Stomach Ulcer? Here is What You Need to Know and What Foods to Avoid

Anthony Davis
Published Oct 21, 2023



In the simplest terms, a stomach ulcer is an open sore residing in this part of the abdomen. What you put into your stomach can have a direct impact on how you are able to control the ulcer symptoms. While the wrong foods will irritate the ulcer, the right diet can actually bring about healing in some cases. Here is what you need to know about stomach ulcers and what foods to avoid if you are dealing with this common health issue.
 

Stomach Ulcer Causes and Symptoms



There are a number of issues that can trigger the formation of a stomach ulcer. An infection caused by a particular bacteria known as H. pylori has been shown to increase inflammation in the stomach while also boosting acid production. Roughly 80% to 90% of stomach ulcers are caused by this specific bacterium.

Another common cause of stomach ulcers is excessive use of nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These medications can leave the mucous lining of the stomach more vulnerable to acid damage, raising the risk of developing ulcers. Less common causes of these ulcers include stomach cancer and other types of serious medical issues.

Pain that radiates in the upper portion of the stomach is one of the first signs that something may be amiss. Most people report that the pain is worse after eating. Other potential symptoms include bloating, nausea, a constant sense of hunger, or feeling full too quickly.
 

Stomach Ulcer Complications



Dealing with a stomach ulcer is not only a major discomfort but it can also lead to serious health complications if left untreated. An ulcer that continues to grow and worsen can cause a broken blood vessel. Large ulcers can lead to obstructions that prevent the digestive tract from processing food correctly.

An ulcer that punches a hole in the stomach wall is known in medical terms as a perforation. A serious perforation can lead to life-threatening infections if not caught in time. This is why it is important to stay under the care of a health professional if you have been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer.
 

Foods to Avoid When Dealing with a Stomach Ulcer



It is hard to pinpoint exactly what may be aggrieving your ulcer. You may need to follow an elimination diet to determine what foods aggravate your ulcer. While this can be a process of trial and error, knowing what foods to avoid can be a literal life-saver.

However, there are some foods that have been universally shown to complicate existing stomach ulcers. For instance, it makes sense that highly acidic foods such as pineapple can make a stomach ulcer worse. Citrus fruits are also some of the biggest offenders as well as spicy foods.

Other foods that you may want to try eliminating include fatty or greasy foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine, alcohol, peppers, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, and raw vegetables, including salads. Spearmint and peppermint are also reported as herbs that may cause a stomach ulcer to worsen. In addition, the tannins in black and green teas can increase the production of stomach acid.
 

Foods to Support Stomach Ulcer Healing



Like most health conditions, a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and fiber is best to support optimal wellness. The antioxidant properties found in many of these foods are instrumental in supporting good gut health. Dietary fiber and high amounts of vitamin A have been shown in some research studies to specifically reduce the incidence of stomach ulcers.

Specific foods to add to your diet if you are looking to heal existing ulcers or prevent the onset of new ones include grapes, pomegranate, apples, green tea, vegetables, and the spice known as curcumin.

When it comes to specific vegetables, many people have found success in healing stomach ulcers by increasing their consumption of sweet potatoes. The combination of high amounts of vitamin A and dietary fiber helps to treat constipation and prevent acid from building up in the stomach.

While you can never fully prevent stomach ulcers, the right diet can go a long way in treating the symptoms and mitigating your risks of future development.
 

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