A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my bout with food poisoning. Little did I know when I was writing that post that it was much more serious than that. Unfortunately, even though I had the symptoms of food poisoning it became much worse and I became very sick, so much so that I had to go to the doctor.
Blood work was taken and much to my surprise it was found that I had a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes most ulcers and is the most common cause of acute gastritis. Well, at least my misery had a name to it! And it did not seem to be going away. I was immediately given a course of antibiotics along with ulcer medication to last for 7 days.
According to Gary Null, one of America’s leading health and fitness advocates, the irritation in my stomach was very much like an “internal sunburn”. This bacteria is unique in its ability to live in the acid environment of the stomach, where it is able to create a protective coating. Often people with gastritis have problems with absorption of vitamin B12 and may develop macrocytic anemia as a result. Also, up to 80% of those with gastric ulcers (of the stomach) have heliocobacter pylori in their systems. 80% of those with Duodenal ulcers, severe irritations of the small intestine, also have heliocobacter pylori present.
After 7 days of these medicines I am back to my old self. But not really. I no longer crave coffee (which is very good since coffee is something I should be avoiding). I have never been fond of spicy foods and since that too is a no-no, that is an easy one to avoid. Animal foods require more gastric involvement and should be avoided if possible. (Since I have chosen to eat only vegetables and occasional fish since March of this year, this was not a problem). I love broccoli but I should not have it in the raw state. Vegetables become less acidic when steamed. I have not tried this but apparently raw cabbage juice has been found to be quite beneficial. Even raw fruit (except bananas) can exacerbate the condition. Carbohydrate foods have their own protective buffer in the natural state (brown rice and whole grain and vegetables) but once they are refined (white flour and white rice, cakes and pastries) the buffer is stripped away, so they too should be avoided.
My real fear of taking antibiotics is because of the microflora imbalance it causes. Antibiotics kill both the beneficial and harmful bacteria in our bodies. Following a course of antibiotic therapy, women often experience yeast or urinary tract infections, children suffer from diarrhea and infants suffer from oral thrush and diarrhea. These health problems result from the destruction of the beneficial microflora and the accompanying overgrowth of yeast (Candida). Most of the people in the U.S. ingest far too many antibiotics because they are over-prescribed and are now present in our food. Farmers feed antibiotics to cattle and poultry on a daily basis; these antibiotics are then passed on to us in the food we eat and the milk we drink. The only way to restore the balance is to feed our bodies the beneficial microflora on a daily basis, especially, when on a course of antibiotic therapy.
Fortunately I do not drink milk (I only drink Almond Milk) and have not eaten meat in over 6 months. I was very diligent during the 7 days of taking this medicine to be sure and include daily a Probiotic that provided guaranteed delivery of live, beneficial microflora to the intestine. It includes Bifodobacterium longum (commonly known as bifidus) and Lactobacillus acidophilus (commonly known as acidophilus). It is the only acidophilus-bifidus supplement available that also includes the unique, compex carbohydrate Prebiotic, which helps the beneficial microflora to thrive, therefore, contributing to LONG-TERM colon health.
I definitely felt my health was compromised during this time; however, with the help of the antibiotics as well as my Probiotic, (which kept all of those scary microflora imbalance issues away), I was able to heal quickly. I feel also that stress can be involved in all of this and I am presently working on minimizing this as much as possible. I am very grateful that I was able to get this bacterium out of my system. It really has made me appreciate my prescription-free life and that my health is truly my most valuable asset.