An ulcer is a sore within the lining of your stomach, triggered by a bacterial infection that weakens the protective layer of the stomach. This results in its eventual corrosion from the potent stomach acid present. The most common symptom associated with ulcers is localized pain in the stomach, caused by the acid in the stomach consuming the lining of the tissue.
Eliminating early stage ulcers normally requires antibiotics to clear out the bacteria, but an anti-ulcer diet may help to minimize symptoms during the healing process. When in doubt, use all of the elements at your disposal to help deal with the condition, including a restrictive anti-ulcer diet, giving you the best chance to come out on top against your medical condition.
Give yourself a jumping-off point for tailoring your anti-ulcer diet. While on the plan, do not eat more meals than are strictly necessary; though many diets recommend consumption of several smaller meals throughout the day, this can lead to a constant production of stomach acid that can potentially increase the severity of symptoms. Stick to three square meals to see if it helps to relieve some of your early-stage ulcer pain.
Foods to avoid include common stomach irritants—spicy foods, alcohol, pepper, red peppers and caffeine, which all increase stomach acid.
Limit consumption of foods containing excess fat, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato-based products, onions and garlic. This avoids irritating the ulcer further.
Foods to consume include any items not expressly mentioned above–stick to a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein for best overall health, as suggested by both the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
You can also begin a food log to monitor your food intake. By beginning with this list and adjusting it based on the results of your food log, you soon will have a tailor-made diet that works to curb your early stage ulcer.
An anti-ulcer diet is a diet of elimination — its purpose is to reduce or wholly remove items which could trigger an abnormally large production of stomach acid, leading to a sharp increase in the severity of symptoms. While following an anti-ulcer diet, you should keep a regular food journal noting the foods you ate and their effect on your symptoms. This will better allow you to remove those particular foods that your stomach cannot handle without pain, and will provide a more comprehensive approach than merely following a list of prohibited foods.