Stomach ulcers can be a painful and uncomfortable condition that can affect quality of life over time. If left unmanaged, stomach ulcers can cause complications such as infections and chronic digestive problems or nausea. By knowing what causes irritation to stomach ulcers and making healthy diet and lifestyle changes, you can control stomach ulcers and help them heal.
About Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers, also known as peptic ulcers develop when sores form in the lining of the digestive system. Often they form right within the stomach lining, but they can also form in the small intestine (in the duodenum) or the esophagus.1
Stomach ulcers are fairly common, with at least 10% of the adult population having experienced them. Poor diets and high stress can significantly contribute to ulcers as well as exposure to certain bacteria. Because ulcers can range in symptom severity, many people may not even know they have ulcers.1,2
In a healthy digestive system, the digestive tract has a protective mucous coating that defends against gastric acid buildup. But when the acid increases or the mucous decreases, it can cause sores to form as the acid eats away at the lining. Some of the reasons this may occur include:
- H. pylori bacterial infection
- Excessive use of painkillers such as Advil, Aleve or Tylenol
- Other types of medications
In addition to underlying factors causing stomach ulcers, there are are certain things that can aggravate ulcers, causing them to flare up or worsen. These risk factors include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Emotional stress
- Eating certain foods
If you suspect you may have stomach ulcers, look for some of the following signs and symptoms:
- Painful burning in the stomach
- Feeling full or bloated
- Nausea and vomiting
- An intolerance to fatty or oily foods
- Dark stools or diarrhea
- Weight loss and fatigue
When stomach ulcers first develop, you may not show any signs or only experience mild symptoms, making it difficult to identify your condition, But over time, if ulcers aren’t cared for, symptoms can worsen. In severe cases, stomach ulcers can lead to kidney and liver conditions as well.
By managing stress, limiting painkiller use and eliminating harmful substances, you can control your stomach ulcer pain and even begin to heal the sores.
Top Foods for Stomach Ulcers
It’s important to know what types of food to avoid with stomach ulcers, but it’s just as important to know which foods will help control irritation and heal the condition.
Here are some of the foods to eat when you have an ulcer:
Cayenne Pepper - As a natural anti-irritant, cayenne pepper can help minimize pain from stomach ulcers.
Cabbage Juice - Cabbage juice has natural anti-inflammatory compounds that can help control an H. pylori infection that’s causing stomach ulcers.
Flaxseed Oil - Flaxseed oil can help alleviate stomach inflammation and help restore mucous to the stomach lining.
Moringa - To help alleviate inflammation and irritation caused by stomach ulcers, take moringa supplements.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Water - Taking diluted apple cider vinegar can help reduce heartburn and stomach pain from ulcers.