telephone and traffic and family pressures that triggers us.
One action that occurs under stress is the secretion of stomach acid and other chemical regulators such as cortisol. These substances can damage the lining of the stomach, and leave it vulnerable to infection by Helicobacter Pylori bacteria.
The 2005 Nobel Prize For Medicine was awarded to scientists who proved that H. Pylori caused ulcerating erosion of the stomach lining. So, this knowledge is still fairly recent, and many doctors perhaps just don’t believe it yet! They want to put you on a lifetime of terrible acid-blocking drugs without even testing to see why you feel badly.
If you are experiencing heartburn or reflux, PLEASE INSIST that your doctor test you for the H. Pylori bacteria. It is a simple, affordable test, by blood or by taking a sample of your breath. (The presence of H.Pylori bacteria can be one cause of bad breath, by the way…) If you do have the bug, you MAY want to treat it, but there are better alternatives than toxic antibiotics. (It is my belief that we use excessive antibiotics in the US, and that we are breeding superbugs resistant to our current drugs. The solution is to treat infections with other means. That means doing some research, or getting help from a more knowledgeable person).
The second thing to insist upon is to find out if you have an actual ulcer/erosion in the stomach lining or not. If you do not have an actual ulcer or erosion in the stomach or esophagus, you do not need reflux drugs. Fix the reflux by managing several steps, including avoiding dairy products other than butter and real cheese, by not overeating, by reducing fluids with meals, and not eating too soon before bed. (See other articles on this in the Archives of this newsletter. Click on the link above).
So, if you have reflux, and you have H.Pylori, and you actually have some erosion in the stomach (an ulcer) – how to fix this?
First, stop the dairy products except butter and real cheese (not Pizza Hut or Taco Bell fake American cheese). Most people cannot digest these and it causes the gut to have reflux.
Second, take a look at your stress index and make a commitment to solve ONE THING NOW that will reduce your daily stress load. Really! We’ve got to get our stress levels under control, or all the supplements in the world aren’t going to change our future.
Third, get any or all of the following products to eradicate the H. Pylori bacteria. They are proven to work and you might amaze your doctor with the results. These items include; Mastic Gum (we sell one called Mastica but it is widely available), Zinc Carnosine (NOTE: this is NOT, repeat, NOT ordinary zinc. It is a unique substance specifically used for H.Pylori), DGL (Deglychirized Licorice) for its soothing and healing properties, and Vitamin U. Vitamin U can be found in the Standard Process formula called Gastrazyme. Or, you can juice cabbage fresh every day.
Fourth, if you do have actual ulceration in the gut, you should take acid blockers for a very short time – 6 – 8 weeks perhaps. This will give you a lot of digestive side effects, but you can help this by taking digestive enzymes and by eating rationally for a while. That means, not eating while driving, or while running through the building…..
If the erosion is slight, you can skip the acid blockers and take Bob’s Red Mill Aluminum-Free Baking Soda on an empty stomach as needed for the reflux. Or try a mix of Sodium Bicarbonate with Potassium Bicarbonate (we sell it and the health stores probably do too). Again, refer to earlier articles on these archives.
You will want to take lots of gut healers such as Deglychirized Licorice, Slippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, Aloe, Glutamine and others.
One last thing. One of THE MAIN causes of stomach ulcers is taking aspirin and NSAID’s – non-steroidal pain and anti-inflammatory meds. These drugs should only ever be taken in small doses and for a short time, such as for a back ache. When taken too often and for too long, it is well documented that they erode the lining of the stomach. This opens the door for bacteria to implant in the weakened lining. And many other problems, some of them potentially permanent or life-threatening.
Above all, take good Probiotics daily. I ask all my clients to take them. As PRO-biotics, they fight bacteria. Of course, take high doses after ANTI-biotics.