Five Foods to Avoid If You Have an Ulcer

Have you been diagnosed with a gastric ulcer? Here are five foods you don’t want to eat.

Gastric ulcers are open sores that occur in the lining of the stomach from exposure to stomach acid. Many people think they’re caused by stress – but stress isn’t the main reason people get gastric ulcers. One of the most common causes is the overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or aspirin which alters the lining of the stomach making it more vulnerable to acid. A bacteria called helicobacter pylori that lives in the lining of some people’s stomachs can also damage the stomach lining leading to a gastric ulcer. As might be expected, once you’re diagnosed with a gastric ulcer, it’s important to watch what you eat to avoid making the symptoms worse. Here are five foods to avoid if you have a gastric ulcer.

Dairy Products

Some people believe that drinking milk soothes a gastric ulcer, but milk actually makes stomach ulcers worse. Why? Once it comes into contact with the stomach lining, it stimulates the production of even more stomach acid which makes the symptoms more pronounced. The bottom line? If you’ve been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, limit your milk consumption to one cup a day or less.


This is a tough one for some people to give up, but they may experience fewer ulcer symptoms if they do. Coffee is another food that aggravates gastric ulcer symptoms by stimulating secretion of stomach acid. By the time you add a little milk to your coffee, you’ve really added insult to injury. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you drink caffeinated or decaf, all coffee seems to be bad for gastric ulcers.


Tea is another potent stimulator of stomach acid secretion. According to one study, adding cream and sugar reduces the acid stimulating effect of tea. Go figure.


Not surprisingly, alcohol also stimulates stomach acid secretion – which is not a good thing for people with gastric ulcers. It’s best to completely avoid alcohol if you have any type of stomach ulcer.

Spicy Foods

They taste good going down, but once they hit the lining of your stomach, spicy foods cause problems if you have a gastric ulcer. Such spices as cayenne pepper, chili powder, and garlic are all known to aggravate gastric ulcers. Even though spicy foods can make ulcer symptoms worse, there’s no evidence that these foods actually cause them.

Your doctor will also put you on medications to control acid secretion and help the ulcer to heal. Help him out by avoiding these five foods that aggravate a gastric ulcer. It’ll help you feel better in the meantime.

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