Ulcers can either occur in the stomach; where they are referred to as gastric ulcers, or in the first part of the small intestines; where they are referred to as duodenal ulcers.
The most common cause of ulcers is erosion of intestinal lining due to increased stomach acid; leading to formation of open sores.
The increase in stomach acid stems from factors such as stress, excessive use of painkillers like aspirin, excessive consumption of alcohol or presence bad bacteria such as H. pylori.
The most common sign of ulcers is a burning sensation in the abdomen. The pain results when stomach acid comes into contact with the sores.
The burning sensation is worse when one is hungry, or when acidic foods are ingested.
Foods to Eat
- Persons suffering from ulcers are encouraged to eat foods high in fibre content. Fibre is a key ingredient in repair of stomach walls.
- Green leafy vegetables are also highly recommended. They contain Vitamin K, which plays a key role in repair of damaged caused by excessive stomach acid.
- A mixture of cabbage and carrot juices have healing properties that can help manage ulcers.
- Fermented foods, such as unsweetened yoghurt, provide good bacteria, which in turn help prevent infection from bad bacteria.
- Honey contains numerous elements that can help keep growth of bad bacteria in check. Individuals with normal blood sugar level can take honey as a remedy.
- Other beneficial foods include: soybeans, red grapes, legumes, apples, green tea, bananas and probiotics.
For maximum effectiveness, persons with ulcers should eat the above foods in small meals spread throughout the day, instead of few large meals.
Foods to Avoid
- Spicy foods have been found to irritate ulcers and should be avoided.
- Avoid sugary foods because the sugar feeds bad bacteria, exacerbating ulcers.
- Alcohol, being one of the causes of ulcers, should be avoided.
- Other foods to avoid include: caffeinated beverages, carbonated beverages, chilly, citrus and deep-fried foods.
If left unaddressed, ulcers can become worse to a point that it necessitates surgery. In such a case, it is recommended that you get immediate medical attention.