Peptic ulcers are ulcers in the digestive system, usually the stomach and the upper small intestine, or duodenum. Ulcers are holes or sores in the lining of an organ. If the lining in the stomach or duodenum becomes damaged, stomach acid will damage the organ, causing peptic ulcers.
While peptic ulcers are not caused by diet or specific foods, a change in diet can help relieve symptoms. Coffee and tea increase acid production, so these should be eliminated. Herbal tea is a healthy alternative. Milk and dairy foods like yoghurt and cheese coat the stomach, alleviating the effects of stomach acid. Alcohol may irritate inflamed areas in the stomach, so it should be limited. Spicy foods and rich foods can worsen symptoms as well.
In addition to what you eat, how you eat is important. Smaller, more frequent meals will limit the production and build-up of stomach acid between meals. Weight loss is important, too, if you are carrying any extra weight.
Besides the limitations mentioned, the diet for someone with a peptic ulcer should be a simple, healthy diet. The diet should have a wide variety of foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Every day, you should drink about 2 litres of water as well.
Supplements that may help peptic ulcers include liquorice, slippery elm, and golden seal root. All three help with inflammation. Liquorice also reduces stomach acidity, and golden seal root may alleviate problems associated with bacteria and mucus. Vitamin A helps protect the stomach lining and heal affected areas, and Vitamin C inhibits bacterial growth.