diets for ulcers
Tips for ulcer patients regarding diet, medication, treatments, symptoms, causes and prevention of stomach ulcers.
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Ulcers are small erosions in the tissues comprising the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract that includes stomach and/or duodenum, part of the small intestine extending immediately beyond stomach. Ulcer in the duodenum is called duodenal ulcer while that in the stomach is stomach or gastric ulcer. The term for both of them together is peptic ulcer.

Ulcer Facts

a) Ulcers are caused by infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori that lives in the lining of the stomach.

b) Antibiotics killing the bacterium or acid-suppressing drugs can be used for 14 days to cure ulcer for good.

c) Ulcers can affect people of any age, but are most common with elderly people.

d)Smoking, drinking excessive alcohol, taking certain medications like ibuprofen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs like aspirin, skipping meals, overeating, too much coffee or spicy food, poor diet, stress, chronic illness and family history also contribute to ulcers.

e) The many symptoms of ulcers can be nausea, belching, indigestion, loss of weight, heartburn, general abdominal discomfort, vomiting, loss of appetite and light-headedness.

Ulcer Diet

Ulcesr can be treated by not taking NSAIDs, (instead, check with the doctor or gastroenterologist for other alternatives), quitting cigarettes and drinking and starting a healthy routine of exercise and diet. Here is a diet for ulcer patients:

The diet of the ulcer patient should be formulated in a manner fit to provide sufficient nutrition, persistently neutralize stomach acid and reduce acid production and is restful both for the body and the mind.

Try food rich with-

a) Vitamin A-

This fat-soluble vitamin is all-important to aid in proper growth and repair of the damaged tissues in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Dietary sources:

Fruits: apricots, mangoes and cantaloupes.

Vegetables: carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes.

Others: eggs, milk, cheese and liver.

Although vitamin A is necessary for ulcer patients, too much intake can be toxic and is not recommended.

b) Vitamin C-

This water-soluble vitamin is responsible for forming the protein, collagen, which maintains the structure of the muscles. It is invaluable to accelerate the process of healing of the damaged tissues in the stomach lining and to resist further infection.

Dietary sources:

Fruits: citrus fruits like orange, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon and lime, mango, cantaloupe, strawberry, peach, fortified fruit juices, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, pineapple, melon and kiwi.

Vegetables: chard, okra, tomato, asparagus, artichoke, papaya, onion, red or green pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, Brussels sprouts, sweet and white potatoes, cabbage, beans (green or yellow), peas and pumpkin.

Others: liver, pork, chicken, beef, clams and mussels.

c) Vitamin E-

This vitamin is fat-soluble and is a powerful anti-oxidant that destroys free radicals in the blood. It also boosts the immune system.

Dietary sources:

Fruits: kiwi and mango.

Vegetables: fresh, green, leafy vegetables, broccoli and spinach.

Others: sardines, corn oil, wheat germ oil, soybean oil, peanuts, peanut butter, hazelnut, egg yolk, almond and fortified cereals.

d) Zinc-

This vitamin boosts the immune system, plays a crucial role in the healing of the wounds in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract and resists future infections. It is a prerequisite for various enzymatic activities triggering various biochemical reactions inside the body.

Dietary sources:

Fruits: orange, fig and raisin.

Vegetables: potatoes, beans, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and peas.

Others: peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, almonds, whole grains, fortified cereals, oysters, beef, chicken, pork, cashew, cheese, walnut, milk and oatmeal.

Some helpful tips

Self help is the best help to treat ulcer. Chalk out a routine for yourself and evenly distribute snack or mealtime. Stick to three small meals and two or three small snacks.

Avoid hot food like red and black peppers, chilly powder, chocolate, coffee, tea, alcohol, rich fatty food, fried food, cold drinks, cigarette and medicines like aspirin. Try food enriched with starch and fiber and include milk protein in your diet.

Avoid overeating and long periods without food.

Eat a variety of foods. Avoid rich fatty foods, sugar, sodium and food that cause stomach problems.

Relax with food. Chew slowly and thoroughly.

Avoid eating at or near bedtime. Finish taking your meal 2-3 hours before going to bed. Walk 15-20 minutes after your last meal and before bedtime so that the food gets time to digest which otherwise can cause acid secretion.

Stick to fresh meat, vegetables and fruits. Avoid stale or expired foods.

Consult your health care provider about taking antacids. Use antacids if it is absolutely necessary.

Exercise regularly and manage weight.

Change your lifestyle. Stay happy and joyful.