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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?
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.
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:
Andrew Weil, M.D.
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