Foods to avoid if you have Stomach ulcers
Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer.
If prompt attention is paid to it in the form of drugs, lifestyle management amongst other things, another thing that helps to keep ulcer in check is the type of food one eats.
Trying to manage or heal stomach ulcers?
See foods to stay away from as an ulcer patient:
1. Spicy Seasonings/Foods
Spicy foods irritate the lining of the stomach and, by extension, the sore area. These spicy foods are also known to make ulcer symptoms worse in some cases.
An ulcer patient should avoid alcohol/alcohol beverages as a whole. Alcohol intake increases the stomach’s acid level, making the ulcer worse and healing almost impossible.
3. Red Meat
Ulcer patients (especially peptic) should stay away from red meat! Red meat takes longer to digest, making the acid level in the stomach rise, which irritates the area and worsens the symptoms. This can be replaced with chicken, turkey and other lean proteins.
4. Refined Foods
Pasta, white bread, sugar and more processed foods should be replaced with leafy greens and vegetables, antioxidants, and fruits with lots of water.
Coffee actually doesn’t cause ulcer but irritates it. The caffeine present in coffee erodes the already sore area (ulcer), making it worse, and if the goal is to heal the ulcer, it is best to stay away from coffee or reduce taking it to the barest minimum. See 5 Best Foods for Stomach Ulcer Patients
Symptoms of stomach ulcers
A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.
Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include
- dull pain in the stomach
- weight loss
- not wanting to eat because of pain
- nausea or vomiting
- feeling easily full
- burping or acid reflux
- heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest)
- pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids
- anemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
- dark, tarry stools
- vomit that’s bloody or looks like coffee grounds
Talk to your doctor if you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they aren’t treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.
How are stomach ulcers diagnosed?
Diagnosis and treatment will depend on your symptoms and the severity of your ulcer. To diagnose a stomach ulcer, your doctor will review your medical history along with your symptoms and any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking.
To rule out H. pylori infection, blood, stool, or breath test may be ordered. With a breath test, you’ll be instructed to drink a clear liquid and breathe into a bag, which is then sealed. If H. pylori is present, the breath sample will contain higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide.
Other tests and procedures used to diagnose stomach ulcers include:
- Barium swallow: you drink a thick white liquid (barium) that coats your upper gastrointestinal tract and helps your doctor see your stomach and small intestine on X-rays.
- Endoscopy (EGD): A thin, lighted tube is inserted through your mouth and into the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. This test is used to look for ulcers, bleeding, and any tissue that looks abnormal.
- Endoscopic biopsy: A piece of stomach tissue is removed so it can be analyzed in a lab.
Treating stomach ulcers
Treatment will vary depending on the cause of your ulcer. Most ulcers can be treated with a prescription from your doctor, but in rare cases, surgery may be required.
It’s important to promptly treat an ulcer. Talk to your doctor to discuss a treatment plan. If you have an actively bleeding ulcer, you’ll likely be hospitalized for intensive treatment with