Symptoms And Causes Of Ulcers
The primary symptom of ulcers and peptic ulcer disease is pain. A painful, burning sensation can be felt throughout the top of the sternum, seeping all the way to the navel. The time frame for the pain can fluctuateit could last for as little as a few minutes or for as long as several hours.
Most ulcers are caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori , a gastrointestinal infection that can cause both peptic ulcers and stomach cancer. H. pylori affects about 20% of people younger than 30 years old and 50% of people over the age of 60.Researchers are unsure how H. pylori can spread from one person to the other, but they do believe that it can be transmitted through food, water, and close contact with others. A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that H. pylori is more likely to be found in individuals with low blood levels of vitamin C. Study researchers recommended increased vitamin C consumption.Aside from H. pylori, other causes of ulcers include excess digestive acids that will damage the lining of the digestive tract, long-term and constant use of anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as unmanaged stress. Stress causes a change in the immune system, blood flow, and acid secretionthese changes can aggravate ulcer symptoms and impede on the healing process.
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What Causes A Stomach Ulcer
It is commonly said that spicy food and stress cause stomach ulcers but that is not the case at all. Stress and spicy foods can aggravate a stomach ulcer but most of the time stomach ulcers are caused by an infection caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, also known as H.Pylori.
Other times ulcers are brought on by the long-term use of aspirin or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen and Aleve. Always use these over the counter drugs sparingly and consult your physician for alternate pain management solutions.
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Beyond Diet: How To Help A Peptic Ulcer
In the past, people with peptic ulcers were often sent home to care for themselves until the sore healed itself. Today, the eradication of H. pylori is the central concern in the majority of cases. It is only by eliminating the bacteria that recurrence can be fully prevented.
While other things can cause peptic ulcers, such as the overuse of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , H. pylori accounts for 85% to 95% of all cases.
In addition to changes in diet, the treatment of peptic ulcers will typically involve one or more of the following:
- Antibiotics: These are prescription antibacterial drugs used in combination to kill H. pylori. Options include Flagyl , Amoxil , clarithromycin, and tetracycline.
- Proton pump inhibitors : These are over-the-counter and prescription drugs used to reduce stomach acids. Options include Prilosec , Prevacid , Nexium , and Protonix .
- Histamine-2 receptor blockers: These are over-the-counter and prescription drugs aslo used to reduce stomach acids. Options include Pepcid AC , Tagamet HB , and Axid AR .
- Antacids: These are over-the-counter agents used to neutralize stomach acids. These include Tums , Milk of Magnesia , and Pepto-Bismol .
- Cytoprotective agents These are prescription drugs ed to protect the lining of your stomach and small intestine. Options include Carafate and Cytotec .
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Why Change My Diet
There are so many benefits to changing your diet if you suffer from stomach ulcers that it would be foolish not to. When you follow a diet that primates healthy stomach and gut health you will:
- Obtain the protein and nutrients that your body needs to repair itself.
- Help you to remove all foods that are aggravating the small intestine and stomach lining.
- It can help to minimize or control the symptoms of related conditions like bacterial infections, Crohns disease, or celiac. These can aggravate ulcer symptoms.
- Help to fill in any contributing nutritional deficiencies.
Certain foods help to repair the gastrointestinal lining that erodes form long term use of anti-inflammatory drugs or bacterial infection.
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How Is Atrophic Gastritis Diagnosed
An AG diagnosis usually involves a combination of clinical observation and testing. During a physical exam, your doctor will check for stomach tenderness by lightly pressing on certain areas of your stomach. Theyll also look for signs of B-12 deficiency, such as paleness, rapid pulse, and neurological deficits.
Your doctor might order blood tests to check for:
- low levels of pepsinogen, a protein produced by the stomach cells
- high levels of gastrin, a hormone that stimulates the production of stomach acid
- low levels of B-12
- antibodies that attack stomach cells and intrinsic factor
In some cases, your doctor may need to perform a biopsy. Your doctor will insert an endoscope, down your throat and into your stomach. Theyll then take a sample of tissue from your stomach to look for evidence of AG. The sample of stomach tissue can also indicate signs of an H. pylori infection.
If you dont already have a gastroenterologist, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Gastritis Diet: What To Eat And What To Avoid
The term gastritis refers to any condition that involves inflammation of the stomach lining. Eating certain foods and avoiding others can help people manage gastritis symptoms.
Different factors cause different types of gastritis. Symptoms include:
For most people, gastritis is minor and will go away quickly after treatment. However, some forms of gastritis can produce ulcers or increase the risk of cancer.
Diet is an important player in your digestive and overall health. Following a gastritis-friendly diet can go a long way toward relieving your symptoms and helping you feeling better.
How The Ulcer Diet Works
An ulcer diet promotes healing and reduces irritation to the stomach lining and the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine that attaches to the stomach. It also limits excess acid production, which can aggravate an ulcer.
There are no strict rules about which foods to eat, but try to add as many foods as you can from the best choices list above. Definitely avoid foods that make you feel worse or that trigger acid production and reflux.
Eating enough protein is also important. While your ulcer is healing, aim for about 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight. That means about 3 ounces per day for a 140-pound woman, and 4 ounces per day for a 200-pound man.
The rest of your calories should come from a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. More fiber may lower the risk of ulcers, but one Korean study found that high-fiber diets lowered the risk of peptic ulcer disease in women but not men. It’s a good idea to ask your healthcare provider about fiber intake.
Assess Your Individual Tolerance
No evidence suggests that spicy or citrus foods affect ulcer disease, although some individuals do report worsening of symptoms after eating these types of foods. It is important to find out what works for you. If you notice that your symptoms get worse after eating certain foods, then limit or avoid them so you can feel your best, making sure that you dont eliminate an entire food group.
When To Seek Medical Advice
You should visit your GP if you think you may have a stomach ulcer.
Seek urgent medical advice if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- vomiting blood the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds
- passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools
- a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse
These could be a sign of a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
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When To Call The Doctor
Get medical help right away if you:
- Develop sudden, sharp abdominal pain
- Have a rigid, hard abdomen that is tender to the touch
- Have symptoms of shock, such as fainting, excessive sweating, or confusion
- See blood in your stool
- You feel dizzy or light-headed
- You have ulcer symptoms
- You feel full after eating a small meal portion
- You experience unintentional weight loss
- You are vomiting
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Gluten Allergy And Ulcers
Gluten sensitivity and gluten allergy may cause ulcers, even when celiac disease is not present.
This is a tricky area because it is much harder to test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
The best test is to go on a gluten free diet and see if you improve.
In other words, if you have an ulcer, and test negative for celiac disease, you should still try a gluten free diet.
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Cabbage Can Help Prevent Ulcers
Scientists think that it may be the amino acid glutamine that gives cabbage its anti-ulcer punch. Glutamine helps to fortify the mucosal lining of the gut and to improve blood flow to the stomach, meaning it not only helps prevent ulcers but can also speed healing of existing sores.
Recommended dose: Eat two cups of raw cabbage daily. Add it to salads, coleslaw, and wraps. You can also drink raw cabbage juice, sold in health food stores. Drink a quart a day for three weeks ifyou can stand it!
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What Are The Best Foods To Eat With A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are fairly common. The majority of people with stomach ulcers do not experience any symptoms, but some may experience pain, nausea, diarrhoea, or bloating.
Current research into stomach ulcer diets is based on evidence that suggests that Helicobacter pylori infection plays a role in the formation of stomach ulcers.
Stomach ulcers usually require a combination of medications, including antibiotics. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that eating certain foods can also help get rid of stomach ulcers or, at least, reduce the symptoms they cause.
Keep reading to learn more about the best diet for stomach ulcers, including which foods to eat and avoid.
As well as taking any prescription medications, a person could try including the following food types in their diet:
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Worst Foods To Avoid For Stomach Ulcer
A stomach ulcer, also known as a peptic ulcer, develops on the inner lining of your stomach. In some cases, it develops on the upper part of your small intestine. As such, there are quite a few foods to avoid for stomach ulcer that can greatly affect your condition.
The bacteria Helicobacter pylori is believed to be the most common cause of a stomach ulcer. Also prolonged use of over-the-counter drugs like ibrupofen and aspirin can also cause irritation and inflammation of the inner lining of your stomach.
Generally a person with a stomach ulcer is always advised to eat foods that are healthy and balanced. Apart from that they can usually eat any food they prefer without experiencing too many problems. That being said, there are some foods that seem to aggravate the symptoms of the ulcer in many sufferers. These foods cause heartburn and irritation to the digestive system. They also trigger excessive production of acid in the stomach and therefore are considered foods to avoid for stomach ulcer.
What Foods Should I Avoid When Dealing With Stomach Ulcers
People every day who are suffering with gut issues have a hard time deciding what they should and should not eat. This can be extremely difficult if you are suffering from health issues such as a stomach ulcer. A stomach ulcer is an open sore on the lining of the stomach. It can cause stomach pain or an upset stomach and it can also lead to internal bleeding.
The foods you eat have a huge impact on your health and how you feel, more so when you have a stomach ulcer. By eating certain foods you can irritate the ulcer and make yourself feel worse, but by eating the right foods you can help reduce your symptoms and even promote healing.
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Having The Stomach For A Healthy And Happy Life
Being diagnosed with stomach ulcers is a kick in the guts. Literally. But this condition shouldnt stop you from living a full and healthy life. Here are some tips to help you keep your stomach happy while you are addressing your stomach ulcers.
Cooking And Ulcer Care
In general, you cant go wrong with a healthy diet, but keep an eye on what aggravates your loved ones ulcer.
It used to be that doctors recommended the same diet for everyone with an ulcer: Avoid spicy foods and eat bland ones. But today doctors know that spicy foods do not cause an ulcer and bland diets do not necessarily help in ulcer treatment. So how do you prepare meals for a loved one with an ulcer?
While it is true that specific foods do not cause ulcers, they can make symptoms worse, says Carrie Folse, MD, a gastroenterologist at Saint Vincents Hospital in Birmingham, Ala. However, the exacerbation of foods is quite subjective, she says. Its hard to tell which food will aggravate symptoms in any one person.
So instead of past one diet fits all recommendations, doctors now offer more general guidelines. If your loved one notices a particular food causes a problem, just avoid that food and let the doctor know.
Cooking for the Ulcer Patient: Foods to Avoid
Sarah Boyd, RD, a registered dietitian in Richmond, Va., says that the following foods may cause discomfort for people with an ulcer:
- Meats with a high fat content
- High-fat condiments
These items may or may not be problematic and are based on the individuals personal tolerances, Boyd notes.
Cooking for the Ulcer Patient: Foods to Choose
Although there is no strong evidence that any foods prevent or heal an ulcer, a healthy diet is the best policy. Pick from these wholesome choices:
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When To See The Doctor For Ulcers
If you think you have an ulcer, make a point of seeing the doctor. This is especially so if you vomit and notice blood in the vomit or the vomit looks like coffee grounds. Also, if your stool is bloody or has blackish material, it could be a sign of severe ulcers that need immediate medical attention.
What To Eat If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Since H. pylori bacteria is now known to be an important cause of ulcer formation, scientists are exploring what foods may have a role in fighting against an infection.
In addition to taking the antibiotics and acid-blocking medications recommended by your doctor for your ulcer treatment, eating these foods may also be helpful against the ulcer-causing bacteria:
for ulcer treatment. These foods, such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi, may prevent reinfection.
Turmeric is currently being studied as a potential treatment for ulcers as well.
Garlic, decaffeinated green tea, and licorice round out the list of things you might want to incorporate in your diet.
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How Stomach Ulcers Are Treated
Treatment will depend on what caused the ulcer.
Most people will be prescribed a medication called a proton pump inhibitor to reduce the amount of acid in their stomach.
Youll also need antibiotics if your ulcers were caused by a H. pylori infection.
Stomach ulcers can come back after treatment, although this is less likely to happen if the underlying cause is addressed.
Foods To Avoid With Stomach Ulcer
There are certain kinds of foods and drinks that you should exclude from your diet. They include the following:
Alcohol and alcoholic beverages are not any good as you try to recover from stomach ulcers. Alcohol increases the acidity level in the stomach which in turn irritates the stomach lining and worsens the condition. The succinic and maleic acids present in most alcoholic drinks increase the secretion of gastric acids.
It is a known fact that coffee contains caffeine, which together with other components in your coffee increases the production of gastric acids. Two compounds, catechols and N-alkanoly-5-hydroxytryptamides, stimulate the production of gastric acids that will irritate the ulcer lesions. And although coffee itself does not cause an ulcer, its intake aggravates the existing situation. Decaffeinated coffee should also be avoided.
3. Spicy Foods
An important point to note is that spicy foods do not cause stomach ulcers but incorporating them in your stomach ulcer diet may irritate the stomach lining and worsen the condition of the ulcers.
However, there is a twist to all these. It has been found that some chilies such as red capsicum and cayenne pepper contain a compound called capsaicin that may inhibit the secretion of gastric acids. Moreover, it stimulates secretion of mucus, alkali and mucosal blood that thicken the stomach lining, thus shielding it from irritation.
4. Red Meat
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