Stomach ulcers or gastric ulcers are the most common type of ulcers that develop in the linings of the stomach. They affect about 2.4-6.1% of the population. They are a form of peptic ulcer disease that can make life painfully uncomfortable.
People of all ages, irrespective of gender, can suffer from peptic 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.
Our goal with this article is to make you aware of the various causes of stomach ulcers, and how you can adopt natural solutions to relieve yourself of its undesirable symptoms.
Causes of Stomach Ulcer
A stomach ulcer can commonly occur when the thick lining of mucus that protects the stomach is reduced. The digestive acids eat away at the tissue that lines the stomach, and this is what generally causes an ulcer.
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 sedentary life choices like smoking, drinking alcohol, eating processed and fast food, etc.
Common Symptoms of Stomach Ulcer
Ulcers can cause many symptoms, the most apparent of which is dull or severe pain. The severity of the symptoms can depend on the severity of the ulcer.
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 Vomits
14. Easily feeling full
Natural Strategies for Healing Ulcers
Although the symptoms of stomach ulcers can be a challenge to overcome, it is not impossible. You can heal them naturally over time. The following are some of the best practices, foods, and home remedies that you can use to heal stomach ulcers.
1. Cabbage Juice
Cabbage Juice is a very effective natural remedy against stomach ulcers. It has been used as a remedy long before the usage of antibiotics. It is rich in vitamin C and is also an antioxidant that is known to kill H pylori bacterium.
Additionally, cabbage consists of amino acids L-glutamine and sulforaphane, both of which are compounds that help protect and heal gastric lining and also prevent leaky gut syndrome.
In one study, 13 participants suffering from stomach ulcers were given one quart of fresh cabbage juice every day. These ulcers healed after 7-10 days of treatment. This is 3.5 to 6 times faster than the normal healing time.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is a commonly used plant in many cosmetic products due to its obvious benefits for the skin. Recent studies have shown that Aloe Vera might also be a very effective remedy against ulcers.
In a study conducted on rats, Aloe Vera showed ulcer healing properties that were similar to omeprazole (anti-ulcer medication). In another study, it significantly reduced stomach acid produced in rats. The results, as of yet, are inconclusive but promising.
Ginger is frequently used to solve digestive problems. So it is only obvious that it would find its place on this list. Ginger has been known to contain nine different substances, each associated with stimulating serotonin receptors in the gut.
This stimulation enhances bowel motility and reduces gut inflammation. It is also a very powerful anti-nauseating agent that can come in handy for those suffering from stomach ulcers.
To consume, add 2 -3 slices of ginger in 2 cups of hot water. Let it steep for about half an hour, and then drink 20 min before a meal.
Turmeric is a trending superfood that has countless health benefits to its credits. One of which also includes healing a stomach ulcer. Curcumin in turmeric has many benefits to the human body, mainly improving blood vessel function, reducing inflammation, and reducing the risk of heart diseases.
When it comes to healing stomach ulcers, it is known to increase the levels of mucus to protect the stomach lining and prevent damage from H. pylori infections.
Licorice is a powerful herb that defends the body against H pylori and other causes of stomach ulcers. As such, it has been used for ages and across cultures for the cure of stomach ulcers and other digestive issues. Licorice helps to stimulate the levels of secretin in the body, which enhances the inner stomach lining.
Equipped with demulcent characteristics, it soothes and relieves irritation in mucosal membranes.
Probiotics are live organisms that offer multiple benefits to the human body. Probiotics are of great help when fighting or preventing infections. Hence, they make for great contenders when it comes to overcoming stomach ulcers.
Probiotics can stimulate the production of mucus to help protect the inner lining of the stomach.
They also promote the building of new blood vessels, which help carry important nutrients needed by the body to cure stomach ulcers.
7. Mastic Gum
Mastic is a raisin found in the mastic tree. This tree generally grows in the Mediterranean and is used since ancient times to cure stomach ulcers and Crohn’s disease. One study proves that 350 mg of mastic gum can provide relief from gastric discomfort and also antioxidant protection to mucosal cells.
8. Reduce Stress
Stress can be a major cause of stomach ulcers in adult men and women. When the body is under stress, it naturally hinders the digestion process. This can result in underproduction of stomach acids and other enzymes.
Eating while stressed can also reduce bowel motility, causing the food to remain in the small intestines and colon longer than usual. This can further lead to bacterial growth and infection.
Hence, we cannot emphasize enough how important it is to manage and reduce stress from our everyday lives.
9. Intermittent Fasting
Ever wondered why your pet animal might refuse to eat when not feeling well? Well, scientists now associate this voluntary participation of hunger to the body, neglecting food to heal it. Yes, sometimes, the body might lose its appetite to take time to heal itself.
This is where intermittent fasting comes into play. Intermittent fasting is basically extending the time in a day where you don’t eat any food. Intermittent has shown magnificent results while enabling the body to become stronger and healthier. Fasting also helps the gut heal its inflammation.
When starting with intermittent fasting, we suggest starting with a 12-hour fasting window between dinner and breakfast for two weeks before graduating to 14 hours and then eventually an 18-hour fasting window.
10. Vitamin C
Deficiency in Vitamin C plays a key role in the healing and protection of the gastric mucosa from injury. The lower the levels of vitamin C is in the blood, the more likely you are to be infected by H. pylori infection.
Eat vitamin C heavy fruits and foods, which will help in increasing the production of mucus and healing stomach and intestinal mucosa.
The Bottom Line
Stomach ulcers can be an uncomfortable thing to live with. However, they can be quickly taken care of by following simple natural solutions mentioned in this article. You may have noticed the name H. Pylori coming up multiple times in the article. That is because it is a significant factor in people being struck by stomach ulcers.
Treat the infection by incorporating anti-inflammatory and antioxidant foods in your diet like cabbage, licorice, ginger, vitamin C rich foods, etc. Apart from food, learn to manage your stress as stress can disrupt the digestion process, ultimately leading to stomach ulcers.