Dietary Do’s and Don’ts when treating Stomach ulcers.

What are stomach ulcers?

Stomach ulcers or stomach sores are usually found on the lining of the stomach, Commonly caused by the bacteria H-pylori and sometimes overuse of certain over-the-counter medications.

When you have stomach ulcers it means that the stomach walls have been destroyed and therefore the stomach acids may sip inside into those sores causing irritation, usually a burning sensation, and indigestion. 

This often happens when you are hungry. And it can be very painful. It’s not recommended you assume you have stomach ulcers just because you are presenting with;

  • Vomiting,
  • Stomach pain

This could be a symptom of other conditions as well.

However, it’s not all the time you will develop signs and symptoms, as the symptoms can be very mild. But when you have signs and symptoms like;

  • Stomach pains
  • Hemorrhage
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Black stool because of the bleeding from the sores.
    • It will be very wise to see the doctor.

What causes stomach ulcers?

Many causes of stomach ulcers include;

  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Overuse of certain over-the-counter medication
  • Too much intake of coffee, strong spices, tea
    • Which Will only increase the risk of developing stomach ulcers.

Tests can be done to determine the exact cause of stomach ulcers, and if it’s caused by the bacteria H. pylori, then you may be started on
some antibiotics to help the management. The doctor can also find other solutions.

Nutrition management is very important because we are talking about the stomach and food.

The goals of nutrition management include;

  • To promote healing
  • To relieve pain and discomfort
  • To restore the nutrition status

When an individual starts to develop stomach pain and indigestion they will start to avoid eating certain foods and this could lead to
malnutrition and deficiencies, and there is also a risk of weight loss affecting the nutrition status.

Nutrition recommendations for the management of stomach ulcers.

  1. Have three regular meals to help manage stomach distention, as stomach distension causes the secretion of more stomach
    acids which can only mean more pain for you. 
  2. Taking small frequent meals is going to help with stomach distension which releases a hormone that stimulates
    acid secretion.
  3. Relax and eat slowly, when you eat fast, more stomach acids get produced and more pain may be experienced.
  4. Avoid drinks and foods that cause pain to you, because people react to different foods differently. Eating beans may cause discomfort to one person but may not cause the same kind of effect on you. 
  5. When you remove beans from your diet, for example, you will need to replace them with other legumes like
    green grams, lentils, and so on. Alcohol also may cause pain as it provokes stomach sores, the solution here may be to quit alcohol.
  6. Avoid cooking with lots of spices

When you follow these nutrition guidelines, Stomach pains will not be as severe.

Important is ;

  1. choose a better cooking method, for example, when you soak beans, the effects on the stomach may not be as bad.
  2. Replace alcohol with healthy drinks.
  3. When you eliminate a certain food, make sure you replace it with foods from other food groups.
  4. Test to confirm stomach ulcers before you start to take medications.

However, certain things aren’t true about stomach ulcers, what we call myths.

Here are 4 myths and misconceptions that you should not keep on believing as they may lead to the worsening of the condition;

1. Does Stress cause stomach ulcers?

The correct thing to say here is that stress does not help at all, and we do not know if stress directly causes stomach ulcers.

It, however, may worsen the situation as it may lead to the production of more stomach acids causing more irritation and more pain. 

Once the stomach walls have been destroyed, anything that causes the production of more stomach acids like in this case stress will only bring on more pain. 

You are therefore safer finding better ways to deal with stress and stay calm at most times and in other cases seeking psychotherapy services

2. Is Milk the Medication for stomach ulcers?

More often than not we have all heard about this and even tried it ourselves at home. 

For individuals who have already been diagnosed with stomach ulcers, especially gastric ulcers, you immediately feel better after taking a glass of milk, but does it last? 

No, because what milk does is give a temporary solution. 

What you need are antibiotics to kill the bacteria H pylori, or stop the overuse of certain medications, and important also is to avoid stress at most times. 

That is as much as it has been said, you should never have to self-medicate because usually, it gets worse, and truth be said you may need more than just a glass of milk.

3. Does Eating spicy foods cause stomach ulcers?

Can I just quickly interchange this and say that, when you get diagnosed with stomach ulcers, the first change you would have to make is to stop eating too spicy foods?

As this will only cause more irritation on the sores, we are talking about stomach ulcers remember, 

Anything too acidic or too tough on the ulcers will give you more pain.

Spicy foods like pilau may not cause stomach ulcers directly but will not be friendly to someone who already has stomach ulcers.

4. Does stomach ulcers have a cure/treatment?

For any disease once diagnosed early, there will always be a treatment, for stomach ulcers as well, an early diagnosis will mean a good prognosis. 

To add it by knowing the cause of stomach ulcers, the treatment can easily be sought, For instance:

  1. Antibiotics kill the bacteria H-pylori.
  2. Staying away from foods that irritate the ulcers like spicy foods.
  3. Managing stress.

You will feel better in no time.

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