How to deal with your ulcer during Ramadan

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the mucus lining of the stomach or upper intestine. They are caused by bacterial infections such as Helicobacter pylori, smoking, long term use of pain killers, and excessive consumption of fatty, acidic, and spicy foods. People with peptic ulcers suffer from burning sensation in the stomach, heart burn, loss of appetite, excessive production of stomach acid, and haemoptysis.

Peptic ulcer severity and pain increases during prolonged periods of fasting. That is why during Ramadan, the severity and the pain will become worse. If you have a peptic ulcer, your ability to fast during the holy month depends on a number of factors including severity of the ulcer, type of ulcer, and the timing and type of food you eat. We recommend that you consult your physician on whether you are able to fast during Ramadan.

  • If you choose to fast during Ramadan, here are some ways to reduce ulcer pain:
  • Avoid foods that are sour, spicy, and are high in fat content.
  • Avoid consumption of fizzy drinks excessively.
  • We recommend to divide your meals over small portions with higher frequency, reaching 5 meals per day.
  • Avoid smoking and caffeine.
  • Substitute non-steroidal pain killers with paracetamol.
  • Do not lay down after eating for at least 3 hours especially after suhoor.
  • Substitute caffeinated drinks with herbal drinks such as sage or anise.
  • Use anti-acid and PPI (proton pump inhibitors) after consulting your doctor.
  • Light to medium work out after eating a meal, such as a 10 minute walk.
  • Lifting your head while sleeping using a pillow to stop stomach acid from going up the esophagus.

The Palestine Hospital family wishes you health and a Ramadan mubarak.