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Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are sores that develop on the lining of the stomach. We discuss options to address stomach ulcers naturally as well as providing a comprehensive guide on why they might appear.

What is a stomach ulcer?

Whilst there's no specific diet for people with stomach ulcers, certain foods may help fight the cause of a stomach ulcer. Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are sores that develop on the lining of the stomach. You can also get ulcers in part of the intestine just beyond the stomach, which are called duodenal ulcers. Stomach ulcers and duodenal ulcers (sometimes called peptic ulcers) cause the same symptoms and treatment for both is the same.

What are the symptoms of a stomach ulcer?

The first symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain in the centre of the tummy (abdomen). Other common symptoms include:

A dull pain in the stomach

Unexplained weight loss

Avoidance of eating (due to pain)

Nausea or vomiting

Bloating and distention of the stomach area

Feeling full quickly

Excessive burping

Acid reflux


The pain may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids

Stomach ulcers - Please contact your doctor if:

You are passing black/ dark, sticky, tar-like stools, or you have a sudden, sharp pain in your stomach that gets increasingly worse.

Why do stomach ulcers happen?

Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced.

Stomach ulcers are commonly caused by an infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), as well as long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.

If you suspect a stomach ulcer, please visit your doctor for a diagnosis. It’s important to promptly treat an ulcer, and talk to your doctor to discuss a treatment plan.

Diet, nutrition and advice for stomach ulcers

In general, a diet rich with lots of fruits, vegetables, and fibre lowers the risk of developing an ulcer. Furthermore, it’s possible that some foods play a role in reducing H. pylori infection by boosting stomach health and boosting beneficial bacteria. Such foods include:

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and radishes

Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale

Probiotic-rich foods, such as sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, yogurt (especially with lactobacillus and Saccharomyces)


Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries

Olive oil

Supplement recommendations for stomach ulcers

Foods and supplements that can help in the case of stomach ulcers inlclude:


Probiotics have been shown to help replenish digestive flora and heal gastric ulcers. However, there’s no evidence that they have any impact on acid secretion[I].

Other supplemental options:

Marshmallow or slippery elm to soothe the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.

Stomach ulcer or gastritis?

Stomach ulcers have similar symptoms to gastritis, see details below.

Gastritis is a general term for a group of conditions with one thing in common: Inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Gastritis is most often the result of infection with a bacterium, H.Pylori that causes most stomach ulcers or the regular use of certain pain relievers.

Gastritis doesn’t cause noticeable symptoms in everyone. The most common symptoms are:

Certain conditions and activities may increase your risk of developing gastritis.

Other risk factors include:

Other less common risk factors include:

Prevention and treatment measures:

Take good care of your mental health. Self-care and de-stressing practices may reduce your risk of developing stress-induced gastritis

Eating smaller meals more slowly and regularly

Avoiding or limiting fried, salty, sugary and spicy foods (these are things that research shows could trigger gastritis symptoms)

Quitting smoking, if you smoke

Avoiding or limiting alcohol and caffeine

Other conditions producing symptoms similar to stomach ulcers


Indigestion is given collectively to a number of digestive symptoms, including a feeling of expansion or discomfort in the upper abdomen, heartburn, and nausea. The medical term for indigestion is dyspepsia.

People often experience indigestion after eating large meals. However, several other factors can lead you to develop symptoms of indigestion.

Possible causes of indigestion:

Lifestyle: Lying down too soon after eating can make it harder to digest food. This increases your risk of abdominal discomfort.

Other lifestyle risks:

Medication: Indigestion can be a side effect of taking specific medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen.

Acid Reflux:

Acid reflux is very common. It is a condition which features an uncomfortable burning pain, also known as heartburn, in the lower chest area. It is caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). If it keeps happening, it's called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Other symptoms include:

Please note: It is recommended that symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty swallowing and chronic cough should also be fully assessed by a medical professional

Read more on indigestion and acid reflux

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Please note that the information contained within this website does not and should not replace medical advice, and is not intended to treat or diagnose. We always recommend you consult with your doctor. Our Nutritional Therapy team is highly trained and we offer one to one Nutritional Therapy Consultations, which are designed to be complementary to any medical treatment from a functional medicine approach, as well as offering a preventative & optimal health focus.