A certain amount of stress in our lives is unavoidable, but when tension mounts so high your digestive health is affected, it’s time to take action and help your body better digest meals and absorb nutrients.
A common cause of digestive disorders and ulcers is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. It’s thought that that these bacteria somehow alter the lining of the digestive tract, making it more likely for an ulcer to develop.
While food will not cause nor cure ulcers, some can help ease the irritation, excessive acid production and heartburn that go along with them.
In the past, medical health professionals have advised people with ulcers to avoid spicy, fatty and acidic foods; but this counsel has changed. It’s been shown that a bland diet is ineffective for treating ulcers, and that the best approach is to keep a written diary of what you eat for one week and determine what you can and can’t tolerate.
Eating small, frequent meals will also help as will eating slowly, and avoiding both alcohol and milk might lessen your symptoms. Each can irritate an ulcer and make symptoms worse.
While doctors now know that the majority of ulcers are caused by H. pylori, in many patients, stress still appears to have a connection, so don’t overlook lifestyle changes such as yoga, exercise and stress-reduction techniques to help you manage your symptoms.
For even more detail about stress, nutrition and what you can do, read my blog post from 2/26/09.