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Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Ulcers
By Raymond Lee
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I do not get ulcers. I give them. Sounds like the mean-spirited mantra of some hard-boiled, take-no-prisoners corporate executive, doesn’t it? Indeed, ulcers were long considered the domain of hardworking Joes and Janes, who bore the painful sores like badges of honor for toiling 60-plus hours a week in high-stress jobs. Ulcers are caused not by belligerent bosses or demanding deadlines but by a tough-as-nails bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. This spiral-shaped organism invades and then weakens the protective lining of the stomach, impairing the lining’s ability to withstand the caustic effects of stomach acid. The acid which normally aids the digestive process begins to eat away at the stomach lining itself, leaving behind craterlike lesions. Bacterial infection is now considered the leading cause of ulcers. Eradicating H. pylori in the stomach can not only heal an existing sore but also prevent a future recurrence. What about lifestyle factors such as stress and diet? Once considered the major players in the development of ulcers, they are now relegated to supporting roles. They do not cause ulcers directly, but they can make you more susceptible to the sores and aggravate your symptoms. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to ease your discomfort.
- Follow An Eastern Path To Healing
In Ayurveda, the traditional medical discipline of India, the presence of an ulcer indicates an imbalance of pitta. Pitta is one of three basic qualities, or doshas, that determine an individual’s constitutional body type. It is recommended following a diet that pacifies pitta. That means cutting down on foods with salty, sour, or pungent tastes as well as foods that are fermented or fried.
- Choose Ulcer-Friendly Fare
Certain foods can aggravate your symptoms. So until your ulcer has healed. If some food bothers you, avoid it. The usual suspects include spicy cuisine, coffee, and citrus juices. Also, forget about traditional ulcer remedies such as bland foods and milk. They were never really effective, and now they have fallen out of favor.
- Take Steps To Destress
The discovery of H. pylori has blurred the relationship between stress and ulcers. One thing is for sure that any time you have a chronic condition, stress can make your symptoms worse. So it would be wise for anyone with ulcers to learn to manage stress better.
- Say No To NSAIDs
Between 15 to 20 percent of people who regularly take NSAIDs have ulcers. That is about 20 times the rate in the general population. If you are taking an NSAID such as aspirin or ibuprofen, it is recommended sticking with the lowest possible dose at which the medication is still effective. Or ask your doctor or pharmacist to recommend a substitute.
- Eat Earlier
Ulcer patients often wake up in the middle of the night with gnawing pain in their guts. What really happens is the secretion of stomach acid during the night can be reduced by eating dinner earlier in the evening. Less acid secretion should mean less ulcer pain overnight and perhaps faster healing.
- Favor Fiber
Increasing your intake of dietary fiber with foods such as whole grains and vegetables may help prevent the recurrence of ulcers. There is no evidence that fiber can promote the healing of an existing ulcer.
- Go Sour On Sweets
You may want to cut back on your consumption of sugar. The more refined sugar in your diet, the greater your risk of developing an ulcer, probably because sugar stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: January 08, 2008