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 presents in both acute and chronic forms. Less common is erosive gastritis, but it can be quite serious as it can lead to ulcers and bleeding in the stomach lining.
Gastritis can be caused by bacteria and general weaknesses in your stomach lining. The condition’s symptoms (and most other related stomach lining conditions) include:
- Gas and bloating
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 proteins, bacteria, and environmental 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.
Rehealing the Stomach Lining: What Causes the GI Tract to Malfunction?
Research shows that many diseases have their roots in the malfunctioning of the gastrointestinal (GI) 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 GI 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 GI side effects, but instead, they often end up doing more harm than good.
How to Heal Your Stomach Lining with Natural Supplements
The good news is that you may be able to heal your stomach lining with natural supplements that are easy to digest and filled with beneficial 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, antibodies, and other immune-supporting bioactives.
Bovine colostrum powder with liposomal delivery (LD) may help the body maintain tight junctions that comprise the gut lining and prevent harmful substances from entering via the bloodstream. It is the only natural substance clinically proven to heal and prevent leaky gut caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
LD is vital to protect the bioactive components in colostrum for maximum effect in both the stomach and small intestine. The natural growth factors and hormones in colostrum may help to repair damaged cells and maintain tight junction integrity while feeding the good bacteria in your gut. Colostrum can also be considered a prebiotic because of its ability to feed the good bacteria.
Additionally, colostrum contains a wide range of immune bioactives that 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 GI 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 GI lining caused by pathogenic bacteria. Benefits include decreasing GI 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 GI tract, and although not a significant bacterium in the adult GI tract, its ability to produce lactic acid helps prevent the growth of pathogenic gut microbes.
Along with these supplements, you can make some simple lifestyle changes 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.
NSAIDs, opioids, corticosteroids, oral birth control pills, and certain antibiotics may also contribute to stomach and GI issues. Consult with your doctor and ask if you may be able to switch to an alternate medication while your stomach is healing.
Which Option Works Best to Heal the Stomach Lining?
One or more of the aforementioned options may be used to help correct digestive issues or stop them from happening. To determine which option may work best to heal the stomach lining, it is important to meet with your doctor. That way, you can receive a medical evaluation and understand your different options to safely address digestive issues and prevent them from recurring.
The Bottom Line on How to Repair Your Stomach Lining
- Leaky gut and other GI issues can cause nausea, heartburn, and other digestive problems, along with long-lasting damage to the gut lining.
- Although medications are often used to help manage GI issues, they may actually cause digestive problems to worsen over time.
- For those who are exploring nutrition-based ways to heal the stomach lining, many options are available, including natural supplements like bovine colostrum and probiotics.
- In addition to natural supplements, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle may lower the risk of digestive issues.
- To determine how to heal your stomach lining and combat long-term digestive issues, consult with a doctor.