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The H. Pylori and Ulcer Connection

Woman with Stomah Ache
November 13, 2013 (Updated: August 16, 2018)
Lily Moran

Jesse had been my patient for some time. She had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was in her early teens, so insulin was mandatory. And since she refused to follow the basic dietary guidelines for diabetics, she experienced frequent complications, often requiring hospitalization. I urged her to stop drinking alcohol and smoking and made a big push for her to give up fast food, which was nearly all she ate. But Jesse simply refused to change.

Shortly after she turned 30, though, Jesse began experiencing very painful stomachaches after eating. Tests revealed that she had H. pylori in her intestines, so I explained that an ulcer was probably causing her pain. Further testing revealed that she indeed had several peptic ulcers.

We discussed treatment options, and to my surprise, she agreed that it would be best to skip the antibiotics. “You’ve been telling me for years to use natural remedies, so I’m going to give them a try,” she said. “My sister had to take antibiotics for months for a skin problem, and I know how awful they can be, so I’d rather not go through that.”

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After taking a combination of liquid aloe vera, mastica gum, and a short course of a popular antacid, which protected the ulcers from stomach acid, Jesse called to say she was turning over a new leaf. “I did what you said and gave up drinking, and I even quit smoking. I told myself it was only temporary, just until the ulcers healed. But you know what — I feel so much better, it’s amazing!

“It took a while, though. First, I had to I get over feeling sorry for myself because I had to give up my bad habits. But after about two weeks, I noticed that I felt much better in the morning without a hangover. Then, when I decided I couldn’t go another second without a cigarette, I started to smoke one and got so nauseated, I put it out and decided I would never do that again. Now my chronic cough is gone, I can taste food again, and I’m not doubled over with stomach pain. I can cope with diabetes, but now I see I was just making it worse. If this is what it takes to feel good, then I don’t want to drink or smoke anymore. I feel like I have a whole new life.”

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