Lifestyle Changes In the past, it was co

Lifestyle Changes In the past, it was common practice to tell people with peptic ulcers to consume small, frequent amounts of bland foods. Exhaustive research conducted since that time has shown that a bland diet is not effective in reducing the incidence or recurrence of ulcers, and that eating numerous small meals throughout the day is no more effective than eating three meals a day. Large amounts of food should still be avoided, because stretching the stomach can result in painful symptoms. Fruits and Vegetables. The good news is that a diet rich in fiber may cut the risk of developing ulcers in half and speed the healing of existing ulcers. Fiber found in fruits and vegetables is particularly protective; vitamin A contained in many of these foods may increase the benefit. Milk. Milk actually encourages the production of acid in the stomach, although moderate amounts (2 – 3 cups a day) appear to do no harm. Certain probiotics, which are “good” bacteria added to yogurt and other fermented milk drinks, may protect the gastrointestinal system. Coffee and Carbonated Beverages. Coffee (both caffeinated and decaffeinated), soft drinks, and fruit juices with citric acid increase stomach acid production. Although no studies have proven that any of these drinks contribute to ulcers, consuming more than 3 cups of coffee per day may increase susceptibility to H. pylori infection. Spices and Peppers. Studies conducted on spices and peppers have yielded conflicting results. The rule of thumb is to use these substances moderately, and to avoid them if they irritate the stomach. Garlic. Some studies suggest that high amounts of garlic may have some protective properties against stomach cancer, although a recent study concluded that garlic offered no benefits against H. pylori and, in large amounts, can cause considerable GI distress. Olive Oil. Studies from Spain have shown that phenolic compounds in virgin olive oil may be effective against eight strains of H. pylori, three of which are antibiotic-resistant. Vitamins. Although no vitamins have been shown to protect against ulcers, H. pylori appears to impair the absorption of vitamin C, which may play a role in the higher risk of stomach cancer. EXERCISE Some evidence suggests that exercise may help reduce the risk for ulcers in some people.


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