If you have an ulcer, you know the extreme pain and discomfort that can accompany them. Well, actually there are two types of ulcers. Some are almost completely harmless and you might not even now that you have one. The other kind, the bad kind, I would liken to more of an alien trying to break through your stomach cavity and breathe the free air of the world. If you have this kind, you might want to read this article.
So what makes me qualified to write about Ulcers. Well for starters I had one for 4 months, which is about typical although they are known to come and go for much longer. I recently received an endoscopy and was given a clean bill of health. I also worked in the healthcare field for about 2 years and know first hand how the healthcare field, especially in combination with pharmaceutical companies, treats your symptoms and not your problems.
With an Ulcer, a Doctor will most likely do two things: give you a proton pump inhibitor and an anti-biotic for something called H-Pylori, bacteria that cause 80 percent of Ulcers. This is a pretty stock treatment plan, but one that can do more harm then good if you’re not careful. Let me dissect the problem for you.
First, proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec and Nexium are meant to cut off the acid production in your stomach. Sounds good if you want to stop the acid from eating away at your ulcer. But here’s the rub… acid is good. Your body needs acid to break down food and stave off infection. By taking away the acid production your stomach feels better, since the acid isn’t irritating your ulcer, but it’s a slippery slope. Because you aren’t producing acid, bacteria like H-pylori are allowed to breed more easily. Furthermore, your body gets accustomed to this PH level in your body. This is not good if you take these drugs for a long period of time. My mother has been taking Prilosec for the last five years and has no plans to get off (great consumer for the drug company, huh?). That’s fine for her, but as a young person of 26, I do not want to have to take a drug for the next 6o years of my life. It doesn’t seem right, does it? And if you do try to get off of the drug, your acid production will sky rocket since your body is used to having the proton pump blocker in place. You will have the worst heartburn you have ever experienced. So you can see how proton pump inhibitors can actually do more harm than good, but why are anti-biotic’s bad?
Like I said before, most ulcers are caused by H. Pylori infection, bacteria that can cultivate in your stomach. So modern medicine usually prescribes an anti-biotic to clear up the infection. Now, it is true that you need to kill off the H. Pylori or bad bacteria, but with most anti-biotics they also kill off the good bacteria in your stomach as well. Bacteria that help you fight off infection. It’s a little like chemotherapy for your stomach, it will kill the bad cells, but it will kill the good ones too.
Using anti-biotics also weakens your immune system instead of strengthening it. We are built around a drug society that teaches us to cure every cold or every infection with a drug; however that weakens are ability to fight off subsequent infections. Producing are own anti-bodies is essential to fighting off similar infections and diseases. In addition to the problems an individual has, collectively as a society we are being hurt as well. Those strains of bacteria are getting ever more drug resistant and dangerous. Now I’m not suggesting allowing your body to fight off gangrene, but just be a little more careful the next time your doctor prescribes something for the common cold.
So here is my take on the modern medicine paradigm, love it or hate it, we will all have to face up to it in the future. In my next blog I will show you how to cure an Ulcer without pharmaceutical drugs.