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Diet for a peptic ulcer patient

Updated on January 10, 2017
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A peptic ulcer in layman’s terms is a sore that occurs within the lining of the stomach or slightly above the stomach in the esophagus or in the small intestine. A peptic ulcer patient will have sores occurring within the stomach referred to as gastric ulcers. The term peptic ulcer is broad and may even encompass the ulcers in the stomach walls.

Cause of disease and symptoms

The main cause of peptic ulcers is bacteria Helicobacter pylori(H. pylori) which is suspected to be sourced from water, unclean food or even practices such as kissing. There are other causes that have been associated with peptic ulcers such as long use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with examples of aspirin and ibuprofen, alcohol use, stress, smoking and advanced age.A peptic ulcer patient will have symptoms which include but not limited to vomiting, stomach pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, gas, indigestion and a burning sensation.

A diet cannot help prevent or cure a peptic ulcer patient. However; the use of a peptic ulcer diet can help relieve the symptoms that bring a lot of discomfort and pain. The points below should also be practised to ensure that you get to avoid discomfort and healing of the ulcers.

Fiber

Research has shown that higher fiber content in the diet is associated with a lower possibility of developing peptic ulcers. It is recommended that a peptic ulcer diet that is high in fiber be employed. A large percentage of the diet should contain vegetables, fruits legumes, nuts and whole grain. Other than controlling discomfort and pain used by the peptic ulcers, fiber is also necessary in the diet for the crucial purpose of controlling weight and good health.

Probiotics

These are micro-organisms that are living and may be important in the benefit of health and are a recommended peptic ulcer food. Probiotics help in the elimination of the causing bacteria (H.pylori) from the gastro intestinal tract, when used with antibiotics. Research has also shown that they also helped in preventing development of peptic ulcers in at risk individuals. Some good sources of these probiotics include yoghurt, Soy beverages and specific plant juices.

Flavonoids

This is a common group of peptic ulcer foods that are rich in antioxidants that have been also linked with heart disease and cancer prevention. Research has shown that the properties found in these flavonoids function as antioxidants which produce act as protection against infection from bacteria H. Pylori. Good sources of these flavonoids include apples, onions, garlic, celery tea and cranberries.

Low-Fat Foods

A common symptom of a peptic ulcer patient is Gastroesophageal reflux, commonly referred to as GERD. This condition is manifested by the stomach contents leaking from the stomach to the esophagus, an action that causes an irritation of the esophagus. Controlling GERD will in turn minimize symptoms associated with peptic ulcer. It has been observed that foods high in fat are the main cause of GERD as they increase the amount of acid produced in the stomach. To control this symptom, choose to consume low fat and lean meats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains as well as low fat dairy products.

Smaller meals

Yet another peptic ulcer diet remedy is to consume smaller and more frequent meals as opposed to larger meals. The main reason behind the reasoning is a large meal will require the body to produce a large amount of acid which in effect will cause a lot of discomfort. The best frequency is 5- 6 meals throughout the day as opposed to three large meals. Dinner should also be consumed at least 3 hours before bedtime to ensure digestion has already occurred when you go to bed.

Spicy foods

Spicy foods are also to be avoided as these have been shown to cause irritation over the peptic ulcers, which in turn are manifested as pain in the stomach area. As healing of the spicy foods takes place, it might be necessary to be eating whole foods only with a lot of fruits and vegetables.

More to a peptic ulcer diet, it is recommended that habits such as alcohol intake and smoking be controlled by a peptic ulcer patient, particularly during the healing process when antibiotic use is still rife. In the long run, the two habits should be kicked to ensure that complete recovery from the ulcers is achieved.

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    • Davidnjoroge profile imageAUTHOR

      David Njoroge 

      5 years ago from Nairobi

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