Bacteria That Causes Belly Woes

Few individuals realize that an unfriendly bacteria is the cause of stomach ulcers for 9 out of 10 people. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of the population believes ulcers are caused by stress and 17% thought that spicy foods are the cause. The true cause is Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

Pernicious anemia is a very serious disorder which results from a deficiency in B-12.  A study reported in an Internal Medicine Journal reported that H. pylori were present in 56% of 138 patients with pernicious anemia.  Once treated, 40% of the infected patients improved their B-12 levels.

Unfortunately most individuals self treat the symptoms by taking products like Zantac and Tagamet.  This might help the individual feel better but if they were to eliminate the H. pylori bacteria, there is a greater than 90% chance that the ulcer can be cured for good, and possibly help to prevent cardiac complications and some forms of cancer.

Your doctor can easily determine if you have the H. pylori infection with a blood antibody test, stool antigen test, carbon urea breath test or via biopsy.

Once H. Pylori is confirmed the standard medical treatment has a triple approach that includes the proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole), and two antibiotics that may be clarithromycin and amoxicillin. This therapy has been very successful in the eradication of H. pylori.

Although those methods are successful,  I have a problem with the follow-through. Whenever you have been treated with antibiotics, the good, protective bacteria have also been affected, leaving the individual more susceptible to other infections or even yeast (fungal) overgrowth. If nothing is done, it can take months to bounce back especially if your diet is lacking in nutrient dense foods.

Although I am in favor of resolving H. pylori, I am not in favor of the H2 blockers (Zantac and Tagamet) or proton pump inhibitors (Protonix).  It is a major tragedy that these drugs became over the counter available.  Watch for a dramatic rise in osteoporosis in the years to come.  Our bodies were not designed to have their acid level suppressed. If this occurs, the enzymes needed to properly digest food and maximize nutrient absorption are not activated.

I pity the poor infants and children being placed on these medications, why can’t we instead give digestive enzymes to help them?  I am curious to see if bone fractures in children will also be on the rise due to this new trend.

Prevention is the best way to avoid all of this digestive drama. Individuals who drink at least 10-12 glasses of filtered water per day and rarely drink milk, juices or coffee are not likely to be affected by H. pylori.  Probiotics (high quality, multi-strain) are extremely beneficial in producing and abundance of protective bacteria that is not likely to be a host to H. pylori.

High doses of vitamin C have been shown to inhibit the bacteria that cause ulcers, specifically H. pylori and Campylobacter jejuni. Raspberries and broccoli both contain nutrients that seem to have a protective effect in combating and preventing this offensive strain of bacteria. Colloidal silver, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, coconut oil, oregano oil and raw organic cider vinegar are unproven remedies that have helped many individuals.

Combination remedies have been very helpful in the elimination of H. pylori.  Those that include vitamin C, Mastic Gum and deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) seem to be the most effective. Mastic Gum has been shown to inhibit growth of H. pylori. In a study using human patients, one gram of mastic gum or a placebo were given daily for two weeks.  Eight percent of the patients taking mastic gum reported improvement in stomach pain and seventy percent had healing changes that were visualized via endoscope.

 Up to 80% of infected individuals will never have any signs, symptoms or complications.  The remaining 20% who suffer from and aching or burning in the chest or abdomen, frequent nausea, vomiting, bloating, burping and weight loss should see their doctor to have H. pylori ruled out or treated rather than just taking over the counter remedies that don’t fix the underlying problem.


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