What You Should Know About Diet and Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers affect millions of adults in the United States every year. The pain and discomfort associated with stomach ulcers can be debilitating. Billions of dollars each year are spent treating the effects of stomach ulcers. Knowing how diet affects stomach ulcers can help you improve your condition and understand what diet changes you should make.
A stomach ulcer is a break or tear in the lining of the stomach tissue. Stress, smoking, and diet are some of the most commons causes of stomach ulcers. The bacteria H. pylori is also known to cause many stomach ulcers and causes symptoms such as indigestion. Antibiotics, along with acid-suppressing drugs, are given to treat the infection. Carefully watching your diet can also provide some relief from indigestion.
If you are having any of the following symptoms, you could have a stomach ulcer: burning abdominal pain in the middle to upper abdomen, nausea, heartburn, pain upon having an empty stomach, and pain that wakens you during the night. If you are vomiting bright red blood, your ulcer may be bleeding. If this occurs, you should visit your doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
Diet for Acute Ulcer
Diet is one of the most important treatments of stomach ulcers. For stomach ulcers in the severe stage, milk is often the best food. Milk provides the necessary nutrients and does not contain acids to aggravate the ulcer, giving the body a chance to heal itself. As your condition begins to improve, start adding other foods low in acid to your diet such as bland cereals.
Diet for Ulcer Control
A careful diet will help keep the pain and discomfort of stomach ulcers under control. Eat healthy meals; avoid fried foods and foods that are high fat. Eat small meals four to five times a day, rather than two or three large meals during the day. Eat slowly and chew your food well. This will aid in the digestion process. Do not lie down within 1 hour of eating. This will allow your body time to begin the digestion process and will decrease the chance of heartburn and the pain associated with it.
Foods to Avoid
Foods high in acid content will do nothing but aggravate stomach ulcers. These foods should be avoided if you have a stomach ulcer. You should avoid fried foods, spices, hot seasonings, and high roughage foods. Caffeine and alcohol will also aggravate an ulcer and worsen the pain. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, are high in acid and should be avoided.