Contrary to popular belief, excess stomach acids do not cause a stomach ulcer. This condition occurs when the stomach lining starts to erode, causing sores that become painful when in contact with stomach acids. A layer of mucous lining protects the stomach from its own digestive enzymes, including hydrochloric acid. When this protective layer erodes, it causes lesions in the stomach.
Usually, a type of bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) causes stomach ulcer. However, there are cases wherein stomach ulcers develop through long-term use of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Some of the most popular types of NSAIDs are aspirin and ibuprofen.
If you were diagnosed with stomach ulcer in the past, it’s likely that the kind of food you eat could trigger flare-ups. Mild flare-ups can be treated with over-the-counter medicines like acid blockers, antacid, or antibiotics to minimize pain. In cases where stomach ulcer is severe, several types of food have to be cut off from a patient’s diet to lessen the likelihood of flare-ups.
So what can you do to stop irritating a stomach ulcer? Consider the following tips:
Avoid Caffeinated Drinks
Numerous researches conclude that caffeinated drinks—like coffee, tea, and sodas—can cause stomach ulcer flare-ups because caffeine stimulates the stomach to produce more digestive enzymes. One study even shows that drinking too much caffeinated drinks will cause indigestion, particularly in individuals afflicted with stomach ulcer.
Do Not Skip Meals
If you’re trying to avoid flare-ups, don’t even think about skipping a meal. People suffering from stomach ulcer should eat at the right time so the normal production of stomach acid is not disrupted. Adopting 5 to 6 mini meals per day is better than the usual 3 big meals for those with stomach ulcers. Keep the serving small to level out the stomach acids.
Cut Back on Acidic Food
Certain types of fruits can trigger the stomach to produce more digestive enzymes. These fruits are usually the ones high in citric acids like lemon, limes, oranges, grapefruits, and pineapples. Jams, jellies, and even fruit juices could also trigger a flare-up so it’s best to avoid these types of food.
Cut Back on Spicy Food
If you love hot sauce or if Indian cuisine is a favorite, you might be irritating your stomach, causing flare-ups. One of the most important things to remember when trying to avoid irritating a sensitive stomach is to manage the acid reflux because this is a known stomach ulcer trigger. Spicy foods can trigger acid influx and even aggravate symptoms related to stomach ulcers.
Managing acid reflux is important because it is related to stomach ulcer. Avoid spicy foods, such as chilies, hot peppers, and hot sauce. These foods can increase stomach acid, trigger acid reflux, and worsen symptoms associated with stomach ulcers.
Eat Balanced Meals
Certain types of refined food—such as white bread, pasta, and sugar—could trigger a stomach ulcer flare-up. So try to cut back on refined foods. Instead, adopt a diet rich in fiber, avoid fatty foods, and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. Increase your intake of coniferous vegetables because they are rich in antioxidants.