Living with an Ulcer: Dietary Tips to Remember

Medically reviewed by | By

Update Date 25/07/2020 . 3 mins read
Share now

Life with ulcer can be quite challenging, but it is definitely manageable through the right lifestyle habits and dietary intervention. What is the best ulcer diet?

The Best Ulcer Diet Depends on the Individual

Peptic ulcers are sores that develop either inside the stomach or the small intestine. In some cases, they can also develop in the esophagus.

Gastric ulcers are peptic ulcers that develop inside the stomach. While duodenal ulcers form in the upper part of the small intestine.

It’s important to note that duodenal ulcer stomach pain usually happens on an empty stomach. And eating usually eases the discomfort. While gastric ulcers usually start to hurt after eating.

There is really no uniform diet in reality that eliminates ulcers completely without the aid of some medication or treatment.

An ulcer diet in itself will not replace treatment, although it can help minimize symptoms or discomfort. 

Initially, Ulcer Diet Therapy is Trial and Error

Since diet therapy is highly individualized, it’s naturally experimental at the beginning of one’s journey in managing ulcers.

It’s all about knowing your triggers and discovering it as you go along. The pH level of foods does not affect the stomach, contrary to popular belief.  

Those with ulcers do need to be keen during the onset of symptoms and may even benefit from keeping a food diary daily to check if certain foods are aggravating the peptic ulcers. You will find certain foods will cause your stomach to react wildly while it can cause minimal effect to other people with ulcers. 

The Best Ulcer Diet: Avoid Fatty Foods, Caffeine, and Alcohol

Despite the individualized approach, there are food groups that are popular triggers of ulcers.

In general, foods containing fat, caffeine, or alcohol are agents of destruction for someone with a peptic ulcer.

Foods with a lot of fat tend to stay in the stomach a little longer than other types of foods.

Some fatty foods overstay in the stomach, causing discomfort.

Make Sure to Eat on Schedule

An empty stomach leads to the production of more dormant acids  inside the stomach without any food to properly digest it.

The timing of eating also matters. Eating too much food before bedtime stimulates acid production and can disrupt your much-needed sleep at night.

Drinking milk every few hours also helps reduce the pain caused by the acid and is popularly used for first aid at home by most people when having an ulcer attack. 

Stress and Emotional Eating can Aggravate Ulcer

Stress (and stress eating) can make an ulcer much worse. Emotional eating can  of their intake and at the same time, the extra stress from a circumstance or situation can worsen existing ulcer symptoms.

The approach towards healing ulcers is therefore holistic. You cannot just treat it as a purely physical disease. There are mental factors to consider and having too much stress at work or in your personal life can also affect how long it will take to heal your ulcers.

Risk Factors

A highly acidic stomach does not guarantee ulcers. There are people who have a higher risk of having ulcers: those who are infected with Helicobacter pylori and those who are taking NSAID medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin and Ibuprofen,.

Peptic ulcers are the most common type of ulcers in the stomach. Gastric ulcers (stomach) and duodenal ulcers (intestinal) both cause excruciating pain to patients who have it. It’s an open sore that is usually seen in a procedure called the upper endoscopy.

The St. Thomas Medical Group Gastroentorology Endoscopy Center also lists smoking and alcoholism as additional risk factors.

Alcohol ruins the protective lining of the stomach which makes it more prone to wounding while smoking aggravates Helicobacter pylori’s risk factors.

Those who are also aged 50 and up and who have lung and kidney issues are also more prone to developing ulcers, according to Manhattan Gastroenterology.

Typical Treatments are Acid Suppressants

Some ulcers are manageable at home and some are really serious. Treatment of ulcers usually involves some form of suppressants of the excess acid in the stomach that’s causing the peptic ulcers.

If there’s bleeding, additional medical intervention is provided and it’s treated as an emergency case especially if it also includes episodes of lightheadedness, vomiting of blood, bleeding, and passing out.

Key Takeaways

Knowing facts and scientifically based research on ulcer treatment is better than relying on old wives’ tales.

Study your own ulcer by eliminating your unique food triggers in your diet and trust the gastroenterologists who published a lot of work about the role of diet and medication in ulcer treatment.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Was this article helpful for you ?
happy unhappy

You might also like

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms to Watch Out For

Detecting MS early increases the chance of good long-term outcome. What are the multiple sclerosis symptoms to watch out for?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Multiple Sclerosis 03/12/2020 . 3 mins read

Is a Daith Piercing Good for Migraines?

As one of the latest fads, is daith piercing good for migraines? If you are curious to get one done or have never head of it, read more about it here.

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Headaches and Migraines 03/12/2020 . 3 mins read

Effects of Screen Time on Child Brain Development

Studies show that early exposure to screen devices may negatively affect a child's health. What are the effects of screen time on child brain development?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Preschooler 02/12/2020 . 4 mins read

How to Improve Memory Naturally

Digital amnesia happens due to our dependence on devices. Is it possible to prevent digital amnesia? How can you improve your memory naturally?

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Other Brain & NS Issues 02/12/2020 . 4 mins read

Recommended for you

menopause mood swings and anger

How to Cope with Menopause Mood Swings and Anger

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 03/12/2020 . 3 mins read
healthy food that's bad for you

Healthy Food That’s Bad for You: The Ugly Truth

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Published on 03/12/2020 . 4 mins read
is bee pollen good for your health

Is Bee Pollen Good for Your Health? What’s the Buzz

Medically reviewed by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Written by Stephanie Nicole G. Nera
Published on 03/12/2020 . 3 mins read
common multiple sclerosis causes

Common Multiple Sclerosis Causes

Medically reviewed by Hello Doctor Medical Panel
Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N.
Published on 03/12/2020 . 3 mins read