The Duodenal Ulcer Diet is a special meal plan formulated to help patients control and treat ulcers in their stomach and the duodenum.
Duodenal Ulcer Diet: Background
Ulcers can occur at any age but hyper secretion of stomach acids can result in a break in the gastric mucosa that does not heal. Generally, the stomach lining produces hydrochloric acid to digest food but it is itself resistant to the acid. Weakened stomach linings and excessive acid production results in stomach and duodenal ulcers which can be very painful to the patient and difficult to treat as well. Controlling excessive acid production in the stomach while treating the ulcer at the same time form the basic tenets of this diet.
Duodenal Ulcer Diet: General Guidelines
Physicians recommend antacids and medications that treat ulcer. At the same time, it is very essential to have a balanced diet of low acid foods that will not irritate or aggravate the ulcer too much. A few general lifestyle changes that become essential are as follows -
- Smoking, drinking alcohol and all varieties of fizzy drinks should be stopped.
- Antacids can be used to soothe the pain but relying on them completely is not advisable.
- Current medications should be evaluated for their effects on the ulcer and a physician should be contacted. The medications should be replaced if required.
- Self medication is strictly advised against.
- Smaller meals should be eaten all through the day.
- Stress should be reduced as it increases gastric acid secretions. Yoga or meditation techniques can be followed to soothe the mind and tone the body.
Duodenal Ulcer Diet: Foods to Eat
- The intake of water in the diet should be increased. Generally, two liters of water per day for an adult is considered ideal.
- The consumption of fresh fish and vegetables should be increased. Organic meats and vegetables are best in this regard.
- High fiber foods and grains like spinach, whole wheat, rice bran, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts are ideal.
- Nuts and nut butters are an ideal way to get the required amount of fats and proteins without aggravating the ulcer.
- Herbs like deglycyrrhizinated licorice seem to help. Naturopaths also recommend the juice of raw cabbage, aloe vera juice, and rhubarb juice to control the ulcer.
Duodenal Ulcer Diet Plan: Foods to Avoid
- All processed meats and breads should be replaced with brown bread and fresh fish.
- Coffee and tea intake should be reduced.
- Milk can be skipped as high calorie foods like milk can aggravate the ulcer.
- All citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, grapefruits, pineapples should be avoided.
- Strong flavored cheeses and full fat dairy products should be eaten.
Duodenal Ulcer Diet: Points to Note
Individual body chemistries vary considerably. Some patients with ulcers are able to consume pickles and acidic fruits with no problems at all while others do have problems. It is recommended that each patient get in touch with a trained physician and nutritionist to evaluate medical conditions, current medications and diet.