Digestive Problems

Treatment of Ulcers: More Ammunition

Date: 28 April, 2006

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Previously we’ve looked at supplements to help relieve the discomfort of stomach ulcers.

This month results published from a study in Taiwan show that dietary intake of beneficial bacteria can aid treatment of ulcers by antibiotics.

Treatment of Ulcers: Skip the antibiotics

Before the discovery of the true cause of peptic ulcers, they were normally treated with antacid medication. Now that we know that ulcers are usually caused by the parasitic bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the standard treatment is with antibiotics. Clearly, it is best to avoid using antibiotics: they have significant downsides. New, drug-resistant strains of the bacterum have developed, and any antibiotic with upset the balance of your gastrointestinal tract, which can cause as many problems as the antibiotics have solved.

Weve written about several natural therapies in the past that can rid your body of H. pylori without the unwanted side effects of antibiotics, such as a formula called Sano-Gastril that contains a beneficial bacterial strain proven to destroy resistant pathogens. Another is lactoferrin, an iron-binding protein found in mother’s milk (colostrum), which can kill h. pylori bacterium. (It can also help protect you from becoming infected with H. pylori in the first place.)

Treatment of Ulcers: If all else fails

Whilst we would always recommend that you try these supplements before resorting to a course of antibiotics, it is certainly worth being aware of all your options. With new antibiotic-resistant strains of the bacterium developing, the drugs are far from a cure-all for peptic ulcers.

And if the first antibiotic treatment fails, a second round of combo antibiotic therapy is called for. What this new research, headed by Dr Bor-Shyang Sheu from the National Cheng Kung University Hospital in Tainan, shows is that pretreatment with a probiotic yoghurt specifically a yoghurt containing the bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium aids the drugs efficacy.

The study looked at 138 patients in whom triple therapy of antibiotics had failed. Triple therapy involves a two-week regimen of two types of antibiotic and Pepto-Bismol take four times a day.

The patients were enrolled for a culture study of H. pylori to assess antimicrobial resistance. These patients were then randomly assigned in equal numbers to either a yoghurt-plus-quadruple therapy group or a quadruple-therapy-only group. The group that had received the pretreatment had a higher H. pylori eradication rate 91 per cent, compared with 77 per cent in the other group.

The study provides significant hope to those struggling with hard-to cure peptic ulcers.

Treatment of Ulcers: Staying safe

With the range of alternatives available to treat ulcers, you should be able to find the right one to banish this pain and discomfort from your life. However, it is worth remembering that reoccurrence is a problem with ulcers, and it is important to keep your digestive tract healthy and well-defended against the H. pylori bacterium.

It is believed that six or seven out of ten people are infected with H. pylori, yet only one in ten suffers with an ulcer. Why can some people cope better than others? As we have reported before, the answer to this question may be vitamin C so keep those vit-C levels up!

Related Reading:

Eat broccoli sprouts to protect against stomach ulcers


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