Stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers are the most common type of ulcers that develop in the lining of the stomach. They affect about 2.4-6.1% of the population. Ulcers in the stomach or anywhere in the GI tract can make life painfully uncomfortable.
People of all ages, irrespective of gender, can suffer from stomach ulcers. In fact, It is estimated that over 25 million Americans have suffered from a form of peptic ulcer at some point in their life. While this has become a common occurrence, it is NOT normal.
Our goal with this article is to make you aware of the various causes of stomach ulcers, and how you can apply natural and effective solutions to address and resolve them.
Causes of Stomach Ulcers
A stomach ulcer can occur when the thick lining of mucus that protects the stomach is reduced, leading to openings in the stomach lining, which is what we call ‘leaky gut’.
While stomach ulcers can be caused by excessive long term stress, research shows that over 60% of ulcer cases are caused by a bacterial infection, 20% are caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and the last 20% caused by life style choices like smoking, drinking alcohol, eating processed and fast food, etc. What some are not aware of is that these so called ‘bacterial infections’ are often the result of antibiotic use, prescription medications, and eating processed, chemical laden foods. These substances create big changes in the gut ecosystem (call the microbiome), which then sets the stage for certain bacteria to overgrow, causing inflammation in the gut lining and which can eventually lead to ulcers in the gut.
Common Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers
Ulcers can cause many symptoms, the most apparent being acid reflux or bloating. The severity of the symptoms can depend on the severity of the ulcer. Some of the other symptoms include:
1. Weight Loss
2. Dull pain in the stomach
7. Trouble sleeping
8. Dehydration, weakness, and fatigue
9. Bleeding when going to the bathroom
10. Dark, Tarry tools
11. Bloody Vomit
13. Burping or excessive gas
14. Constipation or diarrhea
Natural Strategies for Healing Ulcers
Identifying the root cause of your stomach ulcer is the first step in effectively treating it yourself. An actual gut repair protocol for stomach ulcers can bring relief in a quick as a week, with total healing of the ulcer/ulcers within 3 months. However, there are times when treating the underlying cause of the ulcer has to be addressed FIRST and this part can take anywhere between 6 weeks to 9 months, depending on what the underlying cause of the ulcer is. The following are some of the best practices for long term, effective healing of stomach ulcers.
1. Identify the Barriers to healing. Test, Don’t Guess!
You can’t effectively address and resolve stomach ulcers if you are not aware of what cause or causes led to you having them in the first place, so the best place to start is to get some testing done so that you can find out what is causing your stomach ulcers. There are many different las that can be done and narrowing down which ones to start with requires that your coach or practitioner get an in-depth history on you which may also include some lengthy intake history forms that will review your history of things like: what medicines you have taken in the past or are currently taking, what your eating regiment consists of, your lifestyle choices, etc.
With this information it becomes easier to determine what lab or labs would be best suited to start with so that you can uncover what has caused your stomach ulcers.
Underlying causes that can be tested for include things like chemical toxins, bacterial overgrowth of certain bacteria like H. Pylori, for example, that is known to cause ulcers, and mold toxins. In addition, labs can be ordered that take a deeper look into the current status of your GI tract giving information like; Do you have inflammation in your gut? Do you have ‘Leaky Gut’? Are you having multiple gut infections going on at the same time?
2. Remove the Barriers to Healing
Once you can see what barrier or combinations of barriers to healing you are dealing with, the next step is to remove those barriers. A simple H Pylori infection can take 4-8 weeks to resolve and once that is done, a good gut repair regiment can be started to heal the ulcer and the rest of the inflamed gut lining.
If you have other barriers like chemical toxins, mold toxins, or even heavy metals, resolving those issues to remove those barriers can take anywhere from 6 months to 12 months. And heavy metals can sometimes take up to 2 years. In cases like these, gut support can be started before you have completely eliminated these barriers, but understand that a total healing of the gut will likely never happen – UNTIL you have removed those barriers that led to the gut inflammation and ulcer in the first place.
3. Start Your Gut Repair!
Once you have removed your barriers to healing you can start a gut repair regiment. Gut repair used to take an average of 6 months, but thankfully with advancing technology in the use and understanding of therapeutic approaches that are natural, gut repair can often be done in as little as 6 weeks. Those with a history of ulcers may need about 3-4 months of gut repair to fully heal both the lining of the gut and the ulcers.
4. Two Protocol Variations that are commonly used to heal the gut lining
When it comes to gut repair and healing ulcers there are several natural ingredients, that when combined together, result in excellent outcomes.
Some of these ingredients include L-glutamine, Deglycyrrrhizinated Licorice, Aloe Vera, Slipper Elm, Mucin, and Marshmallow. L-glutamine is really a great ingredient for gut repair and is, in fact, used in many of the top leading gut repair supplements on the market that are recommended by practitioners. However, there are some cases, where L-glutamine is not recommended.
In cases where the client or patient has a history of anxiety and mind racing, combined with homozygous (or a double SNP or variation) in the GAD gene, L-glutamine can sometimes cause mind racing and anxiety. Thankfully there are also other ingredients that are as effective for healing the gut. Some examples include gut repair supplements that include serum derived immunoglobulins combined with amino acids like L-proline, L-serine, L-threonine, and others.
In addition to the gut repair supplements to help heal the lining, it’s important to recolonize the GI system with the beneficial bacteria that help to maintain the healthy gut lining so that it stays healthy, so adding a good probiotic while you do your gut repair is important as well. We also add Vitamin D to our gut support protocol because it acts as a hormone, aiding in the repair of the GI tract.
9. Eat A Gut Repair – Friendly Diet!
Learning to use food as medicine really matters when it comes to healing from any type of health issue, including ulcers or any other type of gut condition. When you are using food as medicine to heal your gut, it is important to stay away from all processed foods, seed oils, alcohol, cigarettes, non-steroidal anti inflammatories, dairy, sugar, gluten, soy, and corn as these all cause inflammation in the gut lining. Remember, there is no amount of supplementation that can out perform a bad diet, so diet is key! We have a gut repair Ebook that you can get when you sign up for our newsletter, so feel free to dive in and see more detail on eating for gut repair.