Health & Nutrition : How to Avoid Irritating an Ulcer

Health & Nutrition : How to Avoid Irritating an Ulcer

My name is Christine Marquette, and I’m a
registered dietitian, with The Austin Regional Clinic, and I’m going to talk to you about
how to avoid irritating an ulcer. An ulcer is actually a type of open lesion or sore
that can be found either on the skin or in the mucous membranes. When most people think
of ulcers they typically are thinking of stomach ulcers that are also called peptic ulcers.
There is another type of ulcer in the digestive tract called the duodenal ulcer, and that’s
in your duodenum, or the upper part of your small intestine. The same things can irritate
both. Caffeine can definitely irritate both the stomach or a duodenal ulcer. The reason
why is because caffeine can actually stimulate acid secretion, so for that reason you want
to limit or avoid caffeine as much as possible. Another irritant to ulcers is alcohol, so
again, if you already have an ulcer you want to make sure that you avoid alcohol or anything
that contains alcohol. That would include some medications like cough syrups. Another
thing that irritates ulcers is smoking, so that’s a good reason to quit smoking if you’re
a smoker, cause’ that definitely can irritate ulcers. In addition, there are some medications
that can cause irritation to ulcers; things like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories,
such as ibuprofen. So once again, if you already have an ulcer you need to avoid those types
of medications, because it can just increase your pain. In the past it was thought that
certain foods; spicy foods may cause irritation, but what has been found more recently is that
typically those don’t have a huge impact on actual ulcers, so it may not necessarily be
that you have to avoid spicy food, but that is a bit of an individual thing. If you know
that you have a food that causes you heartburn, or any other type of gastric upset, and you
do have an ulcer as well it’s best to avoid that particular type of food. So again, in
summary, for things that typically cause the most irritation to ulcers, caffeine, alcohol,
and smoking. Those are the three main things you want to avoid to avoid irritating an ulcer.


  1. Ahhhh that was my life! drink, gamble and smoke at night then drink a bunch of coffee in the morning to get up.

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