It’s truly a joyful time of year, or, at least, that’s the intention. But the rich foods, celebrations and stress can quickly overload your body and put you at increased risk of getting an ulcer.
Ulcers, also known as peptic ulcers, develop along the lining of the stomach. These sores are most commonly caused by a well-known bacteria called H. Pylori. But unfortunately, ulcers can form even without the presence of this bacteria.
You know you’ve got an ulcer if you experience abdominal discomfort that feels like your stomach is burning. You might even feel constant fullness, bloating or gaseousness. And let’s not forget dreaded nausea. If your symptoms don’t resolve, then you need to see a doctor. Ulcers can lead to dangerous infections in your abdomen, uncontrolled bleeding or even obstruction of the passage of food.
So it’s best to keep ulcers at bay by following these five tips this holiday season…
Don’t overdo the aspirin or ibuprofen
If you’ve had a lingering tension headache from the buildup of stress, then you need to keep an eye on how much aspirin or ibuprofen you take. Helpful at first, these medications can damage the lining of your stomach and lead to a stomach ulcer.
Control your stress
Instead of tossing back medication each time you get a headache from all the stress, control your stress with relaxing self-care. Stress can lead to ulcers. So for total wellbeing this holiday season, draw a hot bath with candles and essential oils, soak your feet in Epsom salt and take yourself out for a nice meal alone. The holidays are about spending time with friends and family as well as giving to others, but you can’t forget to care for yourself in the process.
It’s always a good time to quit smoking. Smoking hurts all systems of the body from your lungs to your heart to the lining of your stomach. If you’re infected with the H. Pyloribacteria, then smoking can lead to ulcer formation even faster.
Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption
Festive beverages are always fun this time of year. But it can be easy to overdo it. Know that alcohol eats away at the mucous lining of your stomach while at the same time increasing how much acid your stomach produces. That’s a harsh combo, especially if you’re stressed out, smoking and overeating at the same time.
Avoid irritating foods
Food, food, food. Isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Not entirely. But traditional eating leads us to over-consume heavily fatty foods. And depending on your culture or taste buds, you could be loading on the spice or citrus. These irritate the lining of your stomach. If you already have an ulcer, you could notice the onset of abdominal discomfort after eating these types of foods. It’s best to reduce or eliminate these things from your diet until you can get your ulcer under control.
Every year we gather to eat and be merry. It’s a good excuse to go overboard. But instead of doing the same thing year after year, make a few changes this year to set yourself up for a healthier start to the New Year. There’s no need to go crazy with new restrictions but a dash of moderation and balance go a long way.