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Duodenal Ulcer Diet

A duodenal ulcer diet should be low in sugar and fats. Read this article and learn how to go about it...
Duodenal ulcer is a type of peptic ulcer, referring to the ulcer which is caused to the duodenum or the first section of the small intestine of a person. Studies show that more than 80% cases of duodenal ulcer are caused by bacterial infections of Helicobacter pylori. It is caused by breakage in the lining of the small intestine. However, several other causes like stress, alcohol abuse, excessive caffeine intake, smoking and excessive secretion of stomach acids can also cause duodenal ulcers. Since, this disease is related to the digestive system, when a person is diagnosed with it, he/she is recommended to follow a strict duodenal ulcer diet.

Diet Considerations

In order to avoid and reduce the stomach ulcer symptoms and signs, immediate treatment is extremely important. Duodenal ulcer treatment consists of lifestyle changes including proper stomach ulcer diet, medications including antibiotics and proper diet for duodenal ulcer symptoms. Diet for stomach ulcer should be helpful to avoid triggered acidic levels of the stomach and increase anti-inflammatory reaction of the body. Main objectives of the duodenal ulcer diet are to provide adequate nutrition, gastric acid neutralization, lowering acid secretion and reducing irritation of stomach lining which is caused by ulcer. In order to achieve these objectives, mandatory changes are required in levels of regular intake of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and energy.

The stomach ulcer diet that the patient will be following for duodenal ulcers should consist enough calories that are required for a healthy day-to-day living, which means, carbohydrate intake should be closely monitored. Hence, along with introducing a high fiber diet, fibers that might increase irritation should be avoided. Also, adequate amount of vitamins and especially vitamin C should be provided. Vitamin C not only increases the healing process of ulcer, but it also helps in iron absorption. Moving on to fats, emulsified fats (cream, butter). When it comes to protein, a high protein diet is often recommended for the people who are suffering with duodenal ulcer pain. Protein provides essential amino acids and buffer well insider the body. However animal sources of protein (meat and milk) should be restricted in this peptic ulcer diet. However, eggs can be consumed.

Diet Ideas

In order to achieve above mentioned objectives, one needs to make deliberate changes in the daily diet so that it can be a balanced diet for proper healing of the stomach ulcer symptoms. The patient needs the perfect combination of low calorie diet and high fiber diet. Along with its, there are a few minor things that can be observed, that may hasten the recovery. These things include, reduction of spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, acidic drinks and high sodium foods from the diet. Instead of all these foods, the patient should consume omega 3 fatty acid supplements or fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herrings that are rich sources of omega 3 essential fatty acids.

Fresh vegetables have abundant antioxidant properties and hence they are also recommended to be included in the diet. Along with antioxidants, vegetables and fruits that can be included in the ulcer diet list are: carrots, red peppers green peppers, cabbage, apricots, kiwi, etc. are also rich with vitamins and minerals that are very helpful in the healing process of intestinal lining. Along with the above mentioned foods to include in this peptic ulcer disease diet, there are a lot of foods that should be avoided. These foods are: packaged foods that are high in sodium (soups and pickles), all sorts of chips like corn chips, potato chips, tortillas, fish chips; salted nuts, cornflakes, blue cheese, etc.

There are a few trivial things that one should always keep in mind. For instance, the patient should consume 5 to 6 smaller meals, rather than 3 straight large meals. They should also eat slowly and chew each bite well. Avoid eating chocolates, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, soda, cola, etc. Along with avoiding overeating, one should not skip the regular meals. It is also important to have the last food of the day, at least 3 hours before going to bed. Here is a sample diet for peptic ulcer: a bowl of oatmeal + scrambled egg + decaffeinated black coffee for breakfast; turkey sandwich made of whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese + carrot sticks and water for lunch; and steamed fish/baked chicken + mashed potatoes for dinner. In between each meal, the patients should consume fresh fruits like kiwis, grapes, etc.

Although now you are well aware of the foods that should be avoided for duodenal ulcer, you need to consult your health care provider and dietitian before you actually start on with any healthy diet, including the one mentioned above. Take care!
By Rutuja Jathar
Last Updated: 9/19/2011
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