I have been healed of a helicobacter pylori infection and have remained h. pylori free now for more than 2 years. I have had to overcome many dis-eases, mostly stemming from gut issues. I have been healed, by natural means and by the power of God, from at least 3 incurable diseases. If it can happen to me it can happen to you also.
Here I have collected together my advice to those who have been diagnosed with helicobacter pylori (h. pylori or hp) infection. It is for those who want to take the holistic approach and help your body to heal without the use of damaging pharmaceutical drugs.
First up please read the posts listed here under MY PERSONAL STORY which outlines what I have been through and the steps I took.
MY PERSONAL STORY
- Helicobacter pylori eradicated! My battle won in 2017!
- More on my battle to eradicate helicobacter pylori
- My health journey: part 3
You are certainly welcome to ask me questions and share your experiences. You can do that by emailing me at Gideon1952@protonmail.com. I can’t say I’ll always have a good suggestion. I am still learning myself. But I do know the One who knows it all and that is the Lord. I pray for healing daily and seek His face constantly.
We all need to de-stress our lives as stress is the single greatest cause of ill health. There is no doubt that mental, chemical and emotional stress got me into a very sick state where h. pylori could proliferate. It was not the cause but a symptom. Change the terrain and you will give your immune system a fighting chance to eliminate the disease.
I recommend that you read my sections listed below:
- NO MAGIC BULLET
- CRITICAL STEPS TO HEALING
- ALLEVIATING GUT PAIN
- RELIEVING REFLUX (GERD) PAIN
- GUT BACTERIA AND REFLUX
- FOOD CHOICES
- MATULA TEA
- PROBIOTICS AND DIGESTIVE ENZYMES
- GMOS AND GLYSOPHATE ON HISTAMINE INTOLERANCE
- DIGESTIVE ENZYME PROBLEM
1. No Magic Bullet
I remember that three years ago (early 2017), when I was first looking for the cause of my terrible symptoms (which had been experienced over many years prior) and an endoscopic examination of my stomach found h. pylori I thought that if I get rid of the bacteria all my symptoms would be resolved. But that was wrong thinking.
Thankfully getting rid of h. pylori did resolve some serious symptoms like gastritis and acid reflux. But not all symptoms. I had to learn that “There is no magic bullet“.
To get your health back fully it will be a long hard road. You need to know this. Once you do you will realise that it is not just popping a few pills (antibiotics) and all problems will be over.
Helicobacter pylori is an opportunistic bug and only proliferates in the environment a reduced immune system. My immune system was heavily reduced through taking pharmaceuticals for a long time, through being heavily under stress for years at my work place and for my poor diet for many years. So h. pylori took over under these conditions. Some even argue that h. pylori in small numbers has a benefit to the body. Only when its population grows out of hand does it do all the damage.
Twice I tried the antibiotic (Triple Treatment) approach to eliminate them and it didn’t work. But by changing my diet, by being very diligent with this, I have slowly healed. It has been a 3+ year journey so-far with many trials and many errors. But thankfully also a lot of success.
2. Critical Steps to Healing
I read of one large study that looked at people who healed of terminal and incurable diseases. These were people who used natural non-pharma methods to heal. They found there were 3 common factors that all who were healed had implemented. They were
- Radical change in diet, usually to clean wild caught, free range, grass fed and/or organic foods,
- Use of certain supplements, properly chosen, not all are recommended,
- Mind body connection. That means de-stressing your life through spiritual, or natural relaxation therapies, prayer, meditation etc.
Eat quality clean food. Eat no troublemakers. See FOOD CHOICES for these.
Quality vitamin and mineral supplements are recommended. Obtain as much from food sources as possible but sometimes you have to resort to non-food sources. This is the case for Magnesium (if you can tolerate it, at least 400 mg per day).
De-stress but also remove stressors, whether they be chemical, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Vital to get exercise (30 minutes at least 4 times per week) and learn to slow down and connect with the Creator.
3. Alleviating Gut Pain
One of the major symptoms of hp infection is gastritis. I experienced it not only in and around my stomach and navel but also in my upper back. But the burning sensation was mostly in my stomach area and lower in intestines. This is the hardest to live with while you are trying to heal.
Here is a list of items I used while I had reflux/gastritis/gut pain. These ideas may help you also relieve that pain.
- Fresh Aloe Vera leaf. About 50 gms at a time. I’d fillet the leaf and just eat the gel, especially before eating.
- Slippery Elm bark powder, especially before eating
- Cabbage juice, raw, from high speed juicer. Sip it throughout the day.
- Rice water: Boil half a cup of white rice in a lot of water. Let it stand and then pour off the water. Sip that over the day when you experience a lot of gut pain. Discard the rice.
- Low acidic diet: The idea is that your body will rebuild the mucosal lining and heal inflammation but it takes time. So I ate low acidic foods or supplements for more than 6 months. Only after h. pylori was eradicated did I gradually introduce some acidic foods but 2 -3 months after confirmation by stood test that it was gone. Acidic foods include citrus, tomatoes, chillies, apple cider vinegar, any sour fruit, and acidic supplements like Ascorbic acid (vit C), Nicotinic acid (Vit B3). For Vit C I used a buffered one like Sodium Ascorbate and Camu Camu powder. I avoided curry spices.
It is now over 2 years since I eradicated of h. pylori. For the past year and a bit I have been able to eat these foods again. But I never ate chillies again, nor any spicy foods until just very recently and only very mild preparations.
I tried Mastic Gum for about 2 or more months but I did not find much benefit. However others have found success with Mastic Gum after taking it for a few months.
There are some products like Intestamine (Bioceuticals) which contains Mastic Gum and other ingredients to heal inflammation of the intestinal lining. I have used this and did have some positive results.
4. Relieving Reflux (GERD) Pain
One supplement I recommend for those suffering from gastric reflux (GERD) is “Heartburn Tx” by Vital Nutrients. It worked for me but took about a month to start working. It must be ordered online from the US.
Another product that has the same ingredients is Fusion Health “Gut Healing Powder”. Available in Australia.
Other products that work on rebuilding the mucosal lining of stomach and intestines are DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice) root extract, L-Glutamine powder, and Aloe Vera gel (fresh is best but I even used capsules for a few months). If you take licorice tea you need to spell the use every two weeks as it can raise blood pressure. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice does not do that.
5. Gut Bacteria and Acid Reflux
Firstly let’s talk about stomach acid–hydrochloric acid (HCl). It is naturally produced in the stomach by parietal cells in the stomach lining. The acid ideally should have a pH of about 2, which is extremely acidic, but as we age it slowly increases and the acidity decreases.
The acid in your stomach is a very important design feature that among other functions has two very important functions. 1. To sterilise all the food you put in your stomach. The acid kills most pathogens on contact. 2. To extract minerals from the foods we eat. Low acidity means our ability to absorb vital minerals is compromised.
HCl is produced when food enters the stomach and the increase in acidity signals the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) valve to close protecting the esophagus from damage by the acid. The esophagus is not lined with a mucosal layer, as is the stomach, and is thus is damaged by the acid, hence the feeling of pain when you get acid reflux.
Thus indigestion or reflux is not caused by too much stomach acid but by too little. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) results from unfriendly bacteria in the gut, which cause the food to ferment producing hydrogen gas, which causes you to burp or release this gas through the LES valve pushing some HCL along with it.
Then why do people take antacids to counteract it? That is just trying to relieve the pain symptoms, and not attempting to heal the underlying disease that causes it.
One of those unfriendly bacteria is helicobacter pylori (h. pylori), which not only can survive in the stomach, it also buries into the stomach lining and causes the parietal cells to secrete less HCl. Some other bacteria can survive the stomach acid but if your acid pH is increased by these bugs or age or medications then other types of bacteria can also flourish which otherwise would have been killed off by the high acidity of the HCl. Thus you can see why h. pylori overgrowth can lead to GERD.
A very high percentage of the population have some level of h. pylori but have no symptoms. This is possibly because it is kept in check by the immune system and thus has little effect. But when your immune system is depressed through the use of drugs, medicines, stress of all types, h. pylori takes the opportunity and proliferates.
Generally when you experience GERD doctors will offer what is called a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor), which is a class of drugs that interfer with the secretion of HCl from those parietal cells in the stomach lining. Very often people will buy over the counter antacids of various other types. But none help the disease, but rather prolong the underlying cause. I know it is extremely painful to suffer, as I suffered such pains for at least 12 months, but, with the exception of occasional use bicarb soda, away from food, I would never take any antacid of any type.
In fact, the antacids/PPIs are producing generations of very sick people, since they have a reduced ability to absorb minerals and the food is not properly digested. The sale of PPIs is a global scandal, where only the drug companies benefit in the long run. I have read those drugs were initially marketed as only to be used for 14 days max. But I know people who’ve been taking them for 10 years or more.
The solution to heal the reflux is to heal what is happening in the stomach, duodenum and intestines. Fix the gastritis and you’ll fix the reflux. This is what I did. It works and no antacids are needed. It is a slow process and requires much patience, prayer and strength. It can be done and your health will improve. But if you use PPIs your health will eventually be compromised.
Stomach acid is essential. God designed the human body to survive in an environment full of bad bugs. And killing off a vital defence mechanism makes no sense.
6. Food Choices
After I eliminated the h. pylori I still had a long journey to heal my gut. I tried different diets and as part of that I found two approaches that were disruptive changes, which helped my digestion enormously.
The first was the complete elimination of all possible troublemakers. The list is gluten (including hidden in sauces etc), dairy (except for butter (preferably organic) as it is pure fat), eggs (you can reintroduce them later as you heal), corn, soy, any and all GMOs, canola, pork, msg, processed foods of all types, “natural flavours” , preservatives and colours. I eliminated all oils except organic lard (beef, lamb), virgin coconut oil, and extra-virgin olive oil. I choose organic where possible. I eliminated all caffeine and alcohol and any processed foods. I ate/eat no sugars except a little maple syrup and raw honey.
Note: “Natural flavours” may be made from a natural source, like the sweat gland of a beaver, but the resulting chemicals (commonly in the …. aldehyde family −CHO) are still toxic chemicals and should not be consumed by anyone. I have had some bad experiences with “natural cherry flavour” etc.
Being coeliac I had not quit eating corn but it also contains a form of gluten (though different to wheat). I nearly eliminated my consumption of grains entirely except for a little brown rice and quinoa occasionally. Note: In Australia oats is not guaranteed free of wheat gluten contamination so I don’t eat oats. Later I stopped quinoa because it is high in oxalates and found that organic millet was much better. It is very low oxalate and very tasty also. Have some organic cinnamon powder with it.
The second was eating as much organic or spray free as possible. Avoid anything GMO, which means most corn, and soy products. Most canola is GMO as is cottonseed oil. With fish I only eat wild caught small fish, essentially only salmon (canned with bones for calcium). If you can eat eggs they should be free range or organic. Now, nearly all my meat is organic or free range (beef, lamb, chicken, turkey).
With fruit and vegetables I did feel that moving to organic and spray free made a big difference. But I know it is not always possible to get so choose wisely: eat only those with minimal pesticide and fungicide residuals.
Here is a table (taken from a book) to choose from.
- Column 1: Avoid all unless organic.
- Column 2: Eat in small quantities, soak first, peel, but also avoid unless organic or spray free.
- Column 3: Better choice than column 2, but wash, peel etc.
- Column 4: The best choice if not organic or spray free.
And in the following I list a few other vegetables that rarely get sprayed, but they are extremely high is the organic acid — oxalic acid (See section on Oxalates). The bugs don’t eat the plants because of this naturally occurring poison. So I recommend you don’t eat these: spinach, rhubarb, silver beet, chard, beetroot, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts and parsley. Parsley could be eaten in small amounts as a garnish. Potatoes are also quite high in oxalates, so it is wise to watch that. I rarely eat any potatoes and when I do I keep it to a small amount.
7. Matula Tea
The most important product that you can order to cure h. pylori with a money back guarantee is Matula Tea. The South African company offers the guarantee provided you get tested via a h. pylori antigen stool test 30 days after the treatment. The tea is not cheap but it is effective and has no side effects. It tastes something like Chamomile tea.
After antibiotics (the so-called Triple Treatment) failed, because at least 20 strains of h. pylori are antibiotic resistant, I eradicated h. pylori using this tea.
The tea can be personally imported into Australia, the US and other countries. It is not stopped by customs as the company has solved these issues a long time ago. But you need to check if it is allowed to be imported into your country. Not all allow it.
Once you know you are infected do two things. Change your diet to h. pylori killing type foods and order Matula Tea.
Some people have reported that it did not work for them. It is not perfect. Remember there is NO MAGIC BULLET. But this is worth trying.
You can also try other natural methods along with it. These include Mastic Gum, broccoli sprouts, wild oil of oregano (if your stomach can handle it), fresh ginger, fresh garlic, L. acidophilus probiotic, Zinc Carnosine, coconut milk and oil, etc.
8. Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes
I sometimes get asked about probiotics and digestive enzymes. I can say that of all the different types I have tried I cannot say any one has been standout to me. But I do know that it can take about 3 to 4 years to re-establish your gut flora after taking antibiotics, provided you don’t take anymore
Unfortunately I did twice try the antibiotic Triple Treatment (which both times failed) and as such I still have almost 1.5 more years to go to get to the 4 year mark after I last took antibiotics. At this stage (Dec 2020) my gut has gotten to the point where I can say it is practically working well.
When I first had h. pylori I tried taking Mastic Gum to eliminate it. At the same time I was recommended to take the probiotic Lactobacillus acidophilus because it can survive in the stomach acid. There are some practitioners who say this can out compete h. pylori. I tried the combo for a few months and using breath testing found that the number of h. pylori did reduce on using these but it was not eliminated.
I did try other probiotics that included many strains of bacteria and some that included only a few. Initially I used only the powdered form so as to be able to control the amount — starting at very low dose — because I had diahorrea.
Later in capsule form I tried Lactobacillus reuteri which in humans is found in different sites in the body, including the gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract, skin, and breast milk. This seems to be a good choice and is relatively inexpensive, available from iHerb.com.
After using the Dave Hompes diet for some time I tried the probiotic that he recommended — Probiotic Synergy™ (manufactured by Designs for Health). This I found in one of those fitness centres where people build muscles and take supplements to help.
That probiotic comes in the form of small spheres (called Probiospheres) which are meant to get through the stomach acid and thus allow the bacteria to survive to get to the intestines where they hopefully colonise the gut. That was the most expensive probiotic I bought and I personally cannot say I felt any change after using them for 2 months. But it might be good for you.
There is also the issue of histamine promoting probiotics which Lactobacillus reuteri is. See section on Histamines. But a better coice might be a histamine lowering probiotic as listed below.
Many times I have taken digestive enzymes which sometime include a probiotic. I tried Thorne Research brand digestive enzymes but one option included Betaine, which converts to hydrochloric acid in your stomach.
Some recommend Betaine as a method of fighting h. pylori. But for me it was a bad choice as my stomach lining was still healing so the extra HCl acid gave me much pain. Watch out for that! But I believe Thorne Research has an option which does not include the Betaine.
One function of the HCl in your stomach is to help breakdown meat and improve mineral absorption. The latter is a very real problem for those that take any antacids (PPIs etc). The highest incidents of those who are sick due to too low serum sodium (Hyponatremia) is amongst long term users of PPIs.
I have taken Doctor’s Best, Digestive Enzymes, available from iHerb.com. It also contains probiotic Bacillus Subtilis and has about every enzyme you can imagine, but that is histamine promoting I believe.
I have found the following digestive enzyme to be excellent: Lifestream Advanced Digestive Enzyme. That product contains no black pepper which others add to help uptake but for those with gut issues it can be an irritant.
However some recommend that the best option in all of this may be to take Inulin. It is made from Jerusalem Artichoke or Blue Agave. It is in powdered form. I started very low – 1/8 tsp and worked up slowly over time.
It could give you diahorrea if you are not careful. It is a resistant starch that survives the stomach acid and reaches the intestines where it is food for the gut bacteria to aid in their colonisation. Along with that it is recommended to take Cod Liver Oil (900mcg of retinol palmitate daily) and also extra-virgin Olive Oil.
See related post on HISTAMINES. They may also be a problem for you.
9. GMOs and Glyphosate on Histamine Intolerance
Are you still eating GMOs and non-organic foods? They could be a contributor to what is making you sick.
Glyphosate is a compound (poison) contained in particular herbicides which are readily sprayed on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) – in other words, crops which have been genetically altered.
There has been an ongoing debate about the use of GMO foods and the safety of glyphosate in agricultural practices – and, it’s almost impossible to avoid these in our daily diet!
What has continued to be under-recognized is the link between glyphosate and histamine symptoms – meaning, if you are eating low histamine foods and still experiencing reactions, glyphosate may be playing a role in those who are sensitive to the compound.
So minimise your exposure to glyphosate and GMOs. I personally felt a great improvement when I enormously increased my organic food intake, i.e. stopped all the conventional grown foods.
10. Histamine Intolerance
I have recently overcome a lingering gut problem, which now I believe was due to a histamine intolerance. It can result in general digestive symptoms, anxiety, fatigue, acid reflux, headaches, fibromyalgia, skin problems, respiratory issues and inflammation. Also I have just learned that h pylori can leave your gut in this condition.
Over about 6 months I took Vitamin C, Bromelain, Nettle/Quercetin, NAC supplements with a good histamine lowering probiotic and digestive enzymes (without black pepper). This has helped me to essentially overcome that histamine problem though I am still careful not to eat many/much histamine promoting foods like tomatoes, eggplant, .. nightshades.
Read the following on getting control of this problem: I Solved My Histamine Intolerance.
There is so much out there already on oxalates so to start with I recommend the Facebook group “Trying Low Oxalate Diet” for a wealth of information. I have learnt a lot from them.
Oxalates have personally impacted me because after I was first diagnosed with h. pylori some 3 years ago, among many symptoms, I suffered a lot, I mean a lot, of anxiety. I hoped it would go as I eliminated the dreaded bugs. But alas that was not the case.
I overcame many symptoms like gastritis, reflux, and pains in my back and abdomen. But the anxiety remained. Also I still had IBS and frequent urination issues. So I tried a near vegan diet for 9 months hoping to overcome the IBS and diahorrea. But I found that though the gut issues improved on the near vegan diet at about the 6 month mark I started to notice a progressive increase in pain in my back (upper and lower), in my legs and ankles, in my teeth and jaw, in my arms and even across my chest.
By the 9 month mark the back pains were unbearable and it was around this time my wife was reading up on oxalates in foods because she had some severe reactions to eating spinach and drinking celery juice.
Oxalates are the salts of the organic acid, oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is found in most plant food but not much in meat. In the body it forms salts such as calcium oxalate and magnesium oxalate. Calcium oxalate is what forms kidney stones in 70% of cases.
Oxalic acid is a poison, an anti-nutrient. Plants with high oxalic acid content (like spinach, almonds, cashews, beets, chards etc) though nutritious are essentially poisonous due to this anti-nutrient. Many people do not have the needed gut bacteria to break it down and rid themselves of it so it accumulates. I now believe that this is what causes most pain in people as they age.
Anyway it made a lot of sense that due to a compromised gut I was not able to handle the toxic load I was ingesting and my body was storing the oxalates in my body tissues. These are stored as tiny crystals and those crystal cause a lot of pain.
In Sept 2019 I started to reduce the oxalates I was eating and I can now report that though I still suffer from various pains I am sure that it was the cause. This I know because the level of pain in various places has been greatly reduced.
Decreasing the oxalates one eats can cause what they call ‘dumping’. That is, as the oxalates move out of the tissues they also cause a lot of pain and many other symptoms. This also I have experienced. But knowing that the future will bring much lower level of pain if I stick to the path, I continue to eat a low oxalate diet.
One symptom oxalates can cause is gastrointestinal upset, nausea and other symptoms that are some of those people report from h. pylori. So it is in our interest to lower these sort of symptoms by lowering the oxalates we eat.
Now that I have been following this new diet — I reintroduced meat, and eliminated all the potatoes I was eating — I have also found a great lowering of the anxiety I was suffering. However, at the same time I have been lowering oxalates, I have been working of getting my minerals into balance using the Root Cause Protocol (in which magnesium is very important). See Magnesium Advocacy Group on FB, and rootcauseprotocol.com. This I also recommend.
Getting minerals back into balance also has an effect on the whole body system. I have gain some weight to a healthy weight, and have a lot more strength than before. The IBS is still gone, though at times I would get some gas and bloating. But slowly, with episodes of dumping where I feel more pain than usual, I am improving. It is encouraging to experience and that is important in the healing process.
12. Chemical Sensitivities
Ever since my first diagnosis with h. pylori infection I have been very sensitive to any type of chemical exposure. For example one time I tried one of those steroid nasal sprays to reduce nasal polyps but within a few days it gave me gastritis (which I also experience in my back). That lasted a week after I stopped the spray. I also once tried Hemorrhoid cream, which is also a steroid cream. But within 2 days it gave me gastritis. And that took a week to recover from after I stopped the treatment.
As a result I have learned to avoid all pharmaceutical products. Pharma drugs are chemicals that are foreign to your body and just should not be in there to treat any chronic conditions. No matter what they tell you, those drugs have all sorts of nasty side effects and your body (gut, skin, liver and kidneys) have to detox them — get rid of them from your body.
Your skin is involved in that process and as a result of chemical exposure you may break out in skin rashes as your body works to eliminate the toxins. This is true for oxalates also which are toxins.
For this reason saunas and steam baths are very beneficial as is a hot bath. I have even found hot packs applied to the skin help the detox to the point of relieving inflammation and pain.
You need to be aware though that too long a hot magnesium sulfate bath (longer than 15 mins) can trigger oxalate dumping and cause you a lot of pain. Also other vitamins and minerals which have a detoxing effect can trigger oxalate dumping. Test yourself and listen to your own body.
I believe that as you heal your gut, which includes eliminating the deleterious effects of the helicobacter, that you will become less sensitive to these type of exposures.
The same is true for food sensitivities. But this is a very long road and can be challenging to endure. There is no going back to the old way of eating and living. No one told me it would be quick but I have come to realize that this is for the rest of your life. Are you prepared for that?
Boron is an essential mineral and when taken with Magnesium may assist in moving Calcium from your tissue into your bones. Boron can be obtained from nuts but generally we are deficient. A lack of it can be linked to arthritic pain. Boron can easily be obtained from homemade borax and water. Borax diluted correctly in water is antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial. It may aid in eliminating many pathogens from your body including h pylori.
How to make up Borax in water
The formula to make it using pure Borax powder is 1 teaspoon (5 g) of Borax powder dissolved in 1 litre (1/4 gallon) filtered clean water (no chlorine or fluoride). From that liquid 1 tsp will give you 3 mg of Boron.
For maintenance the dosing of Boron is 3 mg/day. For other purposes you can take 1 tsp of the liquid 3 or 4 times per day. Build up to that level over a week or more. For more information http://fluoridationaustralia.com/the-borax-conspiracy-by-walter-last/
In conclusion let me say that you need to look to the Lord Jesus Christ. He designed your body and its immune system. He is the Great Physician who heals mind, body and soul.
4 Surely He has borne our sicknesses, and pains, He bore them; yet we esteem Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His wounds we ourselves are healed.Isaiah 53:4,5 (KJ3)