Health & Nutrition : How to Avoid Irritating an Ulcer
My name is Christine Marquette, and I'm a registered dietitian, with The Austin Regional Clinic, and I'm going to talk to you about how to avoid irritating an ulcer. An ulcer is actually a type of open lesion or sore that can be found either on the skin or in the mucous membranes. When most people think of ulcers they typically are thinking of stomach ulcers that are also called peptic ulcers. There is another type of ulcer in the digestive tract called the duodenal ulcer, and that's in your duodenum, or the upper part of your small intestine.
The same things can irritate both. Caffeine can definitely irritate both the stomach or a duodenal ulcer. The reason why is because caffeine can actually stimulate acid secretion, so for that reason you want to limit or avoid caffeine as much as possible. Another irritant to ulcers is alcohol, so again, if you already have an ulcer you want to make sure that you avoid alcohol or anything that contains alcohol. That would include some medications like cough syrups. Another thing that irritates ulcers is smoking, so that's a good reason to quit smoking if you're a smoker, cause' that definitely can irritate ulcers.
In addition, there are some medications that can cause irritation to ulcers; things like aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen. So once again, if you already have an ulcer you need to avoid those types of medications, because it can just increase your pain. In the past it was thought that certain foods; spicy foods may cause irritation, but what has been found more recently is that typically those don't have a huge impact on actual ulcers, so it may not necessarily be that you have to avoid spicy food, but that is a bit of an individual thing. If you know that you have a food that causes you heartburn, or any other type of gastric upset, and you do have an ulcer as well it's best to avoid that particular type of food. So again, in summary, for things that typically cause the most irritation to ulcers, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking. Those are the three main things you want to avoid to avoid irritating an ulcer.
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