Peptic Ulcer Disease

What is Peptic Ulcer Disease?

When your stomach or the first part of your intestine loses its mucous protective coating, the acid contents of your stomach can erode the lining, forming an ulcer. Typical ulcers can range in size from a millimeter or two in size (about as big as a large pinhead) to two centimeters (almost an inch). Symptoms of an ulcer include pain in the area around your stomach about an hour after you eat or pain in the stomach that wakes you in the wee hours of the morning, both of which food or antacids relieve. The symptoms may come and go.

Peptic Ulcer DiseaseRecent research has shown that a bacterial infection may be behind chronic ulcers that recur even following courses of medication to stop acid output (drugs such as Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, and Axid). Although healing your ulcer may require prescription medications, nutrition can play a crucial role. In Heartburn we have covered some of the nutrients that help this problem, but there are some differences. Let's take a look in Peptic Ulcer Disease diet.

What makes Peptic Ulcer Disease worse?

• See Heartburn.

• Although most medical research shows that caffeine doesn't cause stomach ulcers, it may worsen the symptoms from them. In most other conditions that caffeine makes worse, we would recommend you decaffeinate yourself and continue to enjoy your coffee; however, recent information suggests that decaffeinated coffee also stimulates the release of stomach acid. Recommendation: If you suffer with ulcers, your best bet is to slowly wean yourself off coffee (caffeinated or decaffeinated) over a period of 2 or 3 weeks and then remain off caffeine entirely. Becoming entirely caffeine-free means that you must also avoid caffeinated teas, chocolate (you may substitute with carob), and many soft drinks that contain caffeine.

• Hot drinks can trigger gastric discomfort. Allow teas and other hot beverages to cool before drinking them.

•  Many experts believe that food allergies are a prime cause of ulcers. Carefully analyze your diet and remove from it any foods you suspect may cause you discomfort. If your symptoms improve, continue to avoid these foods permanently.

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