Our expert says:
I am sorry to hear that you suffer from an ulcer. Ulcers are caused by excess acid excretion by the stomach. Excess acid usually is excreted in response to stress (this can in turn be caused by psychological problems and stressful actions such as exercising too much). If the stomach is empty, the acid starts to attack the stomach lining and causes a sore or ulcer. It is, therefore, important to always have some food in the stomach esp after the long overnight fast. The stomach also tends to produce more acid during the night than in the day. Firstly, I trust that you are receiving medical treatment for your ulcer (antacids and/or proton pump inhibitors like Losec or Zantac)? If not, please return to the dr and ask him/her to prescribe the necessary medicine. You need to eat something after rising and before doing the Taebo in the morning. I would recommend that you have a cereal (e.g. instant oats) with half a cup of milk or yoghurt for a light breakfast, or a boiled egg (boil the night before) with a slice of toast and milky tea or coffee (too much tea and coffee can make the ulcer worse). Use your Powerade during the exercise and have about half a cup after the Taebo to help your muscles to recover and to provide you with some energy. Then have a sandwich with low-fat cottage cheese or standard cheese with your morning tea. This ensures that your stomach is not empty between your breakfast and your lunch. Also eat a light snack in the mid-afternoon for the same reason. So by all means keep up your exercises, but don't go for hours without eating a small portion of food to line your stomach and take your medications. Foods that can cause problems in ulcer patients include: raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, very fatty foods, etc and all alcohol. This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is too difficult, then please consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will help you pinpoint trigger foods and work out a diet that avoids them. To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension.
I do hope you will soon start feeling a lot better.
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