Stomach Ulcers and Soda
Stomach ulcers are affected by the things we consume. Some foods irritate the stomach or cause an increase in acids that make stomach ulcer symptoms worse. Other foods are beneficial to stomach ulcers and ease some of the irritation we feel.
Stomach ulcers are small holes in the protective lining of the stomach, duodenum, or pyloric channel that can cause gnawing abdominal pain and burning. They can be caused by H pylori induced gastritis (swelling), the over use of NSAIDs (pain medicine), and in rare cases are cause by malignant tumors.
However they are caused, stomach ulcers can grow to become very painful and often require treatment with multiple prescription medications if left unchecked. With the aid of drugs that kill any infection causing bacteria and those that reduce stomach acids, we can help stomach ulcers heal by avoiding certain foods.
Soda Beverages Should be Avoided
Of the foods that are known to aggravate stomach ulcers, soda-based beverages are among the worst offenders. Most soda beverages contain caffeine, an agent that is known to cause an increase in the production of stomach acids.
Stomach acids are useful in the digestion of foods, but can become a problem when they are secreted in large volumes. Stomach ulcers develop because of a break in the lining of the stomach, often caused by too much acid.
To make things worse, these acids continue to wash over the break in the protective lining and cause raw spot, or sore, that we call a stomach ulcer. As the spot is continually washed with stomach acids, the ulcer becomes worse and becomes more painful.
So, soda beverages that contain caffeine can make ulcer pain worse by increasing the amount of stomach acid that comes into contact with the ulcer. The carbonation in soda beverages can irritate stomach ulcers, as well. This also promotes the production of stomach acid. (Carbonation also promoted gastric pressure, which can lead to heartburn if there is also a large amount of acid in the stomach.)
What are Some Other Stomach Ulcer Irritants?
In addition to soda, there are some other foods that contribute to painful symptoms of stomach ulcers by prompting the stomach to create extra acids for digestive purposes. Any food that is high in fat or prepared with high-fat ingredients can be avoided to reduce stomach acids.
Examples of high-fat foods include breads like biscuits and croissants, because of their ingredients. Whole milk, chocolate, cream, and buttermilk are also high in fat and cause more stomach acids to be produced for digestion. Anything fried in oil is also likely to set-off the stomach ulcer symptoms we want to avoid.
Food that is very seasoned and soups containing a large amount of fats should also be avoided. Caffeine, as mentioned above, will cause more acid as well. Avoid coffee, tea, and dark chocolate.
Finally, alcohol and smoking should be avoided if you have a stomach ulcer because both of these irritate stomach acids and can lead to stomach ulcer pain. Smoking prevents healing, too.
The Good Soda for Stomach Ulcers
A different type of soda, sodium bicarbonate, can be beneficial in dealing with stomach ulcers. Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, may be found in some of the antacids we use to help control the symptoms of heartburn.
As a treatment for the symptoms of stomach ulcers, baking soda helps to neutralize stomach acids and reduces the main cause of ulcer pain. It may also help stomach ulcers heal faster since the acid is less caustic to the delicate tissue after it is neutralized by the baking soda.
It is a good idea to discuss the use of baking soda with a doctor before using it to treat stomach ulcers. Baking soda is generally safe, but it can interact with some medications and has the potential to cause adverse health effects.
A doctor can tell you about drugs that contain baking soda and are specifically design to help with acid problems, such as stomach ulcers. The proper dose must also be used to avoid any complications and to ensure that the baking soda will be effective as a therapy.
In general, baking soda can be taken through the use of antacids or effervescent tablets dissolved in water to assist with stomach ulcer pain and healing. Most people find that it is most beneficial if consumed right before bedtime or shortly following a meal.