A duodenal ulcer is caused by a sore or break in the lining of the intestines just past the stomach. When the sore occurs, the acids in the stomach deepen the break and the result is an ulcer. Ulcers occur in people of all ages, both men and women, and affect approximately 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the population. Ulcers can occur quickly, while others take years to develop. Duodenal ulcers are the most common ulcers and are also referred to as peptic ulcers.
Consuming large meals causes the stomach to produce large amounts of stomach acid, which tends to cause ulcers. It is better to eat smaller meals. Diets for ulcers should be low in fat and sugar and high in fibre. A diet that is rich in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring, helps to line the stomach and alimentary canal and prevent the break in the stomach lining. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, kale, kiwi and apricots, which help to protect the stomach lining with beta carotene, but avoid citrus. Foods rich in vitamin E, such as wheatgerm and hazelnuts are also known for intestinal healing properties.
A healthy diet is best for an ulcer. A sample day might include a bowl of oatmeal with a scrambled egg and black decaf coffee for breakfast. Lunch could consist of a turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese on whole grain bread with carrot sticks and bottled water. For dinner one could have steamed fish or baked chicken with mashed potatoes. Snacks would be fresh fruit such as grapes or kiwi.
Foods to Avoid
Avoid eating any spicy foods that could aggravate the ulcer, particularly foods with strong spices such as pepper, curry and mustard. Alcohol and caffeine both can increase the acidity in the stomach and can cause problems for those with ulcers. Both of these should be consumed sparingly. Diets that are high in salt are at greater risk for peptic ulcers. Do not resalt your food and stay away from foods that are high in sodium, such as soup, tortilla chips, potato chips, corn chips, salted nuts, salted meats, blue cheese and cornflakes.