Treating the Ulcer Horse: True Balance vs. Tum-Ease
The two supplements are certainly similar: both are excellent for digestive imbalances, and both share some common ingredients such as a unique form of micro-crystallized aloe and organic freeze-dried cabbage. This particular form of aloe acts as a soothing band-aid for the digestive system, similar to the drug sucralfate. The organic freeze-dried cabbage is rich in L-glutamine and helps the intestinal mucosa to re-build.
Even with these similarities, each formula is very different in their ranges of possible applications. It is crucial to the health of the horse, to know when to use each product.
True Balance is a powerful Ayurvedic formula, designed to support the major stress systems in the ulcer horse. This product avoids the common ulcer tactic of focusing on symptoms of irritated gastric mucosa. This is the job for drugs such as proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole, (gastrogard). When acid reduction is achieved by use of gastrogard, the gut is able to rest and heal. During successful drug therapy, the source of chronic irritation and pain in the stomach is greatly reduced, but the rest of the body has not been addressed. It is always a good plan to help the horse to rebalance after intensive drug therapy before he experiences symptoms of further imbalance (such as allergies, hives, chronic colic symptoms, anxiousness, just to name a few).
The ulcer horse who needs True Balance need a completely different approach after drug therapy. One of the most successful applications of True Balance is immediately after drug therapy for ulcers has ended, for approximately 1-3 months, (depending on the horse). They need something that is targeted at the big picture, including the root of the underlying issue causing imbalance in the gut. The ulcers are a symptom of a greater need. The Eastern mindset behind Ayurveda is not based on reducing symptoms, but rather dealing with the core issue from the inside-out with specific foods. True Balance works with the gut, liver, and immune system. Once the ulcer horse has experienced the benefits of True Balance, optimal health surfaces.
Many horses with allergies, liver issues, overall unthriftiness, or major digestive stress can benefit from True Balance. This product found it’s way into my arsenal of “big guns,” by proving itself on severe colonic ulcer cases where nothing pharmacological worked. In one such case, the horse was flinging himself into the walls of his stall despite conventional veterinary treatments including three rounds of pharmaceuticals. I have also witnessed its success on intensive immune diseases that do not have a known successful protocol.
Tum-Ease supplement comes into the picture to maintain an ulcer horse after the restorative effects of True Balance. The goal with Tum-Ease is to maintain a healthy gut that still could be prone to acidity during stressful times. The ingredients in this supplement provide a soothing physical barrier from gastric acid. Horses experiencing gastric discomfort are often worse during exercise for a simple reason. Because of the combination of stress and pain, they are in some degree of “flight mode.” This survival instinct creates a physiologic stress response. When the body is stressed, cortisol is released, stress hormones circulate, blood is re-directed to core vital organs, and the gut is one of the first places to suffer.
With this instinctual behavior and stress cascade, acid production is high. Areas of the stomach that were never intended to be exposed to acid for any extended period of time are repeatedly splashed. Stress and pain in the stomach are major reasons for grouchy behavior under saddle, hesitance to work calmly, “girthiness,” and excessive anxiety. We can help these horses by providing them with Tum-Ease supplement before riding or any stressful situation; administering the bars before the acid production heightens.
Choosing the appropriate product for your horse’s unique situation is a rewarding experience. There are of course, many variations on each product given individual situations. Each product can be customized for specific issues and difficult cases (such as colonic ulcers, severe allergies, and other problems).
Please contact your BioStar EQ representative for further assistance on your horse’s unique situation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lizzy Meyer lives in Cypress, TX where she has worked as a holistic and intuitive horse consultant as well as a representative for BioStar EQ. She sees the horse as a “whole” and utilizes a wide variety of tools in her work; including functional foods, herbs, and energy modalities. She highlights owner education and does rehabilitation work with horses. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a degree in Veterinary Technology. With ten years of experience working in the veterinary world and a lifetime of experience with difficult horse cases, Lizzy is available for consultations via phone, email or in person.