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Understanding Ulcer Prevention

How Can I Prevent Ulcers?

No one knows for sure how H. pylori spreads or why some people develop peptic ulcers without being infected with H. pylori, so prevention is difficult. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine to prevent infection.

Some helpful tips to prevent or allow healing of ulcers include:

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  • Avoid foods that irritate your stomach. Use common sense: If it upsets your stomach when you eat it, avoid it. Everyone is different, but spicy foods, citrus fruits, and fatty foods are common irritants.
  • Stop smoking. Heavy smokers are more likely to develop duodenal ulcers than nonsmokers.
  • Practice moderation. Heavy consumption of alcohol and has been shown to contribute to the development of ulcers, so keep your intake to a minimum. 
  • Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS including aspirin and ibuprofen) with food, as this may decrease your risk of irritating the lining of your stomach
  • Learn how to control your stress levels. Regular exercise and mind-body relaxation techniques (such as guided imagery and yoga or tai chi) are often helpful.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Lisa B. Bernstein, MD on March 18, 2015

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