C. Desatoff is a cartoonist and writer who loves saving money any way he can because, well, mostly because he's a cartoonist and writer.
A few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night with the most intense hunger pangs I've ever experienced. I went to the kitchen and had some food and something to drink, and went back to bed. Unfortunately, the hunger just kept getting worse and worse. Eventually, it literally became painful, so much so that I could not sleep, and I started to feel a bit of a panic sweep over me. Something was definitely wrong.
So I did what any sensible person with a car and a state-of-the-art hospital down the road would do: I jumped on the internet to self-diagnose my illness. Turns out I had an ulcer.
We went to the store across the street to buy some Tums, and then we went back home. Yeah, I would've gone to the ER, but I don't have health insurance anymore, and I don't have extra money laying around, so I decided that I would try some kind of home remedies and over-the-counter treatments first.
The Healing Power of Water
The antacids helped me a little, but not enough, so we also tried Pepto Bismol. The pain persisted and then started to get worse again, so all I could think of was to take a shower and let the water wash over me.
Longest. Shower. Ever.
I must have been in there for half an hour, alternating between hot and cold. It helped a lot . . . more than the Tums, even. It wasn't long after I got out that the pain started to return. So I took another shower.
Second. Longest. Shower. Ever.
Again, it helped for awhile. The pain did return shortly after, but it wasn't as intense. Maybe I wasn't feeling so panicked, and it was just a mind over matter thing? Not sure. But, I am so glad I decided to take those showers. What can I say? They did the job. Anyway, to make a long story short . . . I didn't die. It went away in a couple days, and it hasn't returned since.
Over-the-Counter Stomach Ulcer Medications
Tums is a must.
I had limited results with Pepto Bismol, but lots of other ulcer sufferers found that pink stuff to be very helpful. Milk of Magnesia was a home remedy favorite when I was a kid, but it seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years.
Try out all of them and see which of these your body responds to best. Don't expect a miracle although. When you have a stomach ulcer, you're going to feel it for awhile.
Homemade Ginger-Cinnamon-Honey Tea
An excellent home remedy for ulcers is hot "tea" made from water, fresh ginger root, cinnamon sticks, and honey.
Fill a teapot or small saucepan with water. Add a piece of ginger (cut into 1/4 inch slices) about the size of your thumb. Add two cinnamon sticks. Then finish it off with a big squirt of honey and boil it.
How easy is that?
It's delicious and it's good for your throat and digestive tract.
What to Eat for Ulcers
My ulcer went away just by cutting out all acidic foods and eating plenty of plain oatmeal, bananas, and other bland foods like plain rice and bread, and lots of water, too.
The herbal remedy "slippery elm" has also had positive effects on ulcer sufferers.
Other recommended foods include the following:
- bell peppers
- miso soup
- chamomile tea
- aloe vera juice
- cabbage juice
What Causes Stomach Ulcers—Diet or Virus?
Traditionally, stomach ulcer pain has been blamed on diet, particularly foods with high levels of acid in them.
More recently, it has been suggested that stomach ulcers are not actually caused by acidic foods, but that viruses (Helicobacter pylori) in the stomach are actually the culprit. I was initially skeptical about these claims, especially when my ulcer pain vanished soon after I replaced the acidic foods with bland ones.
Plus, my own experience prior to this was that acidic foods tend to give me heartburn anyway. So, I still believe there is a connection between acidity in foods and ulcers, heartburn, and stomach pain.
But if acidic foods are what caused my ulcer pain, then why didn't the ulcer return when I started to consume those same types of foods again shortly after my ulcer went away? (I know, I was dumb to go right back to my junk foods and sodas.)
Still, I've been drinking sodas and coffee and eating spicy, salty, tomatoey, tangy, greasy foods, etc., yet, the pain has not returned and it's been two or three months. Maybe it was caused by a virus after all and not just by the foods I was eating?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
C D (author) from USA on July 27, 2013:
Thanks for the info and cabbage juice tip! I will definitely add those into the hub.
Sharon Vile from Odessa, MO on July 27, 2013:
My daughter has stomach ulcers--or maybe just general gastrointestinal problems, since we've never sought a positive diagnosis. Most stomach and duodenal ulcers are caused by Helicobacter pylori. (One of my other daughters is a microbiologist, and she was quite miffed when her sister's doctor prescribed an antacid.)
This is an interesting subject. I gave my daughter slippery elm for her "ulcer," and it seemed to be helpful. I've seen claims that this and other herbs kills Helicobacter pylori, but I have little or no experience with this, so I can't say for sure.
Cabbage juice seems to be the tried and true cure for ulcers, according to my research.