A stomach or peptic ulcer is a wound in the inner-lining of the stomach or duodenum. These sores are formed due to contact of gastric acids, which are produced naturally to help digest food, with the lining tissue. This exposure makes the tissue weak and susceptible to damage. If diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, it is crucial to know about the foods that will worsen your stomach ulcer, so that further complications may be avoided.
1. Spicy Foods
One of the most basic things to avoid is spicy, hot and fiery food. It tends to aggravate the ulcer by causing further inflammation of the gastric lining. Symptoms such as abdominal pain, heart burn and nausea are also associated with spicy foods. Thus, meals containing black pepper, chili powder, hot peppers and garlic should be strictly avoided by those who have a stomach ulcer.
2. Citric and Acidic foods
Carbonated beverages, such as sodas and lime, along with citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruit and oranges, should also be avoided. Their citric nature worsens the inflammation of the ulcer. A more acidic gastric environment irritates the sore as well.
3. Foods rich in Trans-fats
This not only includes fried and fatty foods, but also consists of cakes, cookies and doughnuts. Some processed foods, such as refined wheat and flour, also contain high amounts of trans-fats, which intensify the symptoms of acid reflux and heart burn. Red meat contains more trans-fats and should be avoided by people with a stomach ulcer. When at the supermarket, always check the labels of foods for the amount of trans-fats before buying them.
4. Caffeinated Beverages
Such foods and beverages include coffee, black tea, green tea, energy drinks and chocolate. Caffeine increases stomach acidity and aggravates abdominal pain and discomfort. Whether it is decaf or caffeinated, research has shown that coffee is definitely among the foods that will worsen your stomach ulcer. Coffee stimulates the production of gastric acid by the cells lining the stomach, making it even more susceptible to injury.
Contrary to popular belief, doctors are now discouraging people with stomach ulcers from consuming milk. Once in contact with the lining of the stomach, it causes the cells to produce more gastric acid. This aggravates the ulcer and its symptoms. Some people also develop allergies to milk which leads to stomach ulcers. It is wise to either limit your daily intake of milk, or to go for supplements.
Alcohol damages the stomach mucosa, which is a protective layer of mucus on the stomach lining. Due to this, the stomach lining becomes more likely to come into contact with and be damaged by the acids produced. This in turn aggravates stomach ulcers. It has also been reported that people associated with alcoholism are more prone to develop stomach ulcers. It is best to steer clear of alcohol if you have such a condition.
Some other food items to watch out for are:
Dairy products made from whole milk
Spicy or heavily seasoned cheeses
Not all people have the same reactions to different types of food. You will need to figure these out for yourself. The above mentioned list consists of the general and most common foods that will worsen your stomach ulcer. The key to managing your diet with your stomach ulcer involves recognizing the ingredients that aggravate your symptoms, and either to limit their consumption, or to avoid them completely.