Make Changes to Your Diet for a Peptic Ulcer

There is no evidence that what you eat or drink causes ulcers or that changes in your diet will affect how quickly your ulcer heals. But some foods may make your symptoms worse, especially when you first start treatment.

Eat a balanced diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important at all times. But you may find that some foods, particularly those that are heavily spiced or greasy, make your symptoms worse. You may want to avoid these foods while your ulcer is healing.

Drinking milk

There was a time when everyone who had an ulcer was told to drink lots of milk. This is no longer recommended as part of the treatment for a peptic ulcer.

Try smaller, more frequent meals

You may find that eating smaller, more frequent meals relieves your symptoms. If it doesn't, make sure you don't skip meals. Eat at least 3 regular meals each day.

Cut the caffeine

Coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate, and other foods containing caffeine can increase the amount of acid produced by the stomach. More acid in the stomach can lead to more pain when you have an ulcer.

  • If these products bother your stomach, avoid them for a while.
  • Decaffeinated coffee produces the same amount of stomach acid as caffeinated coffee, so stay away from decaf as well.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
Last Revised January 4, 2012

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