Tuesday, December 9, 2008
* EAT SMALL, FREQUENT MEALS. Ulcers tend to be the most painful when the stomach is empty. If you eat often, food helps buffer the effects of digestive acids and enzymes.
* AVOID UNNECESSARY USE OF ASPIRIN OR NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS. Since these can irritate the digestive tract, your doctor may advise taking them with food.
* DON'T SMOKE. "Smokers have more ulcers, their ulcers are harder to heal, and they're more likely to have recurrences", says David Graham, M.D.
* CUT BACK ON COFFEE, TEA AND COLA DRINKS. Caffeine stimulate acid production, which may in turn exacerbate ulcers.
*AVOID ALCOHOL. This is particularly important for individuals taking the antibiotic metronidazole (Flagyl), which can make them severely ill if they drink.
* DON'T USE MILK AS THERAPHY. Doctors say it's one of the worst treatments for ulcers.
* AVOID FOODS THAT UPSET YOUR STOMACH. You don't have to eat a bland diet, but steer clear of too spicy foods or any that have irritated your digestive system before.
* CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU'VE HAD ULCERS IN RECENT YEARS. "If any of may ulcer patient test positive for H.pylori, I treat them immediately rather than waiting for a recurence," says Dr. Graham.