September 9, 2011

Make stomach ulcer drugs work
better with fewer side effects

H. pylori is the germ that causes stomach ulcers. It’s also associated with a myriad of stomach problems from gastritis to reflux. Getting rid of it totally can be difficult. And sometimes drugs are required. But drugs can often cause serious side effects. But there’s an easy way to help these drugs work better — and reduce their side effects.

The standard allopathic treatment is “triple therapy.” Triple therapy refers to the use of three drugs: a proton pump inhibitor, such as omeprazole, and two different antibiotics, usually amoxicillin and clarithromycin. Of course, the petrochemical approach is expected to have “side effects.” The most obvious is other digestive problems due to the antibiotics wiping out your good gut flora (bacteria).

In this study, researchers followed 991 subjects on triple therapy. Adding the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii increased the total kill rate of the bad germs to 80% from 71.6%. It cut side effects by about 25%.

It’s quite unfortunate that modern medicine doesn’t employ common sense. It’s only natural that a good germ will hammer a bad germ. It’s even more common sense that if you have to take an antibiotic, you should take a probiotic too. While any good probiotic will help fight H. pylori, you can find Saccharomyces boulardii at your local health food store or on the Internet.

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Most of the time, you don’t have to take drugs to kill this bug. I’ve had a near 100% eradication rate of H. pylori without conventional antibiotics. In addition to probiotics, I recommend:

* Digestive Enzymes — If you have symptoms of pain before or after meals, try a digestive enzyme product. It will help you digest your food faster. Take it at the beginning of each meal. Beano, available at most discount stores, is an easy place to start.

* Deglycyrrhizinated licorice root extract (DGL) protects the digestive tract from corrosive stomach acids. It increases the number of mucus-secreting cells from glands in the upper portion of the stomach. Simply chew two 380 mg tablets three or four times daily between meals.
* Aloe vera juice offers relief by healing the stomach lining, reducing stomach acid secretions and aiding in the prevention of internal bleeding. I like the whole leaf aloe juice products that have high mucopolysaccharide contents. Drink eight ounces a day. You can find aloe vera juice at any health food store.
* Glutamine, an amino acid, speeds up the healing process by nourishing the cells that line the digestive tract. A teaspoon in water three to four times each day will speed the healing process.
This treatment regimen will help keep H. pylori away and heal any ulcers. It works!

Ref: “The Effect of Probiotics and Mucoprotective Agents on PPI-Based Triple Therapy for Eradication of Helicobacter pylori,” Song MJ, Park DI, et al, Helicobacter, 2010; 15(3): 206-13.

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