Lifestyle Modification in this part of the world is a herculean task. But for ulcer patients, it is a must if you want to live long and healthy.
The 7 tips mentioned below will put you in the right direction if taken seriously.
- AVOID LARGE MEALS:
Large amount of food can cause your stomach to stretch resulting in painful symptoms. Small frequent feeding recommended. However, recent research has shown that eating numerous small meals throughout the day is no more effective than eating three meals a day. Nevertheless, whether you eat three meals a day or numerous meals all day, do well to avoid large amount of food per time.
- LIMIT FOODS AND DRINKS THAT TEND TO TRIGGER SYMPTOMS.
You may have noticed that some specific food trigger your ulcer pain. It’s wise to note such kind of food and avoid them. These foods cause increase in stomach acid production thus triggering or making the ulcer pain worse. Common examples include spicy foods, citrus juices, carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint etc.
Using milk to suppress ulcer pain is a common practice among ulcer patients. Consumption of milk in moderate amounts (2 – 3 cups a day) appear to do no harm, but excessive use encourages stomach acid production.
- AVOID EATING OR DRINKING WITHIN TWO HOURS PRIOR TO BEDTIME.
This will ensure your food is digested properly before you sleep. If you take naps, try sleeping in a chair. Lying down with a full stomach can cause stomach contents to press harder against the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), increasing the chances of refluxed food.
The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
When refluxed stomach acid (alongside with food) touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn.
Smoking can cause many health problems or make an existing one worse.
Smoking stimulates the production of stomach acid. It can also delay the healing of the ulcer, and has been linked to a recurrence of ulcers. Smoking can weaken the LES making you more prone to stomach acid reflux.
Bicarbonate reduces stomach acid. It is usually used as an antacid to treat heartburn, indigestion, and upset stomach. Sodium bicarbonate is a very quick-acting antacid. Thus, secretion of bicarbonate from chewing gum can help give temporary relief.
- HEAD OF BED ELEVATION (NOT WITH PILLOWS)
Gravity will help keep food and stomach acid in the stomach where it belongs, thus preventing reflux thereby averting an imminent ulcer pain.
- AVOID CERTAIN OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEVERS
The use of aspirin and NSAIDs ( non-steroidal inflammatory drugs e.g ibuprofen and Diclofenac) can trigger or aggravate symptoms of an existing ulcer. Kindly stay clear!
If you really need to take these medicines, another medicine may be prescribed to protect your stomach.
See your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
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EMDEX Vol 1: June 2016 – May 2017 Edition