How I Healed My Ulcer

In the Fall of 2018, I vowed that I was going to get my healthiest EVER. It might not seem like much of a commitment for someone who already loves health and wellness. For me, it meant a lot. I was ready to pour my energy into focusing on myself.

I was about to get a rude awakening. And instead of focusing on getting my healthiest ever, I was going to be focusing on healing a stomach ulcer. Twice (we’ll get into that later).

Before I got a stomach ulcer, I thought that they were pretty uncommon. In fact, my doctor said that it is unusual for a normally healthy 29 year old with a good diet and exercise regimen to get one.

I do wonder if that’s true. Through sharing my journey I’ve connected with so many people who have or think they have an ulcer.

If that’s you then you’ve come to the right place. I’ve done the research and I’ve put in the work. I’ve figured out what did work for me. I’m going to share it with you in the hopes that I will inspire you to take charge of your health and maybe give you some good ideas on how to tackle your ulcer.

Buckle in because today we’re going to get through what a stomach ulcer is, what the symptoms are, and how I got rid of mine for good.

Please remember that I am not a medical professional and that this should be considered opinion only. I cannot guarantee that what I did will work for you. However – everything that I share here really made a difference for me!


What is an Ulcer?

Ulcers are breaks in the lining of your stomach (gastric or stomach ulcer) or your intestinal lining (duodenal ulcer). Stomach ulcers are more common, and that is what I had.

It is a common belief that ulcers are caused by stress. This actually isn’t true. Stress may be a contributing factor. However more recently, scientists are studying the link between the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria and ulcers. This bacteria is present in a majority of people who have ulcers – especially chronic ones. You may want to ask your doctor to do a stool test for the H. pylori bacteria before you decide on your treatment plan.

Ulcers have also been linked to chronic use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Being aware of your usage of NSAIDs is also important in approaching treatment, especially since you will want to avoid them if you want to heal your ulcer.

Note: I tested negative for the H. Pylori bacteria. I also do not normally use NSAIDs. The cause of my ulcer has never been verified.


Symptoms of an Ulcer

There are quite a few symptoms you may experience when you have a stomach ulcer. In most cases, pain is felt in the stomach area. You may have that along with any of the other symptoms listed including…

  • Burning pain in the stomach
  • Bitter taste (of stomach acid) in your mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling like something is “stuck” in your throat or clearing your throat a lot
  • Bloating
  • Nausea/ vomiting
  • Backpain
  • Burping

There are some more severe symptoms including

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blood in stools
  • Feeling faint

If you don’t take action to treat your ulcer it could lead to internal bleeding, obstruction, and long-term can be a contributing factor to stomach cancer. An ulcer is a seriously issue and should be treated as such.


To Medicate or Not to Medicate?

It is your choice whether or not to take prescription medication to heal your ulcer. When I initially got my ulcer, I was determined to heal it naturally. It was a very difficult and uncomfortable process because I was in a lot of pain, especially between meals.

However a few weeks in, and just when things started looking up for me, I got the flu and my ulcer burst. It was a NIGHTMARE. I had to start the process all over again. I decided to take PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). This reduced the amount of stomach acid I produced and helped me feel more comfortable between meals.

What PPIs do is essentially inhibit the amount of stomach acid produced. This is helpful because stomach acid can irritate a gastric ulcer.

I don’t give credit to the PPIs for healing my stomach. It can reduce the symptoms, but only a diet and lifestyle change can really do the healing part.

If you get tested for the H.Pylori bacteria and you test positive, your doctor may want to prescribe you antibiotics. Again I believe this is a personal choice. Just as with the PPIs I think a diet and lifestyle change is paramount if you really want to see lasting results.


How I Healed My Ulcer

When I realized I had an ulcer, I jumped down the rabbit hole trying to figure out how to approach my treatment. I scoured every corner of the internet. I wanted to heal my ulcer naturally.

As we know, I did use some medication (PPIs) to help me along the way. That’s my journey. It didn’t even take all the pain I was in away, but it helped just enough to get me to keep going. It helped with the symptoms, but I still had to put in the WORK to heal my ulcer.

Whether your ulcer-healing journey looks a little different from mine or not, I hope these tips help you. In large part it is trial and error figuring out what works the best.

Don’t even get me started on willpower. Following all of these rules felt quite restrictive. It’s not fun – but it is worth it. Your health is always worth it!

Here’s what I did to heal my Ulcer:

Give up Refined Foods – Refined foods are harder for your stomach to break down, period. Eating when you have an ulcer can be difficult enough, but sticking to a whole foods focused diet really helps. Fresh fruit, steamed vegetables, baked and lightly seasoned fish and plain baked potatoes were all staples for me. A squeeze of lemon over my food helped to give it some flavour without relying on prepared sauces. When it comes to food, keep it simple.

Saying No to Red Meat – Red meat takes a lot of time and effort for your stomach to digest. If you’re looking for animal protein, stick to easier digesting proteins like fish or chicken. I didn’t find this change difficult as I rarely eat red meat as it is. Don’t be tempted by that steak – you will regret it when you’re stomach struggles to get it down.

Say “See Ya Later” to Coffee – This was by far the hardest change I made to heal my stomach ulcer. I love coffee. Unfortunately in the beginning stages of my ulcer, I would still drink it. I enjoyed it while I had it, but it would leave my stomach burning for the rest of the day. This is because coffee actually increases stomach acid production, which irritates the ulcer. I swapped out my coffee in the morning for decaf green tea and it really made a difference.

Eating Smaller Meals – The last thing you want to do when you have a stomach ulcer is overload your digestive system and make your stomach work harder. Eating smaller meals means you won’t be asking too much of your stomach while it works on healing. When you do eat, make sure to also chew your food thoroughly so that your stomach has to do less work in breaking it down.

Reducing Dietary Fats – Fats can be harder to digest when you have a stomach ulcer. Instead of baking your food in oil, try steaming it. Or you can just bake it without oil. Use fresh herbs like dill and basil for flavour. Squeeze a little bit of lemon or lime on your meals. And avoid avocado – just for now…

Adding Turmeric Ginger Tea – Having some turmeric ginger tea is comforting, but it’s use goes beyond that. Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which is helpful when healing an ulcer. The ginger is also soothing on the stomach and helps with nausea. This was an afternoon staple for me when healing my ulcer.

Reducing stress – Research has confirmed that stress cannot cause ulcers, but it can worsen them. For this reason managing stress while you heal your ulcer is an important part of the process. Lower your expectations for yourself and understand that you are going through a lot. Dig deep and ask yourself: has anything been bothering you? Getting to the bottom of those issues will reduce stress and help you get your digestion back on track.

Supplement with Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) – This was the most helpful strategy I used in healing my ulcer. Licorice has long been used in treating stomach issues. I read it could be used as a natural remedy, and honestly I had nothing to lose by trying it. Chewing a tab of DGL helped soothe my stomach almost immediately. I took them as directed on the bottle and it gave me so much relief, plus it is cost effective. It was worth buying and I highly recommend trying it if you have an ulcer.

I put all of these strategies into place for several weeks. It was difficult to keep all this up, but it was worth it. I have had no symptoms come back – not even an inkling. I’m healed up and I’m back to living my life regularly.

Before I tried healing my ulcer, I was worried I would have to give up coffee forever. That I wouldn’t be able to eat my favourite foods again. That I might never fully heal and always be in pain. But that’s not the case. If you are willing to put the work in, you can heal your ulcer for good too. It’s totally worth it.

I know how hopeless it can feel when your health goes sideways, so I hope you found these tips helpful. If you have any questions for me, feel free to leave them below.

Good luck on your ulcer healing journey. 

Update Feb 26, 2021: Thank you for all of your follow-up questions and interest in this topic. I couldn’t have anticipated the amount of people struggling with ulcers right along with me. Many of you asked how I’m doing now and I’m fully healed (and very grateful). I released the 5 Step Ulcer Healing Guide to help other people who want to know how to heal their ulcer naturally. 


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Welcome to Standing Strong Wellness, where we embrace how much a strong body supports a strong mind! I'm Jen Standing - Certified Nutrition Consultant, Blogger, Food Lover, and CEO behind SSW. I'm a wellness-nerd who loves sharing my knowledge with others on all things food, fitness, nutrition, and mental health - stick around for tips on all of those topics!

61 thoughts on “How I Healed My Ulcer

  1. Hello! Thanks you for your share am experiencing the same problem, it very helpful to know that it can cured. Thanks a lot

  2. That’s interesting to know Jen and thank you so much for the post. I am in pain and I tried to add a little bit of turmeric to my diet and it was like adding salt to the wound for me, very painful. I will try to buy the licorice. If I may to ask Jen, which licorice did you use. The one you chewed or pills. Please respond

    1. Hi Yvonne! I’m so sorry to hear you are in pain. I took deglycyrrhizinated licorice in the chewable tablets. Getting licorice with no glycyrrhizin helps remove some of the side effects associated with taking licorice – I highly recommend it!

  3. It was helpful to read about your ulcer symptoms. I had a known ulcer 3 years ago that resolved. One of the symptoms you listed–feeling like something is stuck in your throat–is what I’m experiencing recently. Gastroenterologist recommended taking Pepcid (famotidine) for a few weeks. Because I am borderline hypertensive, I do have concerns about taking DGL. I’m also negative for H pylori. Thanks for the post!

  4. Is that DGL safe to use. I have read that some licorice Is not safe, especially with high blood pressure. I really appreciate what you have shared about ulcers.

    1. Thank you for reading. Deglycerized licorice is much safer than regular licorice, as the glycyrrhizin is the compound responsible for impacting blood pressure.

  5. Thanks so much, I have all the symptoms of a stomach ulcer, and also tested positive for H pylori. Been taking Omeprazole in the morning which helps. But will definitely try the liquorice and overall clean eating. Its reassuring knowing this can be healed naturally 😉

    1. Thank you for reading Maz! So sorry to hear you have been struggling with this. I hope you are feeling better now – diet and supplementation can definitely go a long way!

  6. Hi Jen! Thank you for sharing. This really helped me calm down as I am going through a similar situation. Quick question, how did you know how long to follow this diet? How do we know that the ulcer is gone?

    1. Hi Zee, thanks for sharing. The answer is different for everyone, but you can usually resume eating normally a week or two after your symptoms subside. Generally this may mean no more heartburn or reflux, or needing to clear your throat – as well as reduced discomfort and bloating. Let me know if you have any other questions at all!

      1. Thank you so much for the hope. I think I’ve gone through every symptom. It’s been 7 days of hell. I keep crying and have panic attacks because I keep thinking of cancer. This article helped to realize what I’m feeling is totally normal. Did you lose weight because of the diet change?

      2. Hi Yesenia – the fear is real, isn’t it? I had that too. Once you start feeling better, the anxiety will pass. I didn’t lose weight from changing my diet, but I do look a LOT smaller since the inflammation and cortisol came down. Let me know if you have any other questions – I’m here for you!

  7. So we’re you able to eat the foods you love again and have coffee again. I think that’s my biggest stressor right now

    1. Hi Stephani, that was the scariest idea for me too – I love my coffee! Eventually I was able to return to drinking coffee – I only have 1 or 2 cups a day (as opposed to the 3 or 4 I enjoyed before!), but I can have it with no issue now. It’s good to take a break from it during a flare-up, but when you do start drinking it again, I recommend going with a dark roast, which tends to be less aggravating.

      1. Wow good to know! Ironically that’s what I have right now maybe that’s why it’s been going well. Lol someone bought it for me but I don’t typically drink dark 🤣 I’m getting ready to go on the triple antibiotic therapy and come off the carafate so here’s to healing!

    1. Hi Lynn, great question! No, these problems did not come up for me. Not to say it’s not possible, but I don’t think it’s common.

  8. Did you have a feeling of lump in your throat and bitter taste in throat due to stomach ulcers? Did you have any other problems like GERD?

    1. Hi Humera – actually yes – the lump in my throat is how it started, I always felt like I had a frog in my throat. A bitter taste in the mouth or issues with breath are also common with ulcers and GERD. For me, my focus was always on the underlying issue and the things I could change and control to improve my symptoms!

    2. Hi Humera I’m also experiencing lump in my throat and breathlessness and the constant annoying bitter taste in my mouth. I’ve been struggling for 4 months before I found out that its stomach ulcer that causing all this problems. I wanna hear from everyone how they are trying to recover and how long did it take them to completely heal

  9. What brand of licorice did u buy? Theres so many types o.o My ulcer is recurring now bc i got a little too confident after taking my ppi’s and splurged on pop and spicy foods as soon as my symptoms looked better now the pain is back between meals 🙁

    1. Hi, I’m so sorry to head about this! I’ve been there. Just when I thought I was better, the issue comes lurking back up again. While you’re on this journey, I recommend ruling out any food sensitivities that might also be contributing to this. These can play a hand in triggering GI inflammation too. Regarding the licorice, I always use Deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or “DGL”, which is safer for long-term use!

  10. Hi I change all my diet a year ago when I tested positive for h pylori and chronic gastritis, I also did the treatment for it for 2 weeks, gi said after that I’m negative. I still have lots of reflux, and the stabbing pain on my left side under my rib cage is horrible, GI said i have to keep taking antiacids. I’ve tried licorice root, probiotics, my diet is so soft I eat like baby food made it home. Still no luck. Now the pain is more severe I’m waiting for another endoscopy looking for another GI. I’m really worried that the ulcer has became larger even so he said I had no ulcer at the first endoscopy. I need help!!!

    1. Hi Rosario – I’m so sorry to hear all you’ve been through. Reoccurring ulcers are really rare, and I would say it’s unusual that you tested ositive for the h. pylori, did the treatment, tested negative, and are still dealing with this. You could test again for the bacteria, or you may also want to ask your doctor for a breath hydrogen test. A breath hydrogen test can help you rule out a possible fructose sensitivity (which can cause reflux and symptoms similar to an ulcer) as well as SIBO (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth). In the meantime, take a deep breath. You got this. I know how stressful it can be – but with all the work you’ve but in thus far, I’d bet you’re well on your way to figuring this out.

      1. Hi Lauren, excellent question. While the journey definitely took longer than anticipated, I am fully healed. I don’t have any reflux, pain, or discomfort and have not for some time. I am back to eating as I normally was beforehand. I’ve had a lot of interest in this topic – it seems many more people are suffering from ulcers than I realized. I’m going to be releasing an Ulcer Healing Guidebook so I can provide some more in-depth information (coming soon!). If you want to be notified upon the release date you can sign up here: . I may do a blog post or video update soon as well to dive a little deeper into my personal journey!

  11. Hello everybody. Your comments gave me hope. With my ulcer, I was vomiting blood. Sometimes from nowhere I will feel smell of blood in my mouth. Until the dr did some test and they realized its h. Pylori. I started clarithromycin, amoxicillin and omeprazole. Am on the 3rd day today. I will try to buy deglycyrrhinated licorice tablets.

  12. Hi. I suddenly got ill in early November (after weeks of upper back ache/burning, which I think may have been heartburn). Light headed, fatigued and short of breath. I developed extreme shortness of breath along with feeling very ill and weak for around a week. Then in the second week of this ill was, my symptoms changed to excruciating stomach pain. I was put onto Omeprazole, as the hospital doctor thought I may have gastritis.
    I paid to see a private gastroenterologist, who did an endoscopy and said I had gastritis and two stomach ulcers, which appeared to be healing, due to the Omeprazole I was taking. He said to take 20mg per day Omeprazole for 8 weeks to heal the ulcers and then to wean off the medication.
    Next week it will have been 8 weeks. My stomach feels so much better but I am still having heartburn. I am still also quite often short of breath. Doctor thinks some acid reflux is irritating my small airways and causing asthma symptoms.
    I want to come off the Omeprazole ASAP but I am worried about acid rebound. Do you have any advice about weaning off a PPI? Also, do you think my ulcers have healed if I am still having heartburn?
    Prior to this episode of ill health, I was always fit and healthy, non-smoker with a good diet. To my knowledge, I had never previously experienced heartburn, reflux or any stomach problems in my life! Very frustrating!!

    1. Hi Fiona, thank you for reaching out. I am so sorry to hear all that you are going through. I can tell you that healing ulcers can take a lot longer than is often reported, so do be patient with yourself. With regard to weaning off of the medication, I recommend reaching out to your doctor about this. I can tell you that I personally weaned off by only using PPIs when I had reflux, as opposed to integrating them fully into my routine. I completely hear where you are coming from: I too was totally fine and seemingly in good health before this happened to me too. I know it is frustrating and indeed impacts our lives more than you would think is possible. I highly recommend DGL (Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice) tabs which have shown to be just as helpful with ulcers as many OTC medications. Also, I’ve just added a note to this post sharing that as a result of the high interest in this topic I’m releasing a guidebook next month that can help with this issue more in depth. if you want to sign up to be notified when it’s released you can find that here:

  13. Hi Jen, I am so glad I found this article. I have been having the same issues. You mentioned you had a backache? Where exactly did yours hurt and did you get headaches and lightheaded? I appreciate your feedback

    1. Hi Margaret, thanks for your comment. I’m so glad you reached out. Backaches are common with ulcers, and most people feel them essentially opposite of their stomach on the backside. I myself didn’t struggle with headaches or lightheadedness, but definitely with fatigue. Dealing with an ulcer, especially long term, is exhausting. Feeling faint is one of the more severe symptoms. I hope you feel better soon.

  14. I am healing right now and still taking H2’s, and was wondering how long it took you to heal your ulcer? I am going on month three and feeling so much better. I could switch over to PPi’s but these seem to be working. I’m still drinking a little coffee but I think I need to quit. I will try decaf green tea! It’s such a crazy journey but I am feeling better and that makes me feel hopeful. When you did have some reflux issues, you would take your PPI and then did you just gradually have less and less and then completely quit? Did you also go back to eating your normal diet right away or did you stick to eating no processed foods, no coffee, that kind of thing. I will keep taking my medicine until my symptoms are completely gone and stick to eating good foods and hopefully this will heal for good! I am so glad I found your blog! -Callie

    1. Hi Callie, I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling better right now – I totally hear you when you say it’s been a crazy journey! It took me a lot longer than I thought it would for my ulcer to heal – about 6 months of consistent hard work. I think it’s important to keep in mind that the timing is different for everyone. I eased back into eating my regular diet over time. I have a “slow and steady wins the race” mentality when it comes to health. I’m so glad you found my blog too, and I hope you just keep getting better and better. Your comment really made my day!

    1. Hi Kelsey, I haven’t seen it in a powder, only tablets and liquid. I much prefer the tablets, I use Natural Factors brand.

  15. Hi do you know if you can take DGL as well as Gaviscon advance (UK). Im on lansoprazole taking gaviscon advance after each meal but have had a v bad week this week and feel like crying today. Wasnt careful with my eating (sauteed turkey mince and veggies in olive oil…i dont think its been sensible). Thanks

    1. Hi Karen, that’s an excellent question. To my knowledge, DGL is relatively safe to take alongside most supplements and medications. Of course always defer to your doctors recommendation if you aren’t certain. Most adults can take up to 4-6 DGL tabs per day. I’m so sorry to hear about your bad week – I have been there so many times and I know what a toll it can take. Hang in there and don’t give up! You will get through this.

      1. hi….I was go glad to find this information! I started having terrible abdominal pain in July of 2020. Dr. finally sent me in to get an CAT SCAN (which showed nothing). On 12/7, I ended up in the ER with black stool (I knew THAT was a bad sign & that I was bleeding internally). After 3 days in the hospital and an Endoscopy & Colonoscopy, I found out that I had two “healed” ulcers and that my stomach lining was bleeding like crazy. I had lost so much blood that my Dr. ordered blood transfusions. (By that time, I was “severely anemic”.) Drs. told me about my food/drink restrictions, etc. No coffee, tea, spicy foods, carbonated drinks, etc. I was tested for h-pylori & Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). Both came back negative. Come to find out the cause of my ulcers and stomach bleeding was from many years of taking an anti-inflammatory med called DICLOFENAC. I can’t figure out why no Drs. ever told me to STOP taking them. This is a cautionary tale for others to watch those anti-inflammatories! Thanks again for your great article! It is much appreciated and very helpful to those of us going thru this life-changing (for me) experience! Stay Well!

  16. Hi Jen, I’m so glad to see your article. I just finished my antibiotics to eradicate H.pylori and now in the process of healing my ulcers but I’m not sure if I’m really in the right track because I still feel shitty everyday, constant nausea and bitter taste in mouth and few times shortness of breath specially when eating. I would love to try the DGL you recommended but I want to ask how to you take them. Do u chew a capsule when you feel discomfort? before or even after eating? and how long did it take you to fully recover.

    1. Hi, thank you for stopping by and reading. The DGL can be taken before meals or during any discomfort – or both, if needed. It took 6 months to fully recover – recovery is rarely a straight and easy road. Stay strong! 🙂

  17. Can someone help me my ulcer is taking so long now it been six months and I’m not still getting better I’m still experiencing short of breath and a serious stomach ache and a feeling of something stuck on my throat it’s very uncomfortable to me at time I do think I have stomach cancer or liver cancer because I feel the pain on my right upper quadrant abdomen pain and a severe back ache too tho I was texted positive for hpylori and I still don’t feel better it’s very scary to me can somewhere help me out 🙏

  18. My daughter has had this ulcers problem for a long time now. Hope this information will assist us as we try to find recovery. It’s has really opened my worry is only on DGL since we are in East Africa. Thank you

    1. Hi Ann, so sorry to hear your daughter is going through this! I know how tough it can be. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      1. Hey.glad to be back. Now, my question I how to get the DGL. How do get hold of it pliz

      2. Hello! thanks for coming back. DGL is available online and also at most health food stores.

  19. Hi Jen, just wanted to give you an update. I messaged you a few weeks ago. I finally got my endoscopy last week and I don’t have an ulcer but I do have gastritis. They took a biopsy to check for h. Pilory. Interestingly enough I suffer from GERD. I was diagnosed when I was 21 (I’m currently 33) I thought I might have some damage to my esophagus but the findings were normal. Just inflammation in my stomach lining. I’ve had gastritis before in 2019 but that time I just couldn’t keep any food down. I was so worried then too. I had an endoscopy done then too. This time it was different. It was scarier. I had no idea gastritis could manifest itself so aggressively and affect so many things. I am so much better now. Kinda back to normal but it took me 2 weeks and the cessation of fast food, coffee and soda and a healthy diet. I followed some of your food tips as well as other stuff I researched. I lost at least 2lb in 2 weeks because I wasn’t eating properly. My stomach was bloated, my stomach felt full, and honestly I was just scared that the intense burning and heart burn would return. Pantoprazole 40mg was a life saver in the first few days after it started. Omeprazole 20mg was doing nothing for me. I feel so much better now and I am very grateful. I’ve been able to sleep better and not worry. Again thanks for your post out of all the negative stuff out there on the net yours was hopeful and positive.

    1. Hi Yesenia, I can’t tell you how much this community appreciates you following up. I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better now, and I know this journey has it’s ups and downs. If I’ve been a positive light in this for you at all, it means a lot to me.

  20. Hey! So glad I found this blog. I am battling a stomach ulcer right now. I am trying to purchase the guide but it’s not letting me. any tips on how to purchase?

    1. Hi Abby! So sorry to hear you were having trouble with this. I recently had some updates done on the site, but I believe all is working now. Please reach out again if you need any further assistance.

  21. Hi Jen, did you wean off of the PPI’s? If so, how was the acid when you were coming off? Any tips around coming off of PPI’s? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Karen, thank you for your question! I did wean off, and I didn’t have any acid while I was weaning off. I would say make sure you are eating foods that don’t trigger your reflux, take supplements, and chew your food thoroughly when coming off as well.

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