An ulcer is a sore in the stomach, which can be very painful if not managed properly. Ulcer affects about four million people annually around the world, making it one of the most common illnesses around.
There are two types of stomach ulcers; gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer. A gastric ulcer appears as a sore in the stomach’s lining, while a duodenal ulcer appears as a sore in the upper part of the small intestine.
Stomach ulcer is mostly caused by the bacterium, Helicobacter pylori (H pylori). Also, the constant use of aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) contributes to the development of an ulcer.
In today’s article, you will find out some health tips for ulcer patients to help them properly manage the illness and get out of it permanently.
5 Health Tips for Ulcer Patients
In order to manage the symptoms and promote healing, it’s important for ulcer patients to take good care of themselves. Here are some helpful health tips for managing H. pylori-associated ulcers:
1. Mind your diet
Food plays a major role in irritating the symptoms or calming them down. Many people believe peppery and spicy foods cause ulcers, but it is not so; they only irritate the ulcer symptoms.
Also, avoid foods such as heavily fried food, milk, coffee, alcohol, caffeine, citrus fruits or juice, and carbonated drinks. These have a way of irritating the symptoms and might interfere with your daily functions.
As an ulcer patient, it is advisable to stay off alcohol entirely, because it slows down the healing process and the activities of the meds. Also, invest more in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, herbs, fermented dairy, honey, and bread.
Furthermore, try to stick to a diet that is low in fat and easy to digest.
2. Mind your medications
Most ulcer patients take prescription drugs to help the ulcer heal and reduce the pain. For example, some meds can help to kill H. pylori bacteria. But these drugs won’t work effectively if you don’t take them as planned.
Also, avoid antacids. Antacids can help you feel better or relieve you of pain for a while, but they don’t heal stomach ulcers. The worst is that they may slow down the activity of the antibiotics in the body.
3. Stay away from smoking and alcoholism
Epidemiological studies have shown that cigarette smoking delays ulcer healing and increases the recurrence and incidence of gastric and duodenal ulcers. If you want to heal, you must avoid smoking, both direct and indirect smoking.
Also, research has shown that alcohol impairs or slows down the wound-healing process and increases the incidence of infection growth.
Stay off them smoking and drinking completely.
4. Stay off painkillers
Pain killers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the second-most common causative factor of stomach ulcers.
NSAIDs include drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), aspirin (Bayer), and naproxen (Aleve). If you must take a painkiller while on ulcer medication, it is advised that you inform your doctor first.
Do not just get over-the-counter NSAIDs. They may worsen your ulcer condition.
5. Manage your stress level
Stress does not cause stomach ulcers, but the body’s natural response to stress can aggravate stomach acids, which may worsen your ulcer condition.
So it is advised you intentionally make plans to reduce activities that stress you and create more time for rest. Stress is not only dangerous to your ulcer but to your overall well-being.
You can permanently heal from a stomach ulcer with proper diet and medication. Identify those foods and drinks that irritate the ulcer symptoms in you and stay off them completely in your healing journey. Maintain close contact with your doctor during this period. Ulcers, if properly managed, can heal fast, but if not properly managed, they can get worse and interfere with your daily activities and might lead to death.
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