Saturday, 30 March 2013
How to Cope with Ulcers
An ulcer is an inflammatory condition in the lining of the stomach causing pain and burning while the stomach is empty, or while food is being digested. Ulcers have a tendency to bleed. Blood can be observed in the stool as being dark in colour. Ulcers can cause haemorrhaging to such an extent that a person could possibly bleed to death.
Ulcers are caused in many ways, as follows: improper food combining; the overproduction of hydrochloric acid which may erode the stomach lining; the overproduction of the enzyme pepsin; the over-ingestion of alcohol and tobacco products; the taking of aspirin regularly; not chewing food properly thereby preventing saliva to mix with food to aid digestion.
Conventional treatments for ulcers such as drugs, surgery, the provision of antacids do not work because they only address the symptoms and not the underlying cause of the problem. It is therefore best to look at diet, food supplements and what other measures can be taken to treat an ulcer, or to lessen the chances of developing one in the first instance.
Some doctors impose a bland diet on their patients suffering from ulcers which is counterproductive as they still need to get the daily nutrients they require from their food despite this condition. If you suffer from an ulcer, it is best to eat smaller meals at each sitting on a more regular basis than three large meals per day. Six meals per day at 2-3 hour intervals would be ideal. Avoid fasting if you suffer from an ulcer.
As poor food combining can cause an ulcer, avoid combining proteins and starches in the one meal. As food goes through the pyloric valve (the exit from the stomach) it becomes confused if partially digested proteins and carbohydrates are present at the same time. It is therefore not recommended that you eat meat or chicken with potatoes in the same meal, but they can be eaten separately.
The diet should be high in fibre which helps food to travel though the digestive system. Fibre is also necessary to encourage regular bowel movements. A patient with an ulcer should be encouraged to eat cooked vegetables several times a day. Sweet fruits, millet, buckwheat, coconut, almonds, avocado, sprouted grains and seeds are also recommended. Raw vegetables should be discouraged as they are difficult to digest. Both potato juice and cabbage juice are good for people with ulcers as they accelerate the healing process. Drinking distilled water can help reduce pain.
Herbs good for ulcer sufferers, for the reasons stated, are as follows: peppermint oil aids the healing of inflammatory conditions; licorice improves mucous in the digestive tract; cayenne red pepper aids digestion and stimulates blood flow; chickweed helps digest fatty substances and encourages the helpful production of stomach mucous; and golden seal alleviates internal bleeding.
Food supplements can also be used effectively to help with ulcers. Vitamin E, 1,000 IU once daily, slows down inflammatory conditions. Zinc Picolinate, 50mg twice daily, aids the healing of ulcers. Vitamin A in the form of fish liver oil, 25,000 IU once daily, helps repair tissue.
As ulcers arise from the over acidity of the body, the following foods and drinks should be avoided: dairy products, meats, flour products, chocolate, sweets, eggs, gains, fizzy drinks, and citrus fruits. All fried foods should be avoided. The more alkaline the overall food intake is the better.
Some other adjunctive measures you can take if you suffer with ulcers are as follows: if you are a smoker, it is best to give it up because it interferes with the body’s reaction to food; alcohol intake should be limited to two units per day; it is best to either avoid stress altogether, or take positive steps to limit its impact on your life.