Healing the stomach lining naturally
Gastritis is a very common condition where your stomach lining becomes inflamed. It can be an uncomfortable, often painful condition and can be difficult to heal without adjusting your diet or taking supplements or medication.
I have now healed my Gastritis but after many years of being on and off PPIs with no long-term success, plus reading about recent studies where there were concerns with the long term use of these drugs. I decided I didn’t want to just keep taking them every time I had a flare-up, so I looked at natural alternatives to use and decided to get serious about healing my stomach lining naturally.
There was lots of trial and error involved but I finally found what worked for me and my stomach felt so much better and I was once again able to eat and drink normally again.
Stomach lining repair supplements
There are literally thousands of supplements out there for helping repair the stomach lining and it can be really overwhelming knowing what to take. After doing lots of research over the years and talking to others in the same situation, I have found a few things that seem to actually work.
Some supplements work by creating a buffer from acid and other irritants, so the stomach lining can get busy repairing itself. Whereas some supplements help your digestive system work more efficiently, so food (and excess acid) isn’t staying in your stomach for too long.
The first supplement I found really helpful is:-
Zinc L carnosine
Zinc L Carnosine is a supplement I have had great success with. I was recommended this by quite a few people, and I now know why they raved about it.
It’s classed as a mucosal protective and is actually approved in Japan as a prescribed drug for treating patients with ulcers. With over 20 years of Studies, it has actually been shown to protect the mucous lining in the stomach against tissue damage and ulcers.
When I first started taking this I really felt like my stomach lining was getting stronger, and that it was starting to heal. I combined taking this with a very bland diet.
Many people see an improvement within 2 weeks when doses of between 75 mg and 150 mg are taken twice daily for 8 weeks. I took a 75mg dose twice daily for 8 weeks and noticed a difference quite quickly.
It is advised to take on an empty stomach, so I would take the first dose as soon as I woke, then wait about 30 minutes till I ate anything.
Then I took my 2nd dose at bedtime as my stomach would be empty then. But if you are a late eater you may need to take it at a different time of day.
Although I do know people who didn’t tolerate it as well as me and would need to take it with food which is fine. But it is advised to take on an empty stomach. I have had no side effects from using it.
It’s advised not to take for longer than 8 weeks at a time as it can cause a copper imbalance in your body.
I love these ones:- Doctor’s Best PepZin GI
Slippery elm powder
Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) has been used for centuries by Native Americans as a herbal remedy. They would use it for wounds, skin inflammation and take it orally for coughs and stomach issues.
This is an extremely popular supplement, it’s tolerated well by most people, having few side effects. It helps coat the stomach lining with its thick gloopy consistency.
I’m not going to lie it’s not the nicest thing to take. If you buy the powder form (which I would recommend) you mix a heaped teaspoon with a little water and then leave for a few minutes to thicken.
Once it’s thickened you drink it down and let it coat your stomach about 20 minutes before a meal. I take it 3 times a day before each meal. I have used a couple of different ones, these are my favourites:-
Or if you prefer to take supplements in a tablet form, these are also good and more convenient for taking out with you or on holidays, etc.
These are something that took me a while to start taking as when I first tried them I got really really bloated and didn’t like the feeling at all.
Perhaps I should have persevered but I just didn’t like the way I felt on them. It was a year or so later when I was recovering from another flare and had bad bloating when I decided to give them another go.
I got some better quality ones this time which you keep in the fridge. They were quite expensive but after I did some research it seems it’s pointless to take cheap ones.
This time no side effects at all, and it’s hard to know what helps sometimes as I was taking various supplements but any bloating I had, seemed to disappear.
I still take them now each morning and have not had any issues for a while, so I plan to keep taking them.
Bitters have been used for years. They work by stimulating the receptors in the mouth that are activated by bitter liquids and food. This then increases bile production and gastric juices, which contain digestive enzymes that we need to break food down.
These were suggested to me by a health shop and I wasn’t expecting to notice a difference, as you just add a few drops in water before you eat to help your digestion.
So it’s no wonder that when I was getting bloating and food just felt like it was just sitting in my stomach, these really did help. My appetite seemed to increase and food was definitely digesting faster.
There are various ones available but I have these ones, they last ages as you only need a small amount:- Maria Treben’s Authentic Swedish Bitters
Do you feel like food just sits in your stomach after eating? This was the issue I was having, my digestive system was feeling sluggish and was leading to me having wind, constipation and bloating. I was told that digestive enzymes might help.
The body produces various enzymes from different parts of the digestive system to help break down food. There are proteases (to break down proteins), amylases (starches and sugars) and lipases (for the fats).
Sometimes if the glands that produce these enzymes are damaged or not working as they should then taking a digestive enzyme may help.
I don’t take these on a regular basis but I will have them if I feel that my digestion is slowing up.
I use the papaya enzymes and they really do help, I take 3 with my evening meal and sometimes 2 with my lunch if it’s a heavier meal than normal.
I use these ones and they seem to get lots of great reviews. American health original Papaya enzyme chewable tablets
For advice on PPI use and how to wean off of them, please see this post – Should I be worried about taking PPIs for Gastritis
Foods to repair stomach lining
Diet is vital for restoring the stomach lining. Eating a good diet that doesn’t irritate the stomach will allow your stomach to repair.
- Eat a bland diet – Things like plain chicken, Salmon, rice, green beans – See this post for more diet plans and ideas Gastritis diet – Sample plan to help you heal
- Drink Camomile/Ginger tea – This is very soothing, and Ginger is a natural inflammatory. It also helps with any Nausea you may be having.
- Drink Bone broth – This is brilliant for soothing an inflamed stomach. You can buy it ready-made but to get the maximum benefits try and make your own. It’s easy to do and you will also know exactly what is in it. This is my method here – Heal and soothe Gastritis with this delicious Chicken Broth
- Liquid Vitamins – It’s important to get all the right nutrients into your body at this stage. Many people find liquid vitamins are gentler on the stomach.
If you decide to stop taking your medicines make sure you discuss this with your GP though, as for some conditions you may need to stay on them longer or some drugs need to be weaned off slowly