advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Battling Ulcers?

A friend of mine is a 25-year-old male who has been diagnosed with an ulcer and has chronic stomach issues. He has been taking various medications including Nexium, Prevacid, Trimox and Biaxin. Can you recommend any natural remedies he could try?

A
Answer (Published 4/1/2005)

We now know that many ulcers are caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). The treatment is a combination of antibiotics (the Trimox and Biaxin you mention) plus drugs to reduce or neutralize stomach acid (including Prevacid and Nexium). While these drugs are effective, they're not recommended for long-term use. Other causes of ulcers include excess digestive acids that burn the digestive tract and, sometimes, long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging - Your Anti-Inflammatory Diet Source - Want to promote overall health and help minimize the risk of inflammatory diseases? Join Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging, your online guide to the anti-inflammatory diet. Start your 14-day free trial now for access to shopping and eating guides, hundreds of recipes, an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid and more!

In addition to the drugs he has been prescribed, your friend might consider increasing consumption of foods high in vitamin C. Results of a study reported in the Aug. 1, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed that infection with H. pylori is more likely if you have low blood levels of vitamin C. Although they couldn't say whether H. pylori is responsible for the low vitamin C levels or the other way around, the researchers who conducted the study said it would be a good idea for everyone to increase consumption of foods high in vitamin C. This might prevent infection or reduce the effects of infection, and perhaps prevent peptic ulcers.

I also recommend that anyone prone to ulcers take the following preventive and healing measures:

  • Avoid all coffee, decaffeinated coffee and other sources of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
  • Avoid all aspirin and other salicylates and all nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) or an herbal anti-inflammatory instead. Don't take any steroids.
  • Drink peppermint tea and chamomile teas frequently. Both soothe the lining of the digestive tract.
  • Avoid milk and milk products - they increase acid secretion.
  • Eat smaller amounts of foods more frequently. Don't let your stomach go empty for long periods.
  • To protect the lining of your stomach and duodenum (the first section of the small intestine where ulcers usually form) take deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which has excellent soothing and healing properties. The dose is one half teaspoon of DGL powder or two tablets of DGL extract (chew these slowly) before or between meals. You can continue taking DGL as long as you have symptoms.
  • Try taking one teaspoon of aloe vera juice after meals. It helps heal ulcers.
  • Sip red pepper tea (one quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper steeped in a cup of hot water) or a small capsule of the powder. Cayenne pepper has a good local anesthetic effect.
  • Make serious efforts to neutralize stress in your life by practicing breathing exercises, learning visualization or hypnotherapy (or both) to heal your ulcer, or taking a course of biofeedback training.
  • If necessary, change whatever in your life causes you the most stress - your job, living situation, or relationships.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here