How Can I Repair My Stomach Lining?
As a part of digestion, the stomach secretes acids and enzymes that help break down food and promote absorption of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Although the acids are highly corrosive, your stomach’s walls are coated with a sticky mucus that neutralizes the acids to prevent them from causing damage.
Unfortunately, not everyone has a healthy stomach lining. Ulcers, leaky gut (intestinal hyperpermeability), general inflammation, and other common stomach issues can affect the lining. If left untreated, these conditions can over time contribute to digestive issues and hinder absorption of nutrients, leading to potential nutrition deficiencies. A damaged stomach lining also allows harmful microbes to attack your stomach and intestinal tissue, leading to illness. The good news is that you can repair your stomach lining and reinvigorate your digestive health. Read on to learn more.
Symptoms of a Damaged Stomach Lining
Most people referring to a damaged stomach lining talk about it in conjunction with gastritis, which is characterized by inflammation of the stomach lining. Gastritis appears in both acute and chronic forms, while the less common erosive gastritis can lead to ulcers and bleeding in the stomach lining.
Gastritis can be caused by bacteria and general weaknesses in your stomach lining. Symptoms for this condition (and most other related stomach lining conditions) include:
- Gas and bloating
More serious symptoms may include black, tarry stools and vomiting blood.
Leaky gut is a related condition that affects the lining of the intestine. Leaky gut is characterized by cracks or holes in the lining, which allow partially digested food, bacteria, and toxins to penetrate the tissues and enter your bloodstream. This can result in inflammation and changes to your natural gut bacteria, which can contribute to many of the same digestive problems above and may play a role in the development of certain chronic diseases.
Healing Your Stomach Lining
Research shows that many diseases have their roots in the malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal tract, and gut-irritating substances are a significant part of the problem. Prescription and over-the-counter medications that cause inflammation and damage the mucosal (endothelial) lining of the gastrointestinal tract allow pathogenic microbes, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, to enter the body and lay the foundation for disease. Many people mistakenly believe that their prescription and OTC medications don’t come with G.I. side effects, but instead, they often end up doing more harm than good.
Thankfully, you can heal your stomach lining with some natural supplements that are easy to digest and filled with nutrients.
Bovine colostrum is the milk-like fluid produced by cows in the few days immediately after giving birth, before the appearance of true milk. Colostrum is a rich source of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, along with vitamins, minerals, growth factors, and antibodies.
Bovine colostrum powder with liposomal delivery is an essential daily nutrient for maintaining the integrity of the tight junctions that comprise the gut lining and prevent harmful bacteria from entering your body via the bloodstream. It’s the only natural substance clinically proven to heal and prevent leaky gut caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Liposomal delivery (LD) is critical to protecting the bioactive components in colostrum for maximum effect in both the stomach and small intestine. The natural growth factors and hormones help to repair damaged cells and maintain tight junction integrity while feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Colostrum can be considered a prebiotic because of its ability to feed the good bacteria.
Colostrum also contains a wide range of immune factors which promote gut health and microbiome balance. These include colostrum polypeptides, sometimes called “proline-rich polypeptides” (PRPs), antibodies, immunoglobulins, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, and lysozyme.
Probiotics refer to the good bacteria that live within your gut. They help break down food, absorb nutrients, and balance out the harmful bacteria. Some studies suggest that probiotics may even contribute to immune functions. Imbalances in probiotics are often associated with damage to the gut and stomach lining and general digestive problems. Probiotic-rich foods and supplements can help to replenish the good gut bacteria and promote healing. Some probiotics you should incorporate into your diet include:
- Lactobacillus acidophilus: L. acidophilus is a beneficial bacterium that exists naturally in the intestines and vagina. It is typically used as a probiotic to treat gastrointestinal issues due to an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria as well as vaginal yeast problems. L. acidophilus supplementation can help prevent diarrhea caused by antibiotics, and restoration of L. acidophilus colonies following a course of antibiotics is helpful for encouraging robust gut health.
- Bifidobacterium lactis: B. lactis is a multi-purpose beneficial bacterium that inhabits the gut, and it assists with digestion and fights damage to the G.I. lining caused by pathogenic bacteria. Benefits include decreasing G.I. inflammation, preventing diarrhea, and relieving constipation when taken regularly; the anti-constipation benefit allows colostrum’s growth factors to reach the intestinal wall more easily. B. lactis belongs to the genus Bifidobacterium and is commonly added to yogurt and other commercial dairy products.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus: L. rhamnosus assists in the regulation of symptoms related to pathogen-induced diarrhea, antibiotic-associated diarrhea, and nosocomial diarrhea. L. rhamnosus may lessen anxiety and ease depression due to concurrent medications. Evidence suggests that L. rhamnosus’ existence in the microbiome is only transient and thus, exogenous supplementation is necessary.
- Bifidobacterium bifidum: As a member of genus Bifidobacterium, bifidum is one of the most common probiotic bacteria found in the human body. As an exogenous probiotic, supplementation may reduce the risk of acute diarrhea and problems caused by E. coli.
- Bifidobacterium longum: B. longum is one of the thirty-two species belonging to the genus Bifidobacterium. It is one of the initial colonizers of a newborn’s G.I. tract, and although not a significant bacterium in the adult G.I. tract, its ability to produce lactic acid helps prevent the growth of pathogenic gut microbes.
Along with these supplements, you can make some simple changes in your lifestyle to help heal your stomach lining. Diet tends to be the biggest contributor to gut damage. The standard American diet, which is high in sugar and saturated fats and low in dietary fiber, has been shown to drive inflammation. Try to avoid foods that are processed or contain added sugars.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opioids, corticosteroids, oral birth control pills, and certain antibiotics may also contribute to stomach and G.I. issues. Consult with your doctor and ask if you may be able to switch to an alternate medication while your stomach is healing.
With the right supplements and diet, you’ll be on the path to healing your stomach lining and supporting proper digestive health.This article was brought to you by Sovereign Laboratories, a world leader in the development of liposomal delivery to maximize the bioavailability of our dietary supplements.