of the digestive tract is protected by a mucous membrane.
Any factor that causes erosion or the wearing away of
this covering can cause an ulcer to be formed at that
spot. During the process of digestion various gastric
juices are produced and if these are secreted in excess
or if they come in direct contact with a part of the
digestive tract, which is worn out, as mentioned earlier,
then an ulcer can be formed.
The most common
symptom of an ulcer is upper abdominal pain just before
mealtime as the digestive tract is empty of food and
the digestive juices may hurt the ulcer directly. The
most important treatment is to see that you eat frequently.
Do not let there be long gaps when the stomach is empty
and drink plenty of water.
more specific causes and treatments are as follows:
Chilies and spicy food increase acid secretion in the
stomach so they must be avoided or reduced
to a minimum. Cigarette smoking damages the mucous lining
and can cause increased acid secretion and also inflammation
of the ulcer so must be avoided. Tobacco chewing also
causes wearing down of the mucous covering and will
have to be given up.
of coffee and tea can be a causative factor and must
be avoided or restricted to only 2 cups altogether,
in a day. Alcohol also can cause and aggravate ulcers
so it is recommended to be stopped completely if the
ulcer is chronic i.e. persisting and recurring.
Prolonged use of
steroid drugs as well as painkillers like aspirin, brufen
etc. on a daily basis can cause ulcers by damaging the
mucous lining. Finally mental tension or not being able
to 'let off steam', brooding and frustration and inner
resentment regarding family matters, relationships and
workplace problems can be the basis for ulcer formation.
However peptic ulcers has been seen to be one of the
conditions that best responds to diet modifications.
Regular frequent meals and snacks
is the best and most important treatment. Breakfast,
lunch and dinner timings must not vary widely. (Working
people must be careful). Between these 3 meals there
should be a midmorning snack, evening snack and
a bedtime milk
has been seen to have the most soothing effect in
treating peptic ulcer so it should be had with breakfast,
then in the evening snack as milk or in a milky
tea and then a glass of milk at bedtime too. A couple
of biscuits or a fruit may be eaten at midmorning
and at teatime, biscuits or a toast may be eaten.
Almost all other foods may be permitted
in moderation except chillies, spicy food and sour
food specially unripe citrus fruits must be avoided.
Oil and ghee many be used lightly
in cooking but fried food must be avoided as they
are difficult to digest.
Rich meat dishes and meat soups
also are best avoided.
Finally plenty of
water 2-3 liters atleast must be consumed throughout
the day to keep the acid levels in the digestive tract