Thursday, August 6, 2009

Inexpensive ways to improve ulcers

Another I sent in to Douglas County News, though I haven't seen it published yet:

Good Food Cheap #6 by Larisa Sparrowhawk

Instead of buying poor quality food and compensating with vitamins and painkillers, why not change your diet? The next several columns will deal with one or two specific concerns and natural options you can try.
Ten percent of Americans have ulcers. Many sufferers take antiacids, which work by alkalinizing the stomach contents. If acid reflux (release of stomach contents to the esophagus) occurs, the patient has less discomfort. However, since the body needs acid to digest proteins and fats, the body sends out a signal to produce additional hydrochloric acid, and so the cycle continues.
Cigarette smoking also inceases the occurance of ulcers. Just think of how much money you will save if you quit!
My guess is nearly all non-smokers with ulcers eat a sugar-heavy diet. Refined sugar, already acidic and enzymeless, is hard on the body and is especially so when used in cola drinks or consumed in amounts greater than 25 grams per sitting. In India, farmers use cola drinks as pesticides because they destroy soft bodied insects. If you crave sweet and fizzy drinks, pour seltzer water or club soda over juice concentrate.
Ulcer patients have been advised for years to drink milk, but many people are allergic to or intolerant of milk. A food allergy to a frequently consumed food can create an ulcer. An option would to be quit all milk, consuming yogurt, which contains probiotics, instead for a few days. If you still have pain, eliminate dairy products entirely and see how you feel.
Avocados, bananas and okra soothe the entire digestive system. Raw fruits and vegetables contain enzymes, which help the body digest them. If you have a juicer, juice cabbage, which is beneficial to ulcers, with apples or carrots to improve the taste. If these suggestions improve how you feel, you may consider purchasing an enzyme supplement to take at the beginning of each meal.
Larisa Sparrowhawk is owner of Localvore Fresh Oregon Foods, LLC.

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