Ulcer prevention

An ounce of Ulcer prevention

To minimize the risk of ulcers, eat six small meals a day rather than three larger ones. The presence of food can help to neutralize stomach acid, so don't go too long without eating. Eliminate alcohol, and minimize your intake of caffeine. Also take steps to manage stress, which can increase production of stomach acid. Quit smoking; tobacco smoke constricts the blood vessels lining the stomach, making the stomach wall more vulnerable to sores. Avoid the use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, which are associated with the formation of ulcers.

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Seek medical care immediately if you vomit blood or material that looks like coffee grounds. Also seek help if black, tarry blood appears in the stool. These are signs that the ulcer is bleeding, which can cause anemia. Blood can also indicate a perforated ulcer, one that has burned through the stomach or intestinal wall.

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