It is often thought that stress causes ulcers, but there is no conclusive evidence. What is known is that stress can exacerbate and make ulcers worse. It may not be the stress in our lives that causes ulcers, but the reaction to the stress itself. Behavior modification, stress reduction, exercise and home remedies can help alleviate ulcer symptoms. See your doctor if your symptoms worsen, or if you are passing stool that is blackened or contains bright specks of blood, as this may indicate a bleeding ulcer; a serious condition.
To prevent ulcer symptoms, avoid foods that cause flare-ups. These foods can vary from person to person, but generally include spicy foods like pizza, hot sauce, and fried foods. For some, even basic ice cream can be an irritant. Also, contrary to popular opinion, milk is not a soothing panacea for the stomach. In fact, milk actually stimulates more stomach acid secretion and can cause ulcer flare-ups.
Avoid taking too many pain relievers as these have a tendency to irritate the stomach lining. Aspirin has a reputation for irritating the stomach, but nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can also wreak havoc.
Licorice can be an effective stomach soother. To relieve ulcer symptoms, chew 1 or 2 DGL, or deglycyrrhizinated licorice lozenges, four to six times a day. Licorice contains flavonoids that can reduce the inflammation associated with ulcers. DGL lozenges have no side effects and are fairly good tasting. Chew them slowly to allow the beneficial compounds to remain in your mouth for at least one minute to absorb the active ingredients.
German chamomile can effectively relieve stomach ulcer symptoms. Drink 1 cup of chamomile tea three to four times a day for relief. Chamomile is an anti-inflammatory, has flavonoids, is and anti-spasmodic, along with being a mucilage; all of which ease irritation of the mucous membrane in the stomach.
Eat bananas to protect the stomach and relieve ulcer symptoms. Bananas contain an antibacterial substance known to break down the formation of the bacteria, H. pylori. This bacteria is thought to cause the formation of ulcers in some people.