Causes of Peptic Ulcers and Ways To Prevent it

Causes of Peptic Ulcers and Ways To Prevent it

People who have stomach infections and acidity problem often face challenges from peptic ulcers. A peptic ulcer is an open sore which develops in the inner lining of the stomach and upper part of small intestine.

Peptic ulcers can be divided into two categories:

Gastric ulcers - Ulcer that develops in the stomach is known as gastric ulcer.

Duodenal Ulcers - These types of ulcers develop in the upper small intestine.

What causes peptic ulcers?

  • Peptic ulcer occurs due to infection caused by bacteria Helicobacter pylori.
  • Long term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen and certain other painkillers.
  • Though taking stress and spicy food intake does not cause peptic ulcer, they could make symptoms worse.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.

What are the symptoms?

  • The most common symptom of peptic ulcer is the burning sensation and aching. It occurs between the navel and breastbone. Sometimes people experience back pain. Peptic ulcer pain lasts for a few minutes and might come and go for a few weeks.
  • Weight loss due to loss of appetite.
  • Feeling of fullness, belching, nausea or bloating.
  • Vomiting blood or vomiting material like coffee grounds
  • Bloody or Tar-like black stools
  • Unusual sense of weakness
  • The pain can be worse between meals and at night.

Recommended foods for Peptic Ulcer Diet

  • Fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, canned can also be used. Fruit juice which can be tolerated.
  • Whole grain breads, cereals, enriched rice, muffins and pancakes
  • Low or non-fat milk and milk products
  • Plain mild cheese
  • Lean meat of beef and lamb
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Honey
  • Soup
  • Moderate use of mustard, ketchup, and vinegar

Foods that should be avoided

  • Biscuits
  • Onions
  • Cabbage, cucumber, and cauliflower
  • High-fat bread and cereals
  • Breads with nuts or dried fruits
  • Lemons, orange and pineapples
  • Citrus juices made of pineapple, orange and grapefruit
  • Chocolate milk and whole milk
  • Strong flavored cheese
  • Highly seasoned meats
  • Fried meats
  • Gravies
  • Cakes, pastries and cookies
  • Sweets containing nuts, fruit and coconuts
  • Carbonated beverages such as coffee, tea, colas
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Garlic
  • Highly spicy foods
  • Pickles

Other supplementary tips

Some people are insensitive of certain foods which could further escalate symptoms of peptic ulcer. If they follow a few things, it would help them a lot.

  • Instead of 3 meals in a day, breaking down them in 5-6 meals would be an excellent way of keeping the symptoms at check as smaller meals are lighter on the stomach.
  • Rich fiber diet derived from fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime
  • Eat slowly and chew the food well
  • Resting and relaxing for a few minutes after taking meals

Treatment of Peptic Ulcer

Most people suffering from peptic ulcers will need to take doctor prescribed medicines that help them reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. The healing process can be boosted by quitting smoking and limiting the use of alcohol. 

Ignoring symptoms of ulcer is not a good idea. Sometimes it turns into a life-threatening disease.

Sources

1. English FA., et al.(2015).Risk factors and effective management of preeclampsia. read more
2. Mayo Clinic Staff(2017, August 12).Peptic ulcer: Symptoms & Causes read more
3. Peptic Ulcer(2017,November 06) 
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