Does Vanilla Ice Cream Soothe an Ulcer?

Eating any flavor ice cream may soothe your ulcer symptoms, but ice cream is not considered an effective treatment for ulcers. Eating dairy products in general coats the lining of your esophagus, stomach and the opening of the small intestines. This can temporarily alleviate the pain and burning associated with ulcers. If you suspect that you have an ulcer, see a gastroenterologist to determine the cause and best treatment options for your condition. Do not use ice cream or any other dietary changes to treat a medical condition without first talking with your doctor.

A close-up of vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Credit: karoto/iStock/Getty Images

What Is An Ulcer?

An ulcer is a sore in the lining of your digestive system that leaves the tissue below the mucus layer in your digestive tract open, according to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse. This vulnerability causes interaction between stomach acid and digestive chemicals. The interaction leads to minor to severe pain that may or may not get better when you eat food. Ulcers can form in anyone at any age and are commonly the result of an infection. Contrary to myth, ulcers are not usually the result of what you eat or how stressful your life is, although diet and stress can worsen symptoms.

Vanilla Ice Cream Treatment

Vanilla ice cream may make your pain and burning subside for a short time. The website FamilyDoctor explains that when you eat food or drink a beverage, the substances help to protect the open sores from harsh digestive chemicals. As you digest the ice cream, you will begin to experience pain again, which may get worse the longer you leave your stomach empty.

Treatment

Ulcers are either the result of an infection or lifestyle choices. Most ulcers are the result of the H. pylori bacteria that slowly erodes the lining of your digestive tract. If diagnosed with this type of ulcer, your doctor will prescribe triple antibiotic treatment, along with the use of over-the-counter antacids. Lifestyle choices that can cause and prolong ulcers include the use of tobacco, daily use of alcohol and the daily use of certain pain relievers. Lifestyle ulcers are treated by removing the irritant and allowing time to heal the lining of your intestines.

Considerations

If you're allergic to milk or are lactose-intolerant, avoid the use of ice cream and other dairy products. An ulcer can lead to further complications if not treated. If you notice dark, black blood in your stool or vomit, call your doctor immediately.

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