Monday, 8 August 2016

SPECIAL DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH GASTRIC ULCER

 Introduction:



Stomach and duodenal ulcers commonly called peptic ulcers occur in the stomach and duodenal wall respectively. Stomach is lined up by a mucous lining which forms a barrier and protects the stomach wall from corrosive effect of gastric acid. When this barrier is broken, the stomach wall is exposed to the corrosive effect of gastric acid and an ulcer forms. 

Infection with H. pylori bacteria and prolonged use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and diclofenac are common factors that cause the mucous lining to break down. 

Both stomach and duodenal ulcers are associated with:-
  • Severe upper abdominal pain which may also be felt at the back.
  • Vomiting. Vomit may be blood stained or coffee ground in color.
  • Indigestion and bloated tummy.
  • Dark-colored stool.

 

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DIETARY CONSIDERATIONS:-


Meal frequency and portioning- the stomach is able to tolerate small and frequent meals which helps in reduction of gastric acid production and helps in relieving symptoms associated with the ulcer. Overeating may worsen ulcer symptoms.

Smoking- tobacco contains nicotine. Nicotine has been associated with increased gastric acid production, irritation to the stomach wall lining and may predispose to ulcer formation and worsening of ulcer symptoms. 

Probiotics- they are commonly found in fermented food products like yogurt. Please note, if there is an existing ulcer, fermented food products may worsen the ulcer symptoms and delay healing process. On the other hand, probiotics have have antibacterial property and may help in eradication of H. pylori which is a common cause of gastric ulcer. 

Milk- there is no surprise here but milk prescription is no longer encouraged. After taking milk, it exerts a soothing effect to the ulcer and temporarily relieves pain but it has a residual and rebound gastric acid production which may exacerbate ulcer formation and worsening of the symptoms. 

Honey -This sends me back to college days when we used honey to dress diabetic wounds. Honey has antibacterial properties and studies have shown that it may play a crucial role in inhibiting H. pylori growth. For those who have problem controlling their blood sugar level should consult a Doctor with regard to use of honey.

Food seasoning- black pepper, chili may not play crucial role in healing process. They are associated with indigestion or dyspepsia. But spicy food is controversial in that they may exacerbate symptoms in some individuals and in this case one is encouraged to stop or use less spices in food. If there is no discomfort after eating spicy food then one can use them.





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