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What Causes Ulcers?

According to conventional wisdom, 60% of peptic ulcers are caused by a bacterial infection (H. pylori); 20% are caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Nuprin, etc.); and another 20% have miscellaneous causes such as cigarettes or no clear cause.  However, there are some integrative medical doctors who believe that the root cause of peptic ulcers (assuming one is not taking anti-inflammatory medication) is not the H. pylori bacteria itself, but an imbalance of the proper bacterial growth in the intestinal system that sets up the perfect environment for the H. pylori infection to take hold in the first place. The basic recommended treatment includes drinking 12 glasses of filtered water daily; avoiding sugars, coffee, juices, and milk; and taking a generous dose of a high-quality probiotic each day.

Here are some additional dietary and lifestyle recommendations for the treatment of ulcers: 

  1. Consume lots of dark green leafy veggies.  These greens contain vitamin K, which heals the ulcer and is often times deficient in those individuals prone to digestive problems.  Drinking freshly made cabbage juice each day has shown to be very effective in the treatment of ulcers.
  2. As stated previously, avoid coffee, juice, and alcoholic drinks.
  3. If ulcer symptoms are more acute, you may try eating soft foods, such as avocados, squash, and yams.  Use a blender or food processor, if necessary.
  4. Drink barley grass, wheatgrass, and alfalfa juices.  Due to their high chlorophyll content, they are powerful anti-ulcer treatments.
  5. Avoid fried foods, sugars, cow’s milk, tea, caffeine, chocolate, and carbonated beverages.
  6. Also avoid consumption of refined carbohydrates (this is actually a universal recommendation to help prevent disease states).
  7. Chew foods thoroughly to improve overall digestion.
  8. Make sure to have daily bowel movements.
  9. Do not smoke (another one of those universal disease prevention recommendations).  Smoking can delay or even prevent healing.
  10. Do not take painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen (Excedrin, Advil, Nuprin, etc.)
  11. Avoid stressful situations when possible.  Learn and practice stress management techniques, such as guided imagery, visualization, meditation, and music therapy.

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/petergerdes/3078194322/”>Peter Gerdes</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>