Peptic Ulcer is a common health problem throughout the world. Peptic Ulcer is ulcer in nay part of gastrointestinal tract that is exposed to acid pepsin secreted by stomach. Hence, peptic ulcer can mean ulcer in esophagus, stomach, duodenum and beyond, although usually peptic ulcer means ulcer in stomach and duodenum.
It is possible to manage peptic ulcer to some extent by modifying dietary habits (eating right food and in a right way and right time). Here we discuss how to manage problem of peptic ulcer with dietary habit modification or at least to improve efficacy of medications used for treatment of peptic ulcer.
What are the objective of modification of dietary habit?
The objectives are,
- To maintain neutralization of gastric acid continuously
- To provide rest to gastrointestinal tract
- To minimize acid secretion by stomach
- To reduce chemical and mechanical irritation of lining of stomach (mucosal lining)
- To provide adequate nutrition
Following dietary modifications can be of great help in peptic ulcer:
Energy: patients of peptic ulcer may be undernourished, due to various reasons and they need to increase energy (food) intake. Hence, provide extra energy while modifying dietary habit.
Protein: high protein diet should be consumed. Because, protein acts as a buffering and it also promote healing (which require formation new cells that require protein). However, avoid milk protein, because milk contain high calcium that increase acid secretion. Hence, milk protein should be avoided or taken only in moderation. Eggs and other high protein and easily digestible sources of protein should be used.
Carbohydrates: essential for energy needs. Avoid foods that contain irritating fibers.
Fats: consume fats in moderation, such as butter.
Some important points to remember in dietary modification, that will aid health eating:
- Eat slowly
- Eat smaller meals more frequently, instead of a few (2 or 3) large meals
- Avoid acidic foods such as citrus fruits
- Avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks
- Avoid smoking, stress and spicy foods (although these do not cause ulcer singly, but they can delay ulcer healing and make symptoms worse)