Go see a doctor!
That’s the normal course of action for any of us suspecting that we may have a stomach ulcer. Is this good advice? Yes, absolutely.
Don’t do what I did – try a shortcut. The first ulcer medication most people (like me) will try is an antacid. Based on common knowledge we all hope that this will fix the problem and save an expensive trip to the doctor. Wrong!
Antacid medications offer short term relief only.
An antacid is not a cure, yet many people rely on antacids. Many antacid medications designed for “too much acid” can actually add fuel to the fire. A common antacid ingredient, calcium carbonate, actually raises stomach acid levels 3 to 4 hours after you take it by stimulating gastric secretion.
Some antacids contain aspirin which is known to cause ulcers if used over prolonged periods. Because antacids are NEVER going to fix any ulcer, you could get hooked on the temporary relief you get, and end up taking an antacid for a prolonged period. Result – the aspirin may cause more ulcers. Bottom line – avoid antacids. They can start a vicious cycle of pain and relief, without ever fixing the problem.
Doctors are great, use them for what they are best at – diagnosing medical conditions. Correct diagnosis is the key to getting the correct treatment. But don’t feel compelled to take the prescribed treatment your doctor will offer you – especially if you have been diagnosed with an infection H Pylori bacterium (the cause of 90% of peptic ulcers).
The most popular treatment these days is Triple Therapy – this treatment is not only aimed at eradicating H Pylori but also to reduce acid levels as well, so your ulcer can heal. In theory this sounds like a good idea. But in reality, stopping the production of stomach acid can do you more harm than good.
What most of us don’t realise is that blocking or reducing the production of your stomach acid can actually leave you under nourished. How so? Easy, normal levels of stomach acid are absolutely necessary to assist in the digestion of proteins properly and to allow your body to absorb vitamins and minerals., When stomach acid is blocked or insufficient, proteins and vitamins from the food you eat cannot be absorbed properly, and this can leave you undernourished, and susceptible to food poisoning, parasites, and other stomach problems, including more ulcers.
Of course, another thing against Triple Therapy is that it is a 10-day to 2-week course. It is fairly complicated and you can expect to take up to 20 pills a day – and the side effects are very unpleasant. To start with, try nausea, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, dark stools, metallic taste in the mouth, and yeast infections in women. In fact, the side effects are so bad it is enough to put most people off finishing the course. Side effects and are the biggest reason for the high failure rates of Triple Therapy.
So what are the options?
Natural cures are safer in terms of side effects, and much easier to take. Very few doctors will be able to tell you much about this because they have been trained to prescribe drugs, and oddly enough most of their post graduate training comes from the pharmaceutical companies. Even if you opt for a natural cure, you will still have to get a diagnosis from your doctor.
A natural treatment for stomach ulcers may be an alternative medicine practice in conjunction with either herbal medicines, and diet and nutritional supplements. Note that if you have been diagnosed with H Pylori, then you will be able to treat this infection with a herbal remedy only.
Certain herbs can eradicate H Pylori completely. Herbs that can also stimulate the immune system and reduce inflammation include liquorice, echinacea and Goldenseal. Herbal medicines provide an extremely safe and natural treatment for stomach ulcers, as opposed to the nasty side effects of drug therapy.
Always look for a natural cure that has scientific backing and one that has been tested and approved by laboratory testing.
Apart from herbal remedies, other alternative medicines like acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine and Homeopathy, are all worth investigating as well.