If you develop digestive pain from drinking a protein shake with an ulcer, you should call your doctor. Most protein shakes are made from milk, which helps coat the stomach and digestive system, alleviating pain from an ulcer. Digestive complications after drinking a protein shake may be a sign of an underlying digestive condition, unrelated to the ulcer. Your doctor will provide you with the best treatment options.
Peptic ulcers are a common condition that develops in the lining of the digestive system. Most ulcers form in the esophagus, stomach or opening of the small intestines and can cause severe pain. Ulcers develop when the lining of your digestive system erodes, exposing the soft tissue beneath to harsh digestive acids. This action eventually causes open sores to develop. Most ulcers are the result of the H. pylori bacteria, which weakens the digestive tract lining. Other common causes include the use of tobacco, alcohol abuse and the regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, according to MayoClinic.com.
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Drinking a Protein Shake
Drinking a protein shake should alleviate symptoms of an ulcer temporarily. Most protein shakes are made with whey protein and milk, which helps to coat the lining of the digestive system, protecting the ulcers from digestive fluids. A few hours after drinking the protein shake, the protective coating dissipates, exposing the ulcer to stomach acid again, causing pain to develop. If drinking a protein shake causes pain or if it triggers other gastrointestinal symptoms, you may have another condition.
Lactose intolerance and a milk allergy can cause compilations after drinking a protein shake. Lactose is a sugar found in milk that causes digestive difficulty for many people. In order for the human body to digest lactose, it must produce enough lactase, a digestive enzyme that simplifies the sugar into galactose and glucose. Lactose intolerance will cause bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea and stomach cramps within a few minutes after ingesting the protein shake. Milk allergies can cause severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, hives, difficulty breathing, lightheadedness and a rapid heart rate.
If you develop blood in your stools or vomit, call your doctor right away. Ulcers can bleed and will require immediate medical attention if they do so. Eating and drinking certain foods can cause your ulcer pains to increase. Avoid highly acidic and spicy foods because these substances can irritate the lining of the digestive system and ulcers.