A peptic ulcer is a lesion or sore in the lining of the duodenum or stomach where pepsin and hydrochloric acid are present. Ulcers forming in the stomach are gastric ulcers and those forming in the duodenum are duodenal ulcers. According the University of Maryland Medical Center, one in 10 people in the United States develops an ulcer during their lifetime. In addition to medication or surgery, ulcer treatment also includes dietary restrictions. A diet to treat ulcer does not have to be bland, but eliminating or reducing intake of certain foods may relieve ulcer symptoms until the condition resolves.
According to the Drugs.com, ulcer patients should drink six to eight cups of liquids that may include water, mild herbal teas, noncaffeinated drinks and low-acid juices such as grape or apple. Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, iced or hot tea, peppermint tea and hot cocoa should be avoided.
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Six to 10 servings a day of breads or starches is recommended. This can include pasta, rice, oatmeal or hot wheat cereal, dry cereal, white or wheat bread, or saltine crackers. Foods such as fried potatoes, taco or barbecue chips or bagels with peppers or chili should be avoided.
Two to four daily servings of fruit is recommended. Fruits can include apples, peaches, oranges, pears, grapes, kiwi, melons, berries or bananas. Fruit juices such as lemonade, grapefruit or orange juice should be avoided unless drinking them cause no discomfort.
Ulcer patients should eat two to four servings a day of vegetables. Vegetables can be either cooked or fresh. Leafy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli should be avoided if they cause excess gas or discomfort. Other vegetables to avoid are garlic, onions, sauerkraut and other pickled vegetables, tomatoes and tomato products, vegetable juice, hot chiles and green or red bell peppers.
Meats and Meat Substitutes
Two to four daily servings of meats or meat substitutes such as cottage or ricotta cheese, soft-cooked or scrambled eggs, tofu, lean meat, seafood, chicken or turkey are allowed on an ulcer diet. Beans such as kidney, navy or pinto should be avoided if they cause discomfort or gas. Avoid greasy or fried meat as well as highly seasoned meats such as bacon, ham, sausage or cold cuts.
An ulcer diet may include two to three daily servings of dairy foods such as pudding or custard, low-fat milk or ice cream or low-fat yogurt. Chocolate milk, cream or half-and-half, as well as spicy cheese such jalapeno or black pepper should be avoided.
Two to four servings a day of margarine or butter, oil or salad dressing can be eaten. Nuts such as peanuts, walnuts and almonds should be avoided if eating them causes discomfort.
Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.