Abdominal pain is a very common symptom and its causes may seem endless. But abdominal pain experienced after a meal may clearly show a classic symptom of heartburn or in some severe cases may represent peptic ulcer disease. The usual presentation is upper abdominal burning or hunger pain one to three hours after meals. Peptic ulcer develops when the acidic digestive juices produced by our stomach cells corrodes the lining of the stomach and duodenum (first part of our small intestine). Such digestive acids which are intended to digest food does cause damage to the walls of our stomach. Excess acid formation in our stomach, causing ulcers are mostly brought about by Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection. Other major causes of ulcer formation in stomach may include long term use of NSAIDS (for example ibuprofen and aspirin), smoking, alcohol abuse and stress.
To Avoid Symptoms is to Avoid Foods Causing Ulcers
People inflicted with peptic ulcer disease may find certain foods which aggravates their symptoms of abdominal burning pain, indigestion, gas, nausea and vomiting. Because the mere fact an ulcer developed, exposure to foods which increases gastric acid production may irritate the mucosal lining of the stomach causing exacerbation of these annoying symptoms. Although there is no specific ideal diet plan for stomach ulcer, the rationale to follow is to avoid or restrict foods causing irritation to the digestive system and to lessen chances of having excessive gastric acid production.
This beverage should be avoided at all times when an ulcer is present because this will only cause more injury to the lining of the stomach which can negatively affect the chances of ulcer to heal. Alcohol increases chances of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), for which exacerbates stomach ulcers. It can also make stomach pH susceptible for H. pylori infection causing more ulcer formation. This substance is corrosive to stomach lining and small intestine and must be avoided by people with ulcers to prevent risks of bleeding and inflammation.
Foods under this category include hot peppers and hot sauces. These foods cause irritation of the stomach lining and also trigger stomach acid production which aggravates ulcer symptoms.
Caffeine strips off production of prostaglandin from stomach cells which decreases the stomach’s cytoprotection to dilute acid. But please note that even decaffeinated coffee may enhance acid production in the stomach. Caffeine does not pertain to coffee alone but to foods such as tea, dark chocolates, and candies.
Same as coffee, these carbonated beverages increase gastric acid production which in turn cause indigestion. In this manner, this type of beverage should be avoided by people with stomach ulcers. Individuals with history of ulcer should better think twice before taking some soda as a quencher.
Foods differ on their acidity content and in treating ulcer it’s a must to avoid foods with high acid content. Many fruits are rich in citric acid which can be found in oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, pineapples, apples, peaches and other fruit juices. Tomatoes are also acidic which is irritating to the gastric mucosa.
Milk can coat stomach lining and relieve gastric ulcers but only for the mean time as this can hinder healing. Calcium found in milk may actually worsen and stimulate gastric acid production. It is contradicting how milk can actually neutralize stomach acid but can even trigger production of more acid. With this premise, we can’t omit milk on our list of foods to avoid.
Aside from the list of foods mentioned, other foods to be avoided include breads and cereals with high trans fats especially those found in commercially prepared or processed foods. Examples for such include high fat snack crackers, croissants, biscuits, granola-type cereals. Most importantly, please limit intake of refined foods like white bread, pasta and foods rich in sugar and red meats.