Ulcers can occur in a number of places in the gastro-intestinal tract, known as peptic ulcers. Most common are gastric (stomach) ulcers, oesophageal ulcers or duodenal ulcers. They are erosions to the mucosal lining of the tract and may be caused or exasperated by acid. Some are caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria and some by benign or even malignant tumours.
Symptoms are often abdominal pain with severity relating to meal times, bloating, regurgitation or acid or food, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting of blood and bad breath. With gastric ulcers, the pain will be during or right after a meal. With duodenal ulcers the pain may actually be reduced during a meal but will follow 2-3 hours afterwards.
There is no strict diet for peptic ulcers, however following a sensible meal plan a few points will help minimise symptoms:
- Eat only small meals, but ensure they are regular; eat five or six times per day rather than three meals
- Eat slowly: do not rush food
- Drink weak tea or weak coffee between meals may help
- Avoid fried or excessively fatty foods
- Avoid pickles, spices and curries
- Avoid strong tea or coffee
- Avoid excess alcohol – alcohol will aggravate symptoms
- Drink plenty of water
- Acidic fruit may cause you issues; if it does avoid it and consume less acidic fruit instead
- If you feel there are any specific foods which may upset you, avoid them
- Don't smoke
- Avoid some anti-inflammatory drugs like NSAIDs and corticosteroids
The meal plan below is a guide based on the above advice. Like all plans it is merely an example and needs to be adapted to suit an individual's own lifestyle, activity level, daily routine and nutritional requirements. Use this to give you an idea of what are healthy nutritious foods to include, but don't forget to vary your food choices and to drink plenty of water through the day.
Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.