Peptic ulcers occur in the intestine, most frequently the upper part including the duodenum and the stomach. Gastric juices are produced in high quantities in both locations, and stress, drugs and poor dietary habits will force the body to produce even more gastric juice. In the case of peptic ulcers, the stomach tissues become eroded where in normal conditions the mucus layer and the alkalinizing bicarbonate ions prevent the acid from eating away at the lining. Hemorrhaging ulcers occur when the ulcer had penetrated the blood vessel, causing it to bleed.
Four times as many peptic ulcers occur in the duodenum, and roughly 4% of gastric ulcers are caused by a malignant tumor.
What are the Symptoms of Ulcers?
- Severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen
- Low back pain
What are the Causes of Ulcers?
- According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, peptic ulcer disease is caused by an infection with H. pylori bacteria in 9 out of 10 cases.
- The stomach is unable to secrete sufficient mucus to protect the stomach from the acid produced for digestion. Ulcers are usually connected to stress.
- Refined grains and sugars expose the stomach to a lot of acid and a little protein. If consumed for long periods of time, the stomach is slowly eaten away, resulting in an ulcer.
- Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages, alcohol and tobacco can also be a factor.
- Use of painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn, and others), ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Midol, and others)
- Long term acid suppression can make you more prone to infections and mineral deficiencies since stomach acid is needed for mineral absorption.
Avoid: coffee, tea, alcohol, fried foods, white flour and sugar, black and chili pepper, and milk. Dairy neutralizes the stomach acid at first, but then it backfires. Its calcium content promotes the secretion of gastrin, a hormone which triggers the release of more acid.
Consume: Yogurt, raw sauerkraut, cooked carrots, avocado, yams, baked apples, ripe bananas (protects mucus lining), cooked red or yukon gold potato puree, cabbage juice (rich in vitamin K)
Teas: Nettle, fennel, comfrey, chamomile, alfalfa, and fenugreek.
Needed for stress and digestion
Crucial for keeping bad bacteria in check.
Vitamin A helps repair the mucus membrane, vitamin D is antimicrobial and essential fatty acids needed for healing.
Low vitamin C status enables H.Pylori to thrive, where is high vitamin C status may inactivate its ability to colonize. The adrenal glands require high amounts of vitamin C during times of stress.