Stomach Ulcer Diet: What To Eat And What To Avoid
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Stomach ulcers are open sores that develop within the lining of your stomach.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, an organization of doctors who specialize in the digestive tract, there is no specific Stomach ulcer diet a person with ulcers needs to follow. Food choices dont cause ulcers or make them worse.
Current Stomach ulcer diet recommendations are now based on research that certain foods may have ingredients that fight against the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, a main cause of ulcers.
Ulcers may also be caused by overuse of painkillers, such as aspirin , and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories , such as ibuprofen or naproxen .
Stomach ulcers are treated with antibiotics and medications to reduce and block stomach acid.
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.
In addition to this well-proven treatment plan, research has shown that there are also some natural home remedies that may be useful in managing a stomach ulcer.
Foods or beverages dont cause ulcers, nor can they cure them. However, certain foods can help repair damaged tissue, and those that perpetuate acid build-up and inflammation may further aggravate your ulcer and threaten your digestive tracts natural layer of protection.
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What Are The Causes Of Ulcer
Ulcers are also caused by an increase in stomach acid caused by stress, medications, diet, smoking, alcohol, or H. pylori, a type of bad bacteria
The cause of about 70% ulcers is the overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin are another major cause as they damage the stomach and intestinal lining.
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How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may be able to make the diagnosis just by talking with you about your symptoms. If you develop an ulcer and youre not taking NSAIDs, the cause is likely an H. pylori infection. To confirm the diagnosis, youll need one of these tests:
If you have severe symptoms, your provider may recommend an upper endoscopy to determine if you have an ulcer. In this procedure, the doctor inserts an endoscope through your throat and into your stomach to look for abnormalities.
H. Pylori tests
Tests for H. pylori are now widely used and your provider will tailor treatment to reduce your symptoms and kill the bacteria. A breath test is the easiest way to discover H. pylori. Your provider can also look for it with a blood or stool test, or by taking a sample during an upper endoscopy.
Less frequently, imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans are used to detect ulcers. You have to drink a specific liquid that coats the digestive tract and makes ulcers more visible to the imaging machines.
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Cranberry Is Great For Stomach Ulcer
If there is infection in the urinary tract you can take to cranberry. It prevents the bacteria to settle on the walls of the urinary bladder. It is also the right compound with can effectively combat the growth of H. pylori. For the condition you can have cranberry juice. You can even eat cranberries and there are cranberry supplements available in the market. You can avail for the same as well. However, there is no recommended dosage. You should not have too much of cranberry. You should not have the fruit in excess. This can cause stomach irritation even if you dont have ulcers. So, make sure that the fruit is taken in the right amount. It is also recommended to have cranberry in the raw form. The commercial juice is once again not right or the stomach as they come with artificial sweetener. So, make sure to take the raw fruit when available.
Orange And Grapefruit Juices
The main foods to avoid with ulcers are orange and grapefruit juices. They are very high in acid and can cause discomfort and the spread of the ulcer virus.
The orange and grapefruit juices are well-known for their powerful acidic nature.
They can increase the acidic content in your stomach and lead to severe pain after eating them.
You wont like it if you have an ulcer and eats the juice from the oranges or grapefruits.
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What Treatments Can Relieve Ulcer Pain
While over-the-counter medications can treat an upset stomach, they are generally not effective in treating ulcers. And taking over-the-counter painkillers could worsen the problem. That is why its better to see a doctor, who may combine several medications and therapies to relieve pain, cure the infection, and prevent it from worsening. Medications usually include:
Your doctor may also recommend making lifestyle modifications, including:
- Avoiding spicy and oily food
What To Eat When You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Imagine you had an open wound on your hand and you spilled lemon juice on it. It would hurt, right? Stomach ulcers work in a similar way, Ehsani explains.
When you eat or drink certain foods, it can either help or hurt that open wound, she says. Its important to treat it carefully and feed yourself food and beverages that will help heal the ulcer.
Antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and veggies should be a main staple in your diet when trying to heal a stomach ulcer. These foods can even help prevent another ulcer from developing. Focus on getting a different color of the rainbow on your plate with every meal.
And when you do eat, try to keep your meals small.
Smaller meals will produce less acid, therefore less burning sensation, says Jonathan Valdez, RDN. Hes a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Genki Nutrition. Skipping meals and overeating can be problematic for ulcers, says Valdez.
Here are some of the best foods to eat if you have a stomach ulcer:
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Dont Ignore Your Ulcer
There are lots of good reasons to get help. If you put off treatment, your ulcer may start to block food from moving smoothly through your digestive system. You may often throw up or feel too full to eat. Over time, your ulcer could make a hole through your stomach lining and put you at risk of a severe infection. An ulcer that bleeds can also land you in the hospital.
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.
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Foods To Help Treat Gastritis
Two foods that may help treat gastritis are broccoli and yogurt.
Broccoli contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which has antibacterial properties. It also contains antioxidants, which can help protect against cancer. For this reason, eating broccoli sprouts may help relieve or prevent gastritis and decrease the risk of stomach cancer.
Authors of an older study, published in 2009, found that participants with H. pylori infection who ate 70 grams more than half a cup of broccoli sprouts per day for 8 weeks had lower levels of infection and inflammation than those who did not eat broccoli.
In 2006, another team investigated whether eating about 2 cups of probiotic yogurt daily before using a combination of antibiotics could boost the ability of the medication to combat drug resistant H. pylori infection.
After 4 weeks, the researchers found that the participants who consumed the yogurt and antibiotics tended to eliminate the infection more effectively than those who only took antibiotics.
The results may have stemmed from the yogurts active cultures of beneficial bacteria that help improve the bodys ability to combat infection.
Stomach Ulcer Diet Menu
While there is no specific stomach ulcer diet menu recommended for someone with an ulcer, reducing the growth of ulcer-causing bacteria is possible with some foods. These foods include apples, blueberries, blackberries, radishes, cherries, bell peppers, leafy greens, yogurt, kefir, miso, sauerkraut, olive oil, honey, turmeric, garlic, carrots and broccoli. You can make some ulcer-friendly recipes from these ingredients as well.
These foods have been shown to combat the growth of âH. pylori,â a known cause of stomach ulcers. A study published July 2016 in âPrzeglad Gastroenterolgicznyâ found these foods contain substances with a potent antibacterial activity to fight against âH. pyloriâ.
Foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkraut provide probiotics. Consuming probiotic foods when you have an ulcer is important. People with ulcers are required to take antibiotics as part of their treatment and recovery. Ulcers frequently come with symptoms of acid reflux. Avoiding coffee, chocolate, spicy food, alcohol, acidic foods and caffeine will help to reduce symptoms of acid reflux during recovery.
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Best Foods To Eat When You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach ulcers may require lifestyle and dietary changes to manage them while they are healing. Acid reducing medications may also be beneficial. Previously, a bland diet was recommended for stomach ulcers but current research does not support that idea.
Dietary modifications can help, but spicy foods arent necessarily an irritant. Doctors now emphasize a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. The best foods to eat when you have a stomach ulcer include:
This includes oats, legumes, flax seeds, nuts, oranges, apples, and carrots. These foods are good for you because they can help prevent ulcers from developing.
Vitamin A rich foods
Foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and collard greens contain vitamin A. These foods increase the mucus production in your gastrointestinal tract, which some believe can help prevent ulcers.
Emerging research indicates that green tea can help fight off H. pylori.
This includes garlic, onions, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, and snap peas. Research suggests that these foods can help protect your gut against chronic gastritis, H. pylori infection, and stomach cancer. These foods help inhibit H. pylori growth.
This tart juice can potentially reduce the risk of H. pylori overgrowth in your stomach and prevent inflammation.
There are certain foods that could irritate your stomach ulcer, and it might be a good idea to limit them. Those foods include:
Who Is More Likely To Get Ulcers
One in 10 people develops an ulcer. Risk factors that make ulcers more likely include:
- Frequent use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , a group of common pain relievers that includes ibuprofen .
- A family history of ulcers.
- Illness such as liver, kidney or lung disease.
- Regularly drinking alcohol.
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Diet For Stomach Ulcer: Foods To Eat And Avoid
Stomach ulcers, also called peptic ulcers, occur when the lining that shields the stomach walls breaks down due to bacterial infection or prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Stomach ulcers are usually treated with antibiotics if the ulcer is bacterial or with a proton pump inhibitor if the ulcer is caused by NSAIDs. In most cases, changes in lifestyle, including following a stomach ulcer diet will be necessary to reduce gastric acids that irritate the ulcers.
Antacids Versus Nutrients Bioavailability
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is common in patients with peptic ulcer due tothe prolonged use of antacids, making difficult the bioavailability of this vitamin.Vitamin B12 can be synthetized by the intestinal microbiota in the colon,but is not absorbed. Deficiency of this vitamin causes impaired cell division andmegaloblastic anemia. It is estimated that 80-90% of patients lacking vitaminB12 develop neurological alterations, if not treated24. As a result, recommendation is for2.4 µg/day of this vitamin, which can be obtained from animal foods, such asmilk, meat and eggs.
Absorption of folic acid can be impaired in subjects that make chronic use ofaluminum-based antacids ,because antacids make the pH of the jejunum more alkaline23. In these cases, intake of 400 µg/day of thisvitamin is necessary, which can be supplied with ingestion of leguminous foods, suchas lentils, and meats. It is important to emphasize that the reduction of the gastricacidity by antacids or antiulcers alters proteins digestion and affects good digestion offoods21.
Antacids can also diminish absorption of iron, causing iron-deficiency anemia.Gastrointestinal bleeding can be observed in gastroduodenal ulcer and infection byH. pylori1 andmay be associated with the development of anemia. Gastric bleeding is a majorcomplication of peptic ulcer22.
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Alternative Treatments Without Proven Efficacy In Peptic Ulcer
The potential of plants as source of new drugs still offers a large field forscientific research. Even if is observed a large number of known plants, a smallpercentage has already been phytochemically investigated and only a fraction of themhas already been assessed to determine its pharmacological potential. Even amongtraditional medicinal plants there is still a large percentage that has not beenstudied to confirm their efficacy and safety in humans.
In peptic ulcer this is also observed. In a study conducted by Mentz andSchenkel, in which theyassessed plants with popularly known effects to scientifically prove them, theyobserved that plants like Symphytum Officinale L. , besideshaving no proven efficacy it may be harmful because of their pyrrolizidine alkaloids,of proven hepatotoxic action. Another studied plant was Zantoxylon rhoifoliunLan , popularly indicated for ulcers and healing, butits benefits have not been proved either. In addition, Maytenus ilicifoliaMart, commonly known in Brazil as espinheira-santa, used for healingpeptic ulcer, has not proven this effect in trials either.
The use of natural products in treatment of ulcer has been widely studied. However,most of the studiesthat haveproven an anti-ulcer effect were conducted with animals, and therefore do not providereliability for alternative treatments in the prevention of relapses or for treatmentof peptic ulcer in humans.
Foods To Eat For Stomach Diet
Although there is little scientific evidence that some diets can aid in the healing of stomach ulcers, incorporating and avoiding certain foods in your diet can catalyze the healing process. Ensure that you incorporate the following into your diet:
Flavonoids derive their name from flavone, a crystalline compound that is the basis of plant pigments. For this reason, flavonoids are present in some plants and vegetables such as apples, carrots, cabbage, legumes and green tea. Flavonoids have a gastroprotective effect on the stomach lining.
Be cautious about fruits like kiwi and oranges because even though they contain flavonoids, they are acidic in nature and will counteract the action of the flavonoids. There are supplements out there for flavonoids, but be careful. Excessive use of flavonoid supplements poses a risk of blood clots.
Probiotics boost the number of good bacteria in your stomach. This helps combat harmful bacteria like H. Pylori that cause ulcers. The risk of contracting bacterial ulcers increases significantly if your stomach lining has few good bacteria to come to its aid. Yogurt, pickles, Kim Chi, tempeh and certain types of cheese are good sources of probiotics.
3. Vitamin A
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Arebananas Good For Ulcers
Bananas are well-known nutritional powerhouses, as these popular yellow fruits contain over 10 percent of the recommended daily total for fiber and potassium. A typical banana is also packed with vitamin C and vitamin B6. These tasty fruits are popular breakfast staples, and they also make satisfying on-the-go-snacks.
With bananas many recognized benefits, however, should they be on your list of foods to eat when you have a stomach ulcer? The answer appears to be a qualified yes. A comprehensive scientific literature analysis, published in the September 2017 Pril Journal, focused on green bananas possible therapeutic applications.
The analysis authors concluded that green bananas do have a role in complimentary treatment modalities for several medical conditions. Specifically, green bananas active component flavonoid lencocyanidin appears to possess a strong ulcer-fighting capacity.
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So How Do They Work Exactly
Antioxidant-rich foods like cherries, blueberries, kale, and spinach boost your immune system to more effectively fight infections and even help ward off stomach cancer.
Whats more, mom was right about forcing you to eat broccoli. Research indicates that sulforaphane, a compound found in broccoli, shows anti-H. pylori functionality.
Probiotic foods can be a little more complicated to work into your diet, but they are worth the effort! Clinical studies indicate loading up on foods like miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi are like kryptonite for H. pylori bacteria.
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Foods To Limit When You Have Acid Reflux And An Ulcer
Some people who have an ulcer also have acid reflux. In some people, certain foods can relax the lower part of the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. A relaxed LES makes it easier for acid to back up into the esophagus and cause heartburn, indigestion, and pain.
Foods that may make acid reflux worse include: