A health condition which is on the rise is the problem of stomach ulcers. A deadly cocktail of stress and improper diet is the leading cause of stomach ulcers. Today, four million Americans suffer from severe stomach pain caused by stomach ulcers and another six thousand Americans die of stomach ulcer related complications every year.
Understanding Stomach Ulcers
Afflicting millions of Americans every year, stomach ulcers are fast gaining the status of a major health problem. The gram negative bacterium, Helicobacter Pylori is responsible for stomach ulcers. Helicobacter Pylori, which is transmitted via contaminated food or water, can cause duodenal and gastric ulcers.
The digestive juices in the stomach which are responsible for initiating the digestive process contains a powerful acid called hydrochloric acid.
When an excess amount of this acid is produced by the stomach, it leads to the destruction of the delicate intestinal mucosal or gastric lining. When this delicate lining of the intestines is destroyed by the over production of stomach acid, it can lead to the formation of peptic ulcers.
Excess secretion of hydrochloric acid is not the only reason why a person develops gastric ulcers. When the gastric mucosal lining suffers an injury, it can lead to the formation of stomach ulcers. Most people, who have stomach ulcers, complain of severe stomach pain.
This pain arises because of the inflammation of the nerves surrounding the ulcer. Besides pain, sometimes stomach ulcers can also cause severe internal hemorrhage. In some patients, an obstruction of the GI or gastrointestinal tract is observed because the stomach ulcer becomes extremely swollen.
Risk Factors For Stomach Ulcers
Certain categories of people are at higher risk of suffering from stomach ulcers than others. People who fall into the high risk category for stomach ulcers include, people who smoke or consume alcohol excessively, those who eat a diet that is high in fat or individuals who skip their meals regularly.
People who suffer from severe stress have a greater likelihood of suffering from stomach ulcers at some point in their life. Individuals who are born with type O blood have a higher risk of suffering from peptic ulcers. People who are afflicted with a rare disease called the Zollinger – Ellison syndrome also fall into the high risk category for stomach ulcers.
An individual’s chances of developing stomach ulcers are increased manifold if they also suffer from chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, liver disease and emphysema.
Foods That Cause Ulcer Pain
There are a variety of foods which can aggravate stomach ulcers and trigger excessive pain. There are a number of foods, which when consumed, can lead to the production of excess amounts of stomach acids. Excess production of stomach acid can irritate the ulcer and cause severe abdominal pain.
It is very important for people who suffer from stomach ulcers, to identify the foods that can cause abdominal pain and eliminate them from their diet. This article explores the foods items which should be avoided by people with stomach ulcers.
Acid Increasing Foods
If you are having stomach ulcers, then avoid all food items which can increase the production of stomach acid. Eating foods that increase the production of stomach acid can cause severe stomach pain in individuals with ulcers. Excessive intake of these foods can even lead to the corrosion of the delicate lining of the intestines.
Some of the foods which increases the production of stomach acid include beverages like tea and coffee, spices like cayenne pepper and alcoholic beverages. People with stomach ulcers should especially stay away from alcoholic beverages if they want to get relief from excessive stomach pain.
Vinegar and foods which are prepared with vinegar should be totally avoided by ulcer patients. Eating foods which contain plenty of vinegar can cause ulcer patients to suffer from stabbing, excruciating pain in the stomach.
Coffee and Caffeinated Beverages
Caffeinated beverages especially coffee can increase the level of discomfort in patients with stomach ulcers. People with stomach ulcers should definitely avoid coffee and other beverages which contain traces of caffeine. Besides coffee, soft drinks like colas should also be avoided. Other beverages like tea, hot cocoa and peppermint tea can also aggravate stomach ulcer pain.
Spicy Food and Spices
If you are having stomach ulcers, then avoid pungent foods like the plague. Nothing can be more detrimental to a person with stomach ulcers, than spicy food. When individuals with stomach ulcers, eat extremely spicy food, they suffer from severe abdominal discomfort and excessive pain.
People with ulcers should avoid robust spices like nutmeg, mustard powder, black pepper, red pepper, cloves, cinnamon and chili powder. Ulcer patients should also avoid spicy sauces like steak sauce, picante sauce, horseradish sauce and all spicy marinades.
People who endure stomach pain related to ulcers will do anything and everything to get relief from their pain. If you have stomach ulcers, then you should definitely avoid fatty and greasy foods. Greasy, fried and fatty foods have been known to increase the level of acid in the stomach.
This in turn causes excruciating stomach pain. All kinds of greasy meats including sausages, salami and pepperoni, greasy foods like French fries and onion rings and other fried food like donuts are best avoided. Skip fast food items as much as possible, because most fast foods are high in fat.
Gas Producing Vegetables
People with stomach ulcers often complain of a bloated feeling. Excessive bloating is one of the common symptoms of stomach ulcers. There are many vegetables which can cause severe bloating and people with stomach ulcers should avoid these vegetables.
Vegetables which can create a bloated feeling include Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, broccoli, peas and cabbage. Picked vegetables like sauerkraut and cooked dried beans should also be avoided to prevent the uncomfortable, bloated feeling.
Grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, pineapple, and lemons which fall into the category of citrus fruits, have a high acid level which can cause severe stomach pain in ulcer patients. The high acidity levels of these fruits can irritate the delicate stomach lining. Hence avoid all citrus fruits if you are having stomach ulcers.
Tomato Products and Juices
Avoid all tomato products including soups, ketchup, pasta sauce, tomato juice and salsa sauce if you have ulcers. Tomato products can cause bloating and excessive pain in ulcer patients.
Certain Dairy Products
Avoid strong flavored cheese, whole fat milk, cream and evaporated milk if you suffer from ulcers. Instead drink plenty of low fat milk which can bring immense relief from ulcer pain.