It is only relatively recently (1983) that we became aware of the existence of H pylori because although some scientists had claimed for decades that a bug lived in the stomach most decried it due to the hostile acidic environment. It is even more recently that H pylori surprisingly usurped bad diet and stress as being the primary cause of stomach or duodenal ulcers. Yet there is a suggestion that even though bad diets and stress have been consigned to the level of myth when it comes to peptic ulcers, recent scientific discoveries relating to the enteric nervous system may indicate that there is still a link.
This is why I am starting off this section about treating H pylori by stressing that rest and digest are extremely important not only when it comes to resolving yeast infections, but also H pylori and the digestive problems which it causes. Clearly there remains many unanswered questions relating to H pylori and its effects, however what has become recognized since its discovery is the influence of the enteric nervous system and how it controls and affects our digestive processes.
The enteric nervous system communicates with the central nervous system but it is, ultimately, autonomic. The way food is moved through your digestive tract is controlled by this system. The way your stomach churns and how acids are released together with a multitude of functions are also the responsibility of the enteric nervous system. We have also come to understand that our mood can influence not only the amount of compounds this system releases but also how these ultimately affect our mood and behavior. We also realize that things like stress affect this nervous system negatively, as does alcohol and stimulants such as those which are found in coffee. And, once the enteric nervous system is sent out of normal balance then this can affect our digestive microflora and many other functions. This means that there is always the possibility that if we live a poor lifestyle we directly change the environment of the digestive system and make it more conducive to H pylori setting up home. It is with this in mind – the happiness of the enteric nervous system – that I would encourage patients to not only follow the dietary guidelines below but to also remember to eat slowly and in a relaxed atmosphere. Turn off the TV, don’t eat at your desk, remember to sit back between courses, don’t rush your food. And, just as importantly, don’t dash off to do something straight after a meal. Rest and digest are paramount in keeping your enteric nervous system happy and ultimately your body functioning at optimal levels.
Once we have understood the importance of the enteric nervous system then the following dietary guidelines start to make more sense. Some are specific to ridding yourself of H pylori, however since emerging research suggests that Candida often coexists with H pylori, then the remainder of the suggestions are recommended for treating both conditions. Because of the links between poor diet, stress, gut dysbiosis (altered microflora) and the enteric nervous system, it should really come as no surprise to find the two conditions are often found to be concomitant. So then it should come as no surprise that at least part of the dietary recommendations be sufficient in resolving both conditions.
Firstly we have to look rather more closely at including a good quality probiotic in our diet for at least the first 2 weeks. Contemporary medicine is now incorporating this into treatment protocols for H pylori so even for the most ardent natural foods denier this should be strong enough evidence. A good quality yogurt may well suffice, however if you can access an organic dairy based kefir then the suggestion is that as a fermented product this may well be even better.
Include in your daily routine again at least for the first two weeks an organic mastic gum at a minimum dose of 1mg per day. Anecdotally this claimed to be one of the best natural treatments for H pylori with many people stating that their symptoms go into remission after only a few days taking it.
When it comes to the actual diet I will recommend the Canxida Remove supplement. This includes many natural antifungal treatments in addition to betaine hydrochloride which helps raise stomach acid levels and makes the environment for H pylori quite uncomfortable.
With regard to menus first you have to look at elimination factors. With the exception of probiotics exclude all dairy products for at least 2 weeks. This does not resolve the problem with dairy sugars, which are often why people have problems with dairy, because lactose is contained in other manufactured products, however it will go a long way to limiting your intake and allowing the lactase in your body to convert the reduced amount of lactose.
Then eliminate sugars of all kinds. I include fructose, honey and corn syrups in this group. If you think you don’t have a problem with these kinds of sugars then think again – a quick check of the ingredient list of most manufactured products will include some kind of sugar. This means that all such foods from tinned tomatoes through to your breakfast bowl of muesli are usually excluded.
Most manufactured cold drinks also contain a high quantity of sugar. These can range from sodas through to alcohol and, of course, fruit juices. If you do want to juice then most vegetables are okay provided you do not remove the fiber.
Breads and cakes too contain sugar as do most pastry products somewhere along the line. These too for at least the first 14 days should be excluded.
When it comes to what you can eat think of fresh foods including meat, vegetables and eggs. Also remember that wherever possible it is best to buy local, organic produce. This not only means that you are buying products which are very limited in additives but it also means that they are not bringing in contaminants through importation. These kind of products also tend to be high in enzymes which are necessary for good gut function and have not been chemically treated to reduce their effectiveness.
Try including half a clove of crushed, fresh garlic for 3 days per week for the first 2 weeks. Garlic has over 300 medicinal properties and the sulfur content and enzymes are renown for clearing bacterial infections. Garlic should however only be taken when a probiotic is included to keep replenishing the good gut bacteria.
After 14 you can start to slowly reintroduce foods back into your diet. If you start to feel unwell after any then simply excluded them again. As your health improves then you will also notice not only a reduction of unpleasant symptoms but a corresponding increase in vitality and outlook!