Peptic, or bleeding ulcers, are open sores that form on the lining of the stomach, duodenum or the esophagus. Ulcers are primarily caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria; however, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are also implicated in causing a bleeding ulcer. Aside from taking medications to treat the underlying cause of an ulcer, dietary changes may be necessary to prevent further damage and other complications.
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Symptoms of an ulcer vary, depending on the age of the individual and the type of ulcer. In many cases, elderly people have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, it's common to experience burning or gnawing pains in the upper portion of the abdomen and lower chest area. Eating may or may not affect the ulcer. Certain types of foods may make it worse, such as spicy or acidic foods. There may be nausea, vomiting and bloating with certain kinds of ulcers. In some cases pain is unremitting and wakes the patient during the night.
Gastrointestinal bleeding is a serious complication of a peptic ulcer. It occurs when the ulcerated tissue erodes into the blood vessels in the stomach or duodenum. If bleeding is present it may be slow oozing that shows up as black discoloration of the stool; however, certain antacids may also cause the stool to appear black. Bleeding may appear suddenly and result in vomiting blood and hemorrhaging. In this instance, immediate medical assistance is necessary. Fatigue, weakness and loss of consciousness may accompany bleeding when it’s severe and requires emergency measures.
Although peanut butter is high in saturated fat, it also supplies a certain amount of protein and other nutrients such as potassium. Harvard Health Publications notes that people who eat peanut butter are less prone to developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Smooth peanut butter is one of the foods allowed on ulcer diets. It’s best to consume organic peanut butter without additives like salt or sugar and free of pesticides and other chemical additives.
Low-residue Fiber Diet
If you have a peptic ulcer your doctor may put you on a special diet to help you heal and to prevent its reoccurrence. A low-residue fiber diet may be prescribed initially to help your stomach lining heal, especially if you’ve had surgery to repair the ulcer. The diet includes common foods like cooked vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, certain fruits and white flour products and smooth peanut butter. It does not include foods like whole grains, legumes, raw fruits and vegetables or nuts. The low-residue diet provides you with all you need for a return to health, but does not allow foods that will stimulate your colon or create roughage.
After your ulcer is healed, you may have to stay on a bland diet. The diet consists of soft foods that are not spicy and are low in fiber to avoid aggravating your sensitive stomach. Cooked fruits and vegetables, canned foods with seeds removed, tender meats, poultry and fish, puddings, custards, eggs, soups and creamy peanut butter are included on the diet.