Can People With Stomach Ulcers Eat Sweets?

Side profile of a young woman giving apple to a young man
A wife gives her husband an apple from a bowl. (Image: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Stomach ulcers are caused by a certain type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, according to FamilyDoctor.org. H. pylori causes an infection, which leads to the development of ulcers. Acid mixed with other stomach juices contribute to the burning sensation that is often associated with stomach ulcers. Stomach ulcers can also occur if your stomach produces too much acid or if the lining in your digestive tract is damaged in some way. Avoiding certain foods can help alleviate symptoms.

Sugar

Your diet does not cause stomach ulcers, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. However, your diet can play a role in the symptoms that you experience while stomach ulcers are present. You can relieve or reduce the symptoms of stomach ulcers by eating a healthy diet that includes vegetables, whole grains and fruits. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends avoiding refined foods such as white breads, pastas and sugar. Refined sugar, such as the type that is used in candies and desserts, is harder for your body to digest than natural sugars that are found in fruits such as grapes and apples.

Substituting Sweets

It’s OK to have a sweet tooth, but you have to be careful of what type of sweets you can have while stomach ulcers are present. If you’re craving sweets, opt for a piece of fruit rather than candy or soda. Reduce saturated fats and trans-fatty acids from your diet whenever possible. These types of fats are often found in baked goods such as cookies, cakes, doughnuts and other processed foods; many of these foods also contain sugar. Keep sugar-free cookies around for an occasional afternoon treat. Having sugar-free snacks and goodies on hand will prevent you from eating too much sugar which may aggravate ulcer symptoms.

Other Diet Aspects

The University of Maryland Medical Center also recommends avoiding caffeine, alcohol and other carbonated beverages that could upset your stomach lining and worsen your symptoms. Coffee and certain other beverages can increase acid production, which can aggravate your ulcers. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day; the UMMC recommends filtered water as opposed to ordinary tap water.

Considerations

Avoiding foods and beverages that can irritate your stomach lining or upset your stomach lining can help minimize symptoms. There is no need to go on a special diet to reduce the risk of developing stomach ulcers since diet cannot and does not contribute to them. You can have stomach ulcers long before symptoms become apparent. If you begin to experience symptoms such as a burning sensation in your abdomen, unexplained weight loss, appetite changes, nausea or vomiting or dark blood in stools or vomit that contains blood, seek immediate help. This could indicate you have a bleeding ulcer which warrants prompt medical attention.

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