Peptic ulcer refers to painful ulcers or sores in the lining of the stomach or the first portion of your small intestine, called the duodenum.
Peptic ulcer formation is mainly related to bacteria like H.Pylori in the stomach and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) in 60% of patients.
Peptic ulcers have various names, depending on their location. Duodenal ulcers are mainly peptic ulcers in the small intestine and Gastric ulcers are peptic ulcers in the stomach.
A peptic ulcer in the esophagus is widely known as an esophageal ulcer. Peptic ulcers can be a short-term or long-term problem.
What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer Disease?
No single cause can be shown for peptic ulcers. There are many important factor s that can increase the risk for ulcers.
- Use of painkillers called the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as naproxen, aspirin, ibuprofen and many others available by the prescriptions; even safety coated aspirin and aspirin in the powdered form can cause ulcers.
- Excess acid production from the gastrinomas, tumors of the acid-producing cells of the stomach that enhances acid output.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Serious illness
- Radiation treatment to the area
- Excessive drinking of alcohol
Several Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcer Disease Include:
- Burning pain in the lower or middle stomach between meals or during the night
- Vomiting or nausea
What Are The Foods To Avoid If You Have Peptic Ulcers?
Not all the foods affect everyone the same way. One will need to learn which foods cause the symptoms of stomach ulcer. Here are five food sources which you should avoid if you have peptic ulcers.
Plain and simple, red meat is one of the hardest things for the stomach to digest properly. Meats that are lower in fat (lean chicken, fish, turkey) create less acid, whereas a thick juicy mutton steak requires more acid in the stomach.
Limit meat intakes to 1-2 times weekly and chew well before swallowing. Better yet, eliminate red meat from the diet and eat plenty of veggies and raw fruits.
According to a study in June 1991 from the “Medical Clinics of North America,” decaffeinated and caffeinated tea and coffee should be avoided as they stimulate the production of acid and can cause indigestion, especially in individuals with severe stomach ulcers.
Caffeine is a naturally occurring chemical substance mainly found in beverages, like tea, coffee, and sodas, as well as foods such as chocolate.
Doctors classify caffeine as a stimulant as it stimulates the nervous system making one more aware and alert.
While coffee works as a laxative, more often than not, the high levels of the caffeine in the coffee lead to enhanced secretion of gastric acid in the stomach that can cause the acid reflux.
The most common indications of an ulcer in the stomach is a gnawing or burning sensation that often feels worse between the meals.
While a cup of cool, creamy milk can provide some temporary relief to gastric symptoms, you may be better off reaching for a glass of water.
Milk stimulates the stomach to enhance acid production leading to an increase in the ulcer irritation, especially if we drink the milk when the stomach is full, that will only make matters worse.
Salt And Salty Foods
For several years, it has been widely known that there is a direct relationship between chronic high salt intake and enhanced risk of gastric cancer.
In 2011, there were approximately 8000 newly diagnosed cases of stomach cancer in India, a quarter of which can be attributed to salt and salty foods.
Stomach cancer has a very poor prognosis, with a six-year survival rate being just 16%.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori are the major risk factor for the stomach cancer, as it can lead to gastric ulcers and inflammation which can progress into stomach cancer, and salt has been found to enhance the action of H. pylori.
Symptoms of stomach cancer may include lack of appetite, indigestion, bleeding, a feeling of fullness, blood in the stools, pain, blood clots, and sickness.
Excessive consumption of alcohol may lead to all sorts of difficulties. It is a toxin that can severely damage almost every organ in the human body. In particular, the digestive system can severely suffer as a consequence of the overindulgence.
One of the most renowned problems associated with such abuse is irritation of stomach lining that can enhance the risk of ulceration.
Drinking alcohol can interfere with the healing process of peptic ulcers that are already present, thus exacerbating and prolonging the symptoms.
Occasional and moderate drinking should not lead to any problems with peptic ulcers.
What Are The Foods To Eat To Treat Peptic Ulcers?
Here are top five food sources which you should eat to reduce the problems of peptic ulcers.
Slippery elm has been utilized as an herbal remedy for many years. It has been used in healing salves for wounds, burns, ulcers, and skin inflammation. It is also taken orally to relieve sore throats, coughs, stomach problems, and diarrhea.
It contains mucilage; a substance that becomes an effective sick gel when mixed with the water. It soothes and coats the throat, the mouth, intestines, and the stomach.
It also contains antioxidants that immensely help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm also causes the reflux stimulation of nerve ending in the gastrointestinal tract leading to enhanced mucus secretion.
The increased mucus production can protect the gastrointestinal tract against excess acidity and ulcers.
Since ulcers can recur and become a chronic problem or can lead to a number of problems including bleeding, it is important to treat them promptly. Berries such as Blueberries, Strawberries, and Cranberries rich in antioxidants can help treat the problems of peptic ulcer.
These berries are high in flavonoids, nutrients that can lower the growth of H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for ulcers and accelerate healing.
Several Other foods that contain flavonoids include cranberry juice, celery, garlic, onions, and green tea. Avoid any foods that cause stomach discomfort.
A diet high in fiber-based foods can help heal the stomach ulcer. Fiber can accelerate the healing process and reduce the risk of developing future ulcers.
Healthy Foods that contain high amounts of fiber include apples, raspberries, pears, peas, artichokes, turnip greens, cooked dried beans, whole wheat, brown rice, and barley.
If one experience stomach pain after eating any of these foods, it is best to discontinue it.
Oily fish like mackerel, salmon, and herring contain Omega-3 fatty acids. They help to lower the risk of ulcers by producing compounds called prostaglandins that help protect the lining of the intestines and stomach.
Omega oils contain DHA and EPA that are the most active compounds in this case, so if one is not eating a lot of fish, it is suggested to take a fish oil supplement that is rich in DFA and EPA.
Whole Grains And Lentils
Whole grains and lentils are rich in protein, B-vitamins, and calcium nutrients that can reduce the symptoms of the ulcer and immensely aid in the recovery process.
Other foods that contain B-vitamins include nuts, kale, and spinach.
The good news is that the number of ulcers and their complications continues to decline as men and women seek early treatments for symptoms and the causes, like NSAIDs and H. pylori.