Peptic ulcer is the composite name given to the esophageal ulcer, stomach or gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer. Therefore, when we refer to the diet for the peptic ulcer sufferers, it also holds good as the diet for the stomach and the duodenal ulcer patients. In the treatment of peptic ulcer, dietary advice plays an important role.

Once your peptic ulcer is diagnosed through your symptoms and the diagnostic procedures, your doctor will put you on

  • the ulcer treatment
  • the ulcer diet with a list of foods to eat and another list of foods, which you should avoid.
  • Lifestyle measures, which you should adopt and some that you should avoid.

Given below are certain dietary restrictions, which a patient of peptic ulcer should follow, along with a few “dos” and “don’ts”. However, it will be useful for you to know what are the causes of peptic ulcer, where the risk factors that aggravate an ulcer are explained. Know those factors and avoid them.

Main guidelines of the peptic ulcer diet

  • The ulcer diet should prevent corrosive action on the inner lining of the stomach by the gastric acid. It does so
    • by neutralizing the acid,
    • by not stimulating its secretion and
    • by incorporating foods that do not irritate the stomach wall lining.
  • It should give nutrition to the patient.
  • It should be rich in fiber content.
  • The ulcer diet should lessen the burden of digestion on the gastrointestinal tract to promote healing of the ulcer.

Eating guidelines for peptic ulcer disease  – Tips to follow:

Besides knowing what foods to eat, the patients of peptic ulcer disease must also follow certain eating guidelines. These guidelines mainly tell you how to eat and when to eat.

  • You should eat 5 to 6 small and frequent meals instead of the normal 2 to 3 meals. Space them out evenly. This prevents the stomach from being empty and prevents direct exposure of the gastric acid to the ulcerated portion of the stomach wall. Small meals also lessen the burden on the stomach during digestion.
  • Eat slowly and chew the food well. This will also reduce the burden of digestion on the stomach and the duodenum.
  • Drink plenty of water every day – 12 to 15 glasses – properly spaced out during the day. This is to keep the gastric acid in moderate dilution. There are other benefits of drinking water, which you should know.
  • Do not drink water one hour before and after the meals. This will help in the digestion process.
  • Learn to rest and relax after a meal for a little while. However, do not lie down.
  • Have dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed.

The following is a list of foods to be avoided by ulcer patients

  • Hot foods
  • Raw fruits and raw vegetables as they burden the digestive process.
  • Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapes.
  • Tobacco (smoking included) and alcohol because they stimulate the secretion of gastric acid.
  • Tea and coffee contain caffeine, which again is a stimulant for gastric acid secretion.
  • Fried and greasy foods are difficult to digest and require more gastric acid secretion. Therefore, avoid them.
  • Spicy and chilly foods because they stimulate gastric acid secretion.
  • Sugar should be taken in moderation as it is a stomach irritant.
  • Avoid non-vegetarian food during an acute attack because again these foods are difficult to digest and require more gastric acid secretion.
  • Pickles, tomato and tomato ketchup
  • Avoid foods that contain saturated fats like meats, whole milk and its products, and pastries.
  • If being treated for any other ailment, always inform your doctor of your ulcer, so that he can medicate you accordingly. Medicines like aspirin, steroids and non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen are contraindicated in peptic ulcer patients.

Ulcer diet foods to eat

Patients of peptic ulcer disease must have a diet plan, which consists of the following foods they should eat. These foods not only prevent aggravation of the ulcer but also aid in its healing.

  • Seedless bread, flour products and cereals of whole wheat. Rich or brown rice to also form part of the diet
  • Sugar and salt in moderation
  • Fruits:  Bananas, stewed apples, mangoes, melons, papayas, and dates.
  • Milk and its products: Low-fat milk, low-fat cheese, and low-fat yogurt. 250 ml of milk to be consumed daily Avoid excess milk as it stimulates acid secretion.
  • Vegetables in ulcer diet: Vegetables should be fresh. Avoid eating raw vegetables. Cook the vegetables properly. Cabbage and broccoli promote the ulcer healing process. Potatoes and carrots should also form part of your diet.
  • Non-vegetarian foods in ulcer diet: Unseasoned only:Lean meat, fish, and poultry. One Egg per day. However, during an acute attack, avoid non-vegetarian foods.
  • Oils to use in the ulcer diet: Avoid saturated fats and stick to unsaturated fats Use olive oil or vegetable oil only.

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