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Reply To: Biomedical Bootcamp

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Hello Yasaman!

This is a common question and there is some copy before the video in this section to help clarify. I will copy and paste it below and then let me know if you have any more thoughts or questions!

Just before we carry on, I want to add a little bit of text here to clarify something about ulcers. You will often read that ‘gastric ulcers are worse with food’ and ‘duodenal are better without food’. Let me just add these important considerations in:

Peptic ulcer is the umbrella term for both duodenal and gastric ulcers. It just means ulceration in the ST lining or beginning of the SI (so, duodenum).
Gastric ulcer is MUCH worse when hungry. So, eating actually makes it better IF it is the correct food. I.e. usually very alkaline, bland food – milk, white rice congee, etc. Gastric ulcer is much WORSE with acidic/spicy food – coffee, alcohol, meat, spicy. Think about it like this – the ST lining is inflamed, so when you are hungry, the acid can eat away at the ST further, so you need something in there to absorb it. If you add more acidic food, or food that needs acid to break it down, then you get much worse.
Duodenal ulcer is much better when one eats frequent, small and bland meals. So, in this way, it is better with food. Again, if one is eating high acid foods, then that will go into the SI as well and will make it worse. This would be about an hour or so after eating as it needs to get down there.
So, it is quite dependant on what the patient is eating, and if they allowed themselves to get hungry or not (that is actually the first question I will ask patients – what happens when you are hungry? What makes it better/worse?’ THAT will help you decide on what kind of ulcer it is.