Most experts believe that dietary modification is not mandatory for avoiding complications in peptic ulcer disease. The use of proton pump inhibitors – analogs that decrease the production and secretion of HCl – has helped evade the drastic effects of the acid which is released after taking meals. Thus, patients with ulcers are strictly advised to take PPIs half an hour before their meals to prevent exacerbation of stomach ulcer symptoms and allow the ulcer to heal.
Nonetheless, there are a few foods that can be avoided to accelerate the healing process. Remember, the more rest you give to the ulcerated gut mucosa, the more chances it has for faster regeneration.
Pasteurized, as well as powder milk, should be avoided since it contains lactic acid. Moreover, the pH of milk is around 6.9, while stomach acid is of pH 1. It causes a transient buffering effect, since milk does not have a high alkaline pH. This buffering effect causes an overproduction of HCl to compromise for neutralization.
Thus, milk ingestion should be avoided with stomach ulcers. Earlier, doctors used to recommend drinking more milk but studies have shown a link between exacerbation of symptoms of peptic ulcer disease with frequent milk intake. Thus, one or two servings of milk per day are the maximum upper limit with stomach ulcers.
Condiments such as red pepper, black pepper, jalapeño, and chili powder should be strictly avoided. Although they do not interfere with the acid secretion, spices can directly irritate and inflame the ulcerated mucosa. Thus, causing delayed healing or healing with fibrosis that has more complications.
Nonetheless, spices in onion, turmeric, mustard, ginger, and garlic have shown anti-bactericidal properties and can be beneficial for the healing of gut ulcers – one should only be mindful of the amount they’re using.
Mexican and Indian Food
According to the same principle as above, Mexican and Indian foods have a higher spice content. Moreover, they are high in saturated fats due to increased oil content. The stomach enzymes are primarily responsible for protein digestion. Thus, the load of digestion is shifted to the small intestine which may predispose it to the formation of duodenal ulcers due to increased pancreatic and gallbladder secretions.
Alcohol and Nicotine
Another irritant that inflames and irritates the stomach lining. Alcohol must be avoided at all costs since it can also cause bleeding of the ulcer. Additionally, it dampens the effect of the liver which hinders effective gut clearance and digestion; inducing symptoms of dyspepsia. Nicotine reduces the blood flow to the gut by vasoconstriction which reduces effective peristalsis and prolongs healing.
Coffee contains strong secretagogue properties, thus increasing acid production. It also causes dyspepsia which is characterized by regurgitation of stomach contents, heartburn, abdominal pain, belching, bloating, and vomiting. Thus, caffeinated coffee made in milk is a deadly combo!
Caffeine is a laxative and it induces gastric acid production. It’s a fact that stomach acid hampers the healing of ulcers. Thus, tea, chocolates, coffee, caffeine pills, and energy drinks must be avoided.
Colas and sodas contained carbonic acid which is usually considered a mild acid but it can wreak havoc in the ulcerated gut. These irritant fizzy drinks must be avoided.
Citric Acid Fruits and Juices
Acidic foods amplify the corrosive effect of the stomach acid, further lowering down the overall gut pH. Thus, foods rich in citric acids like lemons, strawberries, limes, oranges, and tomatoes should be avoided.
Take Food at Fixed Schedules
Finally, the main aim of healing ulcers is by keeping the HCl level low since it is one of the main irritants. Intermittent fasting and prolonged breaks from food cause the natural physiological release of gastric acid because of the associated hunger pangs.
Thus, taking meals at fixed intervals produces more uniform and optimal levels of acid secretion that is only used during digestion – not during hanged pangs on an empty stomach. Although PPIs tend to reduce the gastric acid content, having better control of your gut secretions permits better healing.
In conclusion, bland and high fiber-containing diets eaten in small proportions give the stomach enough rest for the speedy healing of ulcers.