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.
What Causes An Ulcer
Most peptic ulcers are caused by:
- bacteria called Helicobacter pylori infecting the stomach and upper intestine. They weaken the protective coating of the stomach and upper small intestine. Acid in the stomach then gets through to the sensitive lining underneath. Acid and bacteria irritate this lining, causing ulcers.
- using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen and aspirin. These medicines fight inflammation and help treat long-term, painful conditions like arthritis. If taken in high doses over a long period of time, NSAIDs can cause ulcers in some people.
- smoking cigarettes. Smoking increases the risk of ulcers because nicotine causes the stomach to make more acid. Drinking a lot of alcohol each day for a period of time can also increase a person’s risk of ulcers. Over time, alcohol can wear down the lining of the stomach and intestines.
Sometimes stress can help cause ulcers. Usually this happens only when a person has an illness involving severe emotional or physical stress. Any illness that makes it hard for the body to heal also can make someone more likely to get an ulcer.
Is Milk Good For Ulcers
While they may not cause ulcers, some things may make ulcers worse, increase pain, or slow ulcer healing, such as:
- Smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco.
- Drinking alcohol.
- Eating food with a high acid content, such as oranges or tomatoes.
- Drinking coffee and colas.
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Is Sweet Potato Good For Acidity
Potatoes, parsnips and sweet potatoes contain easily digestible fiber that can help neutralize stomach acid. Sweet potatoes are also a win on both fronts: sweet potatoes are part of an alkaline diet and also contain the digestible fiber ideal at managing the stomach acid that can cause GERD and heartburn.
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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Milk And Other Dairy Products
Some people may find that a cold, creamy cup of milk provides some temporary relief, but in reality it worsens the symptoms of a peptic ulcer.
Whole milk as well as many dairy products are high in fat that can aggravate your current symptoms. Also, the protein in milk may encourage the production of excess stomach acid that can make an ulcer worse.
Even drinking milk on a full stomach can make things worse. Along with whole milk, strong-flavored cheeses, cream and buttermilk should also be avoided.
Foods To Avoid If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
While antibiotics and antacids may be needed to treat a stomach ulcer, there are certain foods that can exacerbate the symptoms including pain, a burning sensation, indigestion, gas, nausea and vomiting.
A stomach ulcer, also known as a peptic ulcer, occurs when open sores develop on the inner lining of the stomach or the upper portion of the small intestine.
Peptic ulcers are of two types: gastric ulcers that are in the stomach and duodenal ulcers that are in the upper portion of the small intestine.
The most common cause of peptic ulcers is an infection due to the bacterium Helicobacter pylori . Other causes include long-term use of aspirin and certain other painkillers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is stomach pain. Stomach acid makes the pain worse, as does having an empty stomach. Other symptoms include a feeling of fullness, bloating, fatty food intolerance, heartburn, weakness, loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss.
People are at an increased risk of suffering from a stomach ulcer if they smoke a lot, drink alcohol in excess, lead a stressful life and eat spicy foods.
It is important to consult your doctor if you think you have a stomach ulcer. Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the bacterial infection and recommend antacids to reduce the acid in the digestive tract.
Here are some of the foods to avoid if you suffer from a stomach ulcer.
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Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Ulcers
Bottom Line: Studies on the extracts from sweet potatoes have shown that the vegetable has chemicals that can help heal wounds and ulcers in the stomach. Thus, dietary consumption of sweet potatoes can be an effective treatment plan against major types of ulcers including ethanol and aspirin-induced ulcers.
What Not To Eat With A Stomach Ulcer
Since stomach ulcer is a problem related to stomach, following a diet menu which can help heal stomach ulcer is advisable. However, there are certain diet restrictions for individual suffering from the stomach ulcer. These include
- High salt intake in food
- Higher Intake of fat in food should be avoided both for preventing the occurrence of stomach ulcers or any other gastrointestinal problems
- Avoiding large meals and replacing it with 5 to 6 small meals each day since the small meals would require the stomach to produce smaller quantities of stomach acids
Thus Ideally The Food items Which Should be Avoided by the Individuals Suffering from Stomach Ulcers Include
- Red Meat
- Caffeinated products such as chocolate, coffee and soft drinks
- High fat dairy products
- Spicy foods with seasonings of chili peppers, black pepper, mustard, and other strong spices
- Pre Prepared Meals
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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:
Foods Safe To Eat With Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers are sores that form in the lining of your stomach due to erosion of the protective mucus layer. Bacteria called Helicobacter pylori or long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can cause this erosion and expose the lining of your stomach to harmful digestive juices. Although foods do not cause ulcers, certain foods can increase acid production and further irritate your ulcer. Consuming foods that are more ulcer-friendly instead may reduce pain and help your ulcer heal.
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Can Peptic Ulcers Be Prevented
Doctors arent sure how H. pylori bacteria spread from person to person. The bacteria have been found in saliva , so kissing may be one way. They also may spread through food, water, or contact with vomit thats infected with the bacteria.
Regular use of NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal problems and bleeding in some people. Acetaminophen does not cause stomach ulcers and is a good alternative to NSAIDs.
As with many infections, washing your hands well and often is an important part of ulcer prevention. This is extra important after you use the bathroom and before you eat. And take good care of your body by exercising regularly and not smoking or drinking.
Can I Eat Potatoes With An Ulcer
Potato contains unique antibacterial molecules that can treat stomach ulcers, a new study has claimed. Scientists from Manchester University have discovered that a key molecule in potato can both cure and prevent the bacteria that lives in the stomach and causes stomach ulcers and heartburn, the Daily Mail reported.
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Things I Learned About Ulcers
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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?
When Should You Not Eat Sweet Potatoes
If the sweet potatoes start turning soft or mushy, they have gone bad. The same thing is true for sweet potatoes that turned a deep shade of brown to black. Check for weird growths through the skin or the presence of mold. If the sweet potatoes have developed an off-odor, toss the tubers in the trash.
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You Have Pain Specifically In Your Upper Abdomen
One of the most common ulcer symptoms is a severe pain in the upper abdomen, according to Neil Sengupta, MD, a gastroenterology specialist at the University of Chicago. Ulcers can develop anywhere in the upper digestive track, but Dr. Sengupta says we often think about those occurring in the stomach or small intestine, where we feel pain. This pain usually occurs between the breastbone and belly button, and can bring on a burning, aching, or dull feeling. The sensation may begin as a light, mild pain but often progresses into something more serious as the ulcers develop.
You Have Heartburn At Most Meals
If you find yourself experiencing frequent heartburn, regardless of what you eat, an ulcer may be responsible. Many patients with ulcers describe feeling very intense chest pain, which often causes them to burp or hiccup more than usual after eating. In many cases, a simple over-the-counter antacid can be taken to temporarily alleviate some of the pain and gassiness, but if it persists day after day, its likely something more than a regular case of heartburn.
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What To Eat & Not To Eat When You Have An Ulcer
An ulcer that often relapses is very disturbing for many of us and we should always have to be more strict in selecting our daily food so as not to get worse.
In principle, the selection of food for stomach ulcers aims to relieve the workload of the gastrointestinal tract and help neutralize excess stomach acids. What should and should not be eaten when the ulcer relapse?
Consumption Of Soft Foods
While continuing to meet fluid intake, we should only consume food with soft textures. This is to facilitate the stomach digest food, so as not to aggravate the work of the digestive system.
Good soft foods to eat include porridge, team rice, soft cooked vegetables, boiled or mashed potatoes, boiled eggs or scrambled eggs, and fish.
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The Diet Recommendations Listed Below May Help Decrease Stomach Acid And Reflux:
Eat three small meals and three snacks evenly spaced throughout the day.
Avoid long periods of fasting or overeating.
Eat slowly and chew food well.
Be relaxed at mealtime
Sit up while eating and for 1 hour afterward
Avoid eating within 3 hours before bedtime. Bedtime snacks can cause gastric acid secretion during the night.
Eat low fat foods
Limit caffeinated foods and beverages, citrus and tomato products, and chocolate.
Include a good source of protein at each meal and snack
Antacids should be taken in the prescribed dose, 30 to 60 minutes before or 3 hours after meals.
Milk and cream feedings should not be used as antacid therapy.
Although milk protein has an initial neutralizing effect on gastric acid, it is also a very potent stimulator.
Dietary Fibre & Vitamin A
Research shows that a high fibre diet decreases the risk of developing ulcer disease. Although both insoluble and soluble fibres demonstrate this association, there is a stronger association between diets high in soluble fibre and a decreased risk for developing ulcers.
Foods that are high in soluble fibre include oats, psyllium husk, legumes, flax seeds, barley, nuts, and certain vegetables and fruits, such as oranges, apples, and carrots.
Findings from a prospective cohort study that included 47,806 men, showed that a diet rich in vitamin A from all sources might reduce the development of duodenal ulcer, as might diets high in fruits and vegetables, possibly due to their fibre content.2 A prospective cohort study follows, over time, a group of similar individuals who differ with respect to certain factors under study, to determine how these factors affect rates of a certain outcome however, more research is necessary to verify results because there are so many other factors involved with this type of study that could confound the data.
Animal studies demonstrate that vitamin A increases the production of mucus in the gastrointestinal tract. Impaired mucosal defense can allow ulcers to develop. Therefore, vitamin A may have a protective effect against the development of ulcer disease.3
Good sources of vitamin A include liver, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and collard greens.
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Those Suffering From Peptic Ulcer Disease Should Quit Smoking And Drinking Have Regular Mealtimes And Modify Their Lifestyles To Reduce Stress
When I first saw Ms Lee, 43, in the emergency department, she already had all the symptoms and signs of peptic ulcer disease , which is characterised by painful sores in the lining of the stomach or duodenum.
She was suffering from severe abdominal pain and had gone into septic shock, a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood pressure drops to a dangerously low level after an infection.
Her upper abdomen was rigid and hard, and tests suggested that she had a perforated peptic ulcer or a hole in the stomach.
This means the bacteria in the stomach and intestinal contents can leak into the abdominal cavity, and then get into the blood stream, which will result in a severe infection that can be fatal if left untreated. She needed immediate surgery to save her life.
Ms Lee is among a steadily growing group of people suffering from the same urbanite chronic condition aka peptic ulcer disease, though her case is an extreme one as PUD cases rarely come with complications of bleeding and perforation.
Many of the patients I see have non-specific symptoms such as upper abdominal discomfort, bloating or belching.Although it can occur to anyone, those who are middle-aged, like Ms Lee, tend to be more susceptible to getting peptic ulcers as they tend to neglect their health due to their many commitments.
Ms Lee, a stay-at-home mother of three young school-going children and wife to a jet-setting husband, is a clear example.