A Natural Solution To Chronic Stomach Problems

A Natural Solution To Chronic Stomach Problems

Stomach problems are very common and if you suffer from heartburn constantly, belch, have abdominal pain or have a very sensitive stomach, the chances are you may be suffering from gastritis. Stomach problems after eating may also be a sign of food sensitivity or perhaps eating too much but for many people persistent stomach problems are usually associated with some form gastritis. 

Gastritis is the inflammation of the lining of the stomach and there are many causes of gastritis, which include stress, excessive alcohol consumption, prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), certain auto-immune diseases and sometimes gastritis can develop after a chronic infection. However, one of the most common causes of gastritis is an infection by the organism Helicobacter pylori.

Helicobacter pylori infection

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium species found in the stomach. It is one of the most common infections in the world and it is estimated that over 50% of the world’s population harbour H pylori in their gut. This figure is thought to be much higher in countries with low socioeconomic levels. Scientists identified H pylori in 1982 and found that it was present in patients with gastritis and gastric ulcers, conditions that were never thought to have a bacterial connection and were thought to be caused by stress and poor dietary habits. H pylori has a helical shape that is thought to have evolved enabling it to penetrate the mucus producing glands of the body. Mucus is produced by the cells lining the whole of the digestive tract because specifically it enables food to glide down the intestines. With specific reference to the stomach, mucus is produced by the cells lining the stomach to actually protect it from the highly acidic environment within it.

Helicobacter pylori require acid to survive and proliferate, which is why they are primarily found in the human stomach. Once infected, the bacteria can cause chronic and persistent inflammation in the stomach which can lead to gastritis as well as stomach or duodenal ulcers. The infection spreads from human to human through saliva, food, water and dirty hands. Stomach ulcers affect millions of people worldwide and even greater numbers suffer from heartburn and other gastrointestinal concerns.

While infection with H pylori generally goes unnoticed, for some it can result in chronic inflammation of the lower stomach wall and gastritis leading to a whole array of stomach problems. Fortunately there are tests that can determine if you suffer from H pylori infection and these include blood tests, breath tests and biopsies. Conventional treatment for ulcers and H pylori infection is through the use of antibiotics and medications to help suppress acid production. H pylori infection is difficult to eradicate since it thrives in the acidic environment of the stomach and long term use of antibiotics can lead to resistance. Additionally, medications may not relieve all of the symptoms.

Oregano oil is a plant belonging to the mint family and contains a variety of compounds that display potent antioxidant properties. In addition to these compounds, Oregano oil also contains Carvacrol, Thymol and Rosmarinic acid. Carvacrol, the most abundant compound in Oregano oil, has been shown to help stop the growth of several species of bacteria. Thymol displays potent antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties making it useful for bacterial and fungal infections in the body. It is these compounds that are thought to be valuable in H. pylori treatment and improve gut health including those suffering from SIBO (1,2). 

Nature's Answer Oil of Oregano is an alcohol-free tincture containing Oregano leaf extract combined with Olive oil which many be useful for the treatment of a variety of stomach problems, general infections as well as supporting the immune system. 

Self diagnosis of H pylori infection is very difficult because the symptoms are similar to many other gastrointestinal concerns. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you may be infected with H pylori. H. pylori symptoms include: 

  • tightness and fullness in the abdomen
  • severe stabbing pain in the stomach or just below the stomach
  • belching and an acidic stomach
  • nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • fast weight loss

If any of the above symptoms apply to you then a visit to your GP is a must and perhaps the introduction of Oregano oil may be prudent whilst you await the results.

It might also be prudent to consider taking Life Extension Esophageal Guardian. These chewable tablets work in two ways: they form a raft to protect the delicate lining of the oesophagus from the stomach acid which can damage the lining causing pain, and they also work form a foam which temporarily provides protection to the lining whilst the carbonates neutralise excess stomach acid. This dual action might be of value for a variety of stomach problems. 

 

References:

  1. Veenstra JP, Johnson JJ. Oregano (Origanum vulgare) extract for food preservation and improvement in gastrointestinal health. Int J Nutr. 2019;3(4):43-52. doi: 10.14302/issn.2379-7835.ijn-19-2703. Epub 2019 Apr 9. PMID: 31080888; PMCID: PMC6508890.
  2. Chedid V, Dhalla S, Clarke JO, Roland BC, Dunbar KB, Koh J, Justino E, Tomakin E, Mullin GE. Herbal therapy is equivalent to rifaximin for the treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Glob Adv Health Med. 2014 May;3(3):16-24. doi: 10.7453/gahmj.2014.019. PMID: 24891990; PMCID: PMC4030608.

 

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