Foods You Should Eat If You Have Stomach Ulcers
10 February, 2021
Stomach ulcers are lesions that develop in the mucous lining when there is an excessive production of acidic juices. To combat this problem, we present a series of foods that can alleviate the symptoms and prevent recurrences.
According to the experts at Medline Plus, the most common cause is the growth of H. pylori bacteria, although it can also be caused by the excessive consumption of some medications.
The main symptom is a feeling of pain or burning in the abdominal region however, it may be accompanied by acid reflux, a feeling of heaviness and intolerance due to irritating foods.
Most of the cases are mild, with the only treatment being changes in ones diet. However, sometimes it presents complications such as vomiting and bleeding. When this occurs, it is necessary that you talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
There is a wide variety of foods that can help regulate the stomachs pH to accelerate the relief of this problem. Next, we want to share in detail the best 6 foods that you shouldnt hesitate to try when you are faced with this issue.
Fruits Vegetables Whole Grains And Other Foods High In Fibre Can Prevent Ulcers
Add another star to fibres crown. Besides keeping you regular, fibre has a role in keeping ulcers at bay, especially those in the duodenum. A number of studies have found that people who eat high-fibre diets have a lower risk of developing ulcers. In the Physicians Health Study from Harvard, researchers looked at the diets of 47,806 men and found that those who ate 11 grams or more of fibre from vegetables had a 32 per cent lower risk of developing duodenal ulcers.
Scientists arent sure how fibre helps, but it may be thanks to the fact that it slows the emptying of the stomach and thus reduces the amount of time the stomach lining and duodenum are exposed to digestive acids. Soluble fibre, the kind found in oats, beans, barley, peas, and pears, also forms a slippery goo in the stomach that acts as a barrier between the stomach lining and corrosive stomach acids.
Recommended dose: General health guidelines suggest getting 25 to 35 grams of fibre a day.
Find out 30 painless ways to sneak more fibre into your diet.
What You Eat Matters Though
If you consider that ulcers are essentially open wounds inside your stomach or small intestine, it makes sense that you should consider carefully what you’re putting them in contact with. Spicy foods, which were long thought to create ulcers, are now ill-advised for one very simply reason: spices can irritate your ulcers, causing you more pain.
You should also steer clear of foods that have high levels of acidity for the same reason. Some of the main culprits when it comes to high acid levels are citrus fruits and tomatoes.
There are also beverages that spur increased acid production by your stomach itself, which you want to limit as much as possible while your ulcers heal. These include alcohol, as well as coffee and soda both caffeinated and decaf.
Surprisingly, another acid-producing food is dairy. While a glass of cold milk may temporarily soothe your digestive system, milk stimulates more stomach acid production, making it a bad idea in the long run.
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More Tips For Stomach Ulcer Recovery
For an effective stomach ulcer diet, do the following:
- Eat smaller portions throughout the day.
- Have dinner two or three hours before bedtime.
- Take plenty of water. The recommended eight glasses of water a day will suffice.
- Donât stress. If you are feeling stressed out, try to relax by doing some relaxing exercises, or practice mindfulness.
- Reduce smoking if you are already a smoker or quit smoking altogether. Smoking aggravates stomach ulcers.
Which Foods Should You Eat
The cornerstone of successful management of ulcers is not about avoiding specific foods, says Walters. More important are simple lifestyle changes that include balanced, healthy eating, weight reduction, decreased alcohol consumption and smoking cessation, she says.
These are Walterss top tips for ulcer management:
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What Are The Causes Of Peptic Ulcers
The most common causes of peptic ulcers has been found to be Helicobacter pylori infection which invade the intestinal lining and damage it while proliferating. Also, indiscriminate use of NSAIDs has found to precipitate peptic ulcers.
Alcohol & tobacco intake as well as consumption of oily, spicy foods may worsen the condition of peptic ulcers, but has not been found to cause them. The most common, first line treatment for ulcers is administration of antacids and proton pump inhibitors which dilute the concentration of acid secretions in the stomach or reduce the acid production respectively.
Things I Learned About Ulcers
Halfway through February, I could no longer sleep through the night. At 2 a.m., Id find myself chugging milk from the carton to extinguish a fire at the top of my rib cage. The gnawing feeling high in my stomach alternated with nausea so arresting I kept a bucket next to my laptop and considered taking a pregnancy test, even though I was 99 percent sure I wasnt expecting.
One day on the subway platform, I doubled over and let out a groan so pathetic it prompted a complete stranger to ask, Are you all right? Then I knew it was time to seek medical attention. New Yorkers dont address strangers on the subway, I told myself.Its like breaking the fourth wall.
The next day, my primary care doctor told me I probably had an ulcer, a raw spot or sore in the lining of the stomach or small intestine. Here are some of the things I learned about ulcers during the odyssey that followed.
Anyone can get an ulcer. Back in the 1980s, when doctors and most everyone else thought psychological stress or spicy foods led to ulcers, two Australian scientists discovered that the main culprit was actually a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. That discovery eventually won them a Nobel Prize in 2005, and ushered in an era of using antibiotics to cure ulcers.
Maddeningly, I wasnt sure which foods might be safe to eat until I tried them. For instance, why did a seemingly innocuous bag of salted peanuts lead to agony?
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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.
What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
The classic symptoms of peptic ulcers are stomach pain and indigestion. Ulcer pain feels like burning or gnawing inside your stomach, which is between your breastbone and your belly button. It may improve temporarily when you eat or drink or when you take an antacid, medication to reduce stomach acid. It may feel worse between meals and at night when stomach acid builds up without food to digest. It may also make you feel like you dont want to eat.
How do I know if I have an ulcer or gastritis?
Gastritis and gastric ulcers share many symptoms and often go hand in hand. Gastritis can be a precursor to stomach ulcers, caused by the same conditions that will eventually cause ulcers, including H. pylori infection and mucous erosion. You may also have both.
Both gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause stomach pain, as well as symptoms of indigestion. Usually, the pain from an ulcer will feel more localized like its coming from one particular spot. But since some ulcers are silent, you might not feel it if you do have one.
If you have symptoms of either gastritis or stomach ulcer, you should seek medical care. Gastritis can lead to ulcers if it hasnt already. It can also indicate an infection or other condition that needs to be treated. Medical testing can quickly determine the causes of your stomach pain.
How can I tell if I have ulcer pain or heartburn?
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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.
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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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 .
Green Tea And Flavonoid
Emerging research from China shows the potential protective effects of green tea and other foods that are rich in flavonoids against chronic gastritis, H. pylori infection, and stomach cancer. Specifically, these foods seem to inhibit the growth of H. pylori.
In addition, one recent laboratory study of green, white, oolong, and black teas indicated that these teas inhibit the growth of H. pylori but cause no harm to beneficial types of bacteria normally found in the stomach, including L. acidophilus, L. plantarum, and B. lungum. However, this was an in vitro study, which means testing occurred directly between teas and bacteria in the laboratory, and we cannot draw direct conclusions as to what would happen inside the human body between these two substances. Beneficial effects in the laboratory were best when tea steeped for a full five minutes.
Flavonoid-rich foods include garlic, onions, and colourful fruits and vegetables such as cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas.4,5
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Spicy And Salty Foods
While spicy foods dont cause ulcers, they could irritate your stomach lining. Some people with stomach ulcers may be able to tolerate a little spiciness in their foods, but if hot stuff makes your tummy hurt and triggers symptoms of your condition, you might have to hold off on dishes, sauces, dressings and condiments that contain ingredients like red chili peppers, horseradish, peppercorn or jalapeño.
Foods with high salt content are not friends of your tummy either. Studies show that large amounts of salt in your stomach causes the H. pylori bacteria to become more active and attack the lining of your digestive tract.
Natural And Home Remedies For Stomach Ulcers
A stomach ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach or small intestine . This sore usually causes pain and burning in the abdomen. This pain can come and go and may last for hours at a time.
Stomach ulcers occur when the acids that your body uses to digest food lead to damage to the stomach or duodenum walls. This can be caused by the infection H. pylori or the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications . Certain foods and stress can exacerbate the development of ulcers and associated pain.
This article will describe natural and home remedies used to treat ulcers and foods to limit or avoid if you have an ulcer.
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Foods You Should Avoid If You Have Stomach Ulcers
Certain diets weaken the esophageal sphincter, allowing acidic gut content to reflux back into the esophagus, causing heartburn, indigestion, and discomfort. By avoiding these cuisines you will start your ulcer healing process. These include:
Overeating and eating before going to bed should be avoided because they aggravate reflux symptoms and gastric ulcers.
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Chronic gastritis is found in two subjects. In malignant anemia patients, there is an autoimmune cause. Severe gastrointestinal trauma, such as gastric atrophy accompanied by complete or incomplete loss of wall cells, cause gastric acid deficiency or absence of acid. There are three types of autoantibodies against the wall cells. In the elderly with no malignant anemia, there are also 60% of cases with autoantibodies against the wall cells, but no antibodies against the intrinsic factor. Very few cases have autoantibodies against gastrin secretory cells. Patients in this group often have a gastric ulcer, which may be due to dyspnea of the pyloric sphincter and reflux of bile acid.
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Beneficial Diets For Stomach Ulcers
While there is no specific diet recommended for stomach ulcers, there are some research-based dietary patterns that provide the beneficial emphasis on fruits, vegetables and other high-fiber foods. Commonly recommended diet patterns include:
To learn more about an individualized food plan that will help manage your health conditions, ask your doctor for a referral to a dietitian.
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