Anyone who is looking for a natural aid to alleviate constipation should consider yogurt. Yogurt became popular in the 1970s when many people joined the health food craze that swept through the United States. Today yogurt can be purchased in most any grocery or convenience store. However, not all yogurts will alleviate constipation. Many yogurts are tainted with additives. If you are looking for a yogurt to help you with your constipation you will have to purchase one that is natural and made by using the cultures of friendly bacteria â or probiotics. When you go to purchase yogurt, take a look at the label. Look for the live bacterial cultures Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillis. If these are on the yogurt label then you can feel confident that the yogurt can help you with your constipation.
Many people enjoy eating yogurt. The fact that studies are showing that it improves gastrointestinal conditions such as constipation, gas, bloating, diarrhea and the infection that causes gastric ulcers is an added bonus. The good news about yogurt is it can usually be enjoyed by people who are lactose intolerant. The probiotics that aid in constipation also help to digest the lactose that is present in the yogurt. Many people prefer to purchase plain yogurts. Most plain yogurts do not have the additives and extra sugar that health conscious people want to avoid. People can flavor their yogurts by adding preserves or fresh fruit to it. Yogurt is also a good replacement for mayonnaise and sour cream and it can be used in dressings, dips, smoothies and in desserts.
Individuals who are interested in self care understand that there is a link between their health and their diet. Microbial cultures have undergone intense scrutiny because of their ability to prevent and/or cure a host of diseases and ailments. The first clinical trials on probiotics took place in the 1930s. Researchers focused on probiotics and constipation. Probiotics were found to have significant impact on the intestinal tract and they helped to alleviate constipation. Probiotics are showing that they are a non-invasive and important means that can prevent and treat a host of diseases and ailments. In addition to alleviating constipation, probiotics have a host of other healthy benefits. It can help to relieve diarrhea, decrease diaper rash, enhance immunity, it promotes healthy bacteria in the colon, and it can reduce carcinogens in the body.
Many people question whether they should try to receive their probiotics through foods or through supplements. The choice is purely personal. Taking supplements is very convenient, especially for the individual who do not always have yogurt readily available to him or her. Another reason that people are opting for supplements is that most probiotics do not adhere permanently to the intestines. They work as they are metabolized and grow. It is important that these good bacteria are consumed daily to maintain their effectiveness. Supplements can ensure an individual that they are getting their daily dosage of probiotics into their system. Individuals who want to go the food route need to make sure the yogurt they consume has the probiotics bacteria in it. Eventually we will probably see more probiotics foods added to the marketplace such as juices, cereals, cheeses and even energy bars. Until then, always read the food labels on yogurt and purchase ones that have âlive active cultureâ on their labels.
It may surprise many people to learn that many mainstream medical professionals are embracing probiotics. Less than 10 years ago probiotics were considered an alternative medicine. However, the research that is being done on these good bacteria is prompting many physicians to tell their patients to supplement their diets with probiotics — especially if the patient has undergone a treatment of antibiotics. Antibiotics are necessary to kill the bad microbes that are making someone ill. However, antibiotics also kill off the good microbes. Supplementing the diet with probiotics after an antibiotic treatment can strengthen the immune system and get the good bacteria back into the gut.
If you are suffering from constipation or other gastrointestinal problems you should seriously consider the benefits of eating yogurt on a daily basis. If yogurt doesnât turn your taste buds on then consider purchasing probiotic supplements. Using something natural to alleviate constipation will certainly be easier on your system than using harsh laxatives, stool softeners or enemas. Your constipation will not only be alleviated by probiotics, but your entire digestive tract can benefit from them.
The Colon Cleansing & Constipation Resource Center
With peptic ulcers on the rise, conventional medical treatment has changed dramatically in recent years. Now available are a huge assortment of antacids, histamine blockers, and proton pump blockers that only cover up the symptoms but don’t address the real cause of a peptic ulcer. In this article we will discuss what a peptic ulcer is its symptoms and causes. We will also look at how ulcers are currently treated and compare the side effects of conventional medicine to DGL Licorice along with how to take DGL Licorice and where you can find this product to puchase.
Peptic ulcers are formed on the lining of the stomach, small intestines, and esophagus. These areas are eroded sores from stomach acid that if left un-checked can be life threatening. Ulcers in the stomach are called gastric ulcers and ulcers in the intestinal tract are called duodenal ulcers. Peptic ulcers pose a chronic health problem because they go into remission and then become active again as time goes on through out life.
Peptic ulcers are very common in America where one in ten people develop ulcers in there life time. Duodenal ulcers are the most common and easiest to heal. Stomach ulcers usually recur more often with more discomfort. Individuals with peptic ulcers can have very little pain to no pain at all. Others can experience pain associated to burning and cramping that comes and goes from several days to several weeks. Most individuals experience pain about two to three hours after eating or symptoms can flare up in the middle of the night. Most individuals can relieve this pain by eating food. Other symptoms may be weight loss, poor appetite, bloating, burping, nausea and vomiting. (1,2)
Over the past two decades there has been a radical shift in what doctors think cause peptic ulcers. In the past, ulcers have been blamed on stress, spicy foods, alcohol consumption, and gastric acid production, but now researchers discovered most ulcers are cause be a bacterial infection. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) accounts for the majority of ulcer cases in America.
Some over the counter and prescription pain killers can cause ulcers as well. Drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also cause peptic ulcers. Some common ones you maybe familiar is ibuprofen found in Motrin and Advil.
You might be wondering how you can tell if you have this H. pylori bacterium in your body. Current technology allows three ways of testing, blood test, a breath test, and tissue testing. Blood test is the most commonly used form of detection. A breath test is used after treatment to kill the bacteria to determine if the treatment worked.
As a rule of thumb 20% of Americans under 40 and 50% of Americans over 60 have the H. pylori bacteria. Even though some individuals have the bacteria they do not come down with ulcers so researchers are looking into why this happens in some individuals. Researchers have also discovered some individuals do not come down with ulcers while taking NSAIDs for long periods of time which leads researchers to believe other factors in the intestinal environment might be at hand with the development of ulcers. (3,4)
Today’s medical community treats H. pylori ulcer patients with the triple therapy theory. Patients are prescribed antibiotics, a strong anti-acid, and stomach protectors. The antibiotics usually kill off the bacteria if this is the root cause of the ulcer. Some of these acid suppressing medications are histamine-2-receptor antagonists Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, and proton pump inhibitors Prilosec and Prevacid.
It is important to seek a licensed health care practitioner if you suspect that you have ulcers. Ulcers can erode the stomach lining and cause life threatening bleeding and infections such as peritonitis. Despite the risk of adverse side effects from medication, it is important to consult a practitioner before taking matters into your own hands. There are natural supplements that work well with prescription medication which can enhance healing of the ulcer. In some cases, milder pre-ulcer conditions might be treated with more natural alternatives first if your licensed health care practitioner so chooses.
There are natural alternatives that work well to heal an ulcer and can be used in conjunction with antibiotics and other prescription drugs. Licorice root specifically Deglycrrhizinated licorice (DGL) can be a good natural complement to other therapeutic measures recommended by your health care processional. Researchers have studied DGL in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers. (5-12)
DGL actually addresses the underlying problem causing ulcers instead of hiding the symptoms by reducing stomach acid. DGL addressed the underlying factors by promoting our body’s natural defense mechanisms already in place to prevent ulcers. DGL stimulates the quantity and quality of the protective substance that lines the stomach and intestinal tract. (10,13)
DGL is a special extract of licorice with certain components removed. The glycyrrhizin molecules have been removed from licorice which is associated with high blood pressure and low potassium levels. Sodium has also been removed from the DGL licorice which will help prevent water retention. Long term use of licorice root can have adverse side effects such as water retention, high blood pressure and low potassium; DGL has all the components removed and what are left are very beneficial biologically active flavonoids.
In 1982, researchers reported DGL was as effective as Tagamet in curing gastric ulcers. (14) The same year DGL was also reported to be as good as Zantac. (6) Licorice root extract in the form of DGL stimulates the release of secretin. Secretin has a protective effect on gastric mucosa. By stimulating the body’s natural release of endogenous secretin, the body can rebuild the stomach or intestinal lining that has damage. (15)
In the past anti-acids were the number one prescribed drug for ulcers but have since been replaced with proton pump inhibitors. Anti-acids have nasty side effects on the bowels, for example: aluminum hydroxide promotes constipation and other anti-acids like magnesium hydroxide promote diarrhea. Anti-acids reduce stomach acid and can reduce the absorption of vitamins and medications.
In comparison to DGL other drugs such as antacids, Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec, and Prevacid all have side effects where DGL has none. Antacids such as magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide, calcium and aluminum carbonate (Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil, and Tums) can cause rebound hyperacidity, a condition in which the body creates even more acid in response to the artificial stomach acid neutralization. Antacids can also have bowel changes such as diarrhea or constipation and possible drug interactions. Due to the high sodium content of antacids, individuals with kidney impairment should consult a doctor before use. Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec and Prevacid have the following side effects respectively. Tagamet can cause dizziness, sleepiness, headaches, confusion, hallucinations, diarrhea, and impotence in men. (16) Zantac can cause headaches, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, and rashes. (17) Prilosec and Prevacid can cause headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and upper respiratory symptoms. (18,19)
DGL has none of the above listed side effects and is easy to use. DGL should be taken 20 minutes before each meal in 760 or 1520 mg doses. The best way to consume DGL is to chew and mix with the saliva in your mouth. Salivary compounds in the mouth help stimulate the growth and regeneration of stomach and intestinal cells. Use DGL from 8 to 16 weeks or for as long as your health care provider recommends. In conclusion, DGL can help improve the integrity of the stomach and intestinal lining and help one recover from those nasty ulcers. DGL and other stomach aids can be found at your local or internet health food store.
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14. Morgan AG, McAdam WAF, Pacsoo C, Darnborough A. Comparison between cimetidine and Caved-S in the treatment of gastric ulceration, and subsequent maintenance therapy. Gut. 1982;23:545-551.
15. Takeuchi T, Shiratori K, Watanabe S, Chang J-H, Moriyoshi Y, Shimizu K. Secretin as a potential mediator of antiulceractions of mucosal protective agents. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1991;13:83-87.
16. Cimetidine. In: Physicians’ Desk Reference. 54th ed. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc; 2000:3043-3046.
17. Ranitidine. Ibid. pp. 1310-1312.
18. Omeprazole. Ibid. pp. 617-621.
19. Lansoprazole. Ibid. pp. 3105-3110.