If your pain medication is causing you pain, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor. Gastric ulcers occur when the lining of the stomach has been damaged, exposing the underlying tissue. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication and H. pylori infections are the most common causes of gastric ulcers. Different diets recommended for the treatment of gastric ulcers include a bland diet, a diet rich in fiber and flavonoids or simply a balanced diet. The best diet is the one that works for you and limits symptoms. Consult your doctor or dietitian about your specific diet needs.
Tried-and-True Bland Diet
The bland diet is made up of foods that are less likely to irritate your ulcer, and includes soft foods that are low in fiber and fat and not very spicy. Foods allowed include low-fat milk, cooked vegetables, cooked or canned fruits without skins or seeds, white bread and rice, oatmeal, soft cooked meats, eggs, creamy peanut butter and tofu. The bland diet is not meant to act as a cure for your stomach ulcer, but a way to help you manage symptoms.
Focus on Fiber and Flavonoids
The University of Maryland Medical Center says it's not necessary to follow a bland diet if you have gastric ulcers. The center suggests a diet rich in foods that promote ulcer healing. Fiber, especially in fruits and vegetables, may help heal your ulcer and reduce your risk of getting another one. The flavonoids in foods such as apples, celery, garlic, onions and cranberries also help by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori. UMMC recommends a diet filled with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, lean proteins such as fish and beans, whole grains and healthy oils such as olive oil for people with ulcers.
No particular diet is helpful to people with gastric ulcers, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Eating a healthy, balanced diet that ensures you're getting the nutrients you need for health and healing may be the way to go. A balanced diet includes a variety of foods from all the food groups -- fruits, vegetables, grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy -- in the right amounts to help you maintain a healthy weight.
Trial and Error
The best diet for a gastric ulcer is based on your individual needs. You may find that certain foods irritate your ulcer more than others and may need to limit or avoid them. Keep a food log to help identify foods that cause problems. What's important is that you include foods from all the food groups so that you get nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and well.
- Patient.co.uk: Stomach (Gastric) Ulcer
- University of Maryland Medical: Peptic Ulcer
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Stomach and Duodenal Ulcers (Peptic Ulcers)
- MedlinePlus: Bland Diet
- NYU Langone Medical Center: Diet for Ulcers and Gastritis
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: What Is Fiber?
- NHS Choices: A Balanced Diet