What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders are serious eating behaviors, which can be fatal if left untreated. They include Continue reading “Eating Disorders”
What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders are serious eating behaviors, which can be fatal if left untreated. They include Continue reading “Eating Disorders”
Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are open sores within the lining of the stomach. They are a type of peptic ulcer, meaning having to do with acid. Because of the amount of acid present in the stomach and the damage that can occur, they are often extremely painful. The most common cause of stomach ulcers is the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori.
Ulcers may also be caused by overuse of painkillers, such as aspirin (Bayer), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Naprosyn).
Stomach ulcers are treated with antibiotics and medications to reduce and block stomach acid. In addition to this well-proven treatment plan, research has shown that there are also some natural home remedies that may be useful in managing a stomach ulcer and helping it heal. Talk with your doctor about adding these foods to your diet.
Research suggests that flavonoids, also known as bioflavonoids, may be an effective additional treatment for stomach ulcers. Flavonoids are compounds that occur naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Foods and drinks rich in flavonoids include:
teas, especially green tea
These foods may also help the body fight against the H. pylori bacteria. Flavonoids are referred to as “gastroprotective,” which means they defend the lining of the stomach and could allow ulcers to heal. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, there are no side effects of consuming flavonoids in the amount found in a typical diet, but higher amounts of flavonoids may interfere with blood clotting. You can get flavonoids in your diet or take them as supplements.
2. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice
Don’t let that long first word give you a stomach ache. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is just plain old licorice with the sweet flavor extracted. One study showed that deglycyrrhizinated licorice might help ulcers heal by inhibiting the growth of H. pylori.
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice is available as a supplement. You can’t get this effect from eating licorice candy, though. Too much licorice candy can be bad for some people. Consuming more than 2 ounces daily for more than two weeks can make existing heart problems or high blood pressure worse.
Probiotics are the living bacteria and yeast that provide healthy and important microorganisms to your digestive tract. They are present in many common foods, particularly fermented foods. These include:
You can also take probiotics in supplement form. Studies have shown that probiotics may be helpful in wiping out H. pylori and increasing recovery rate for people with ulcers when added to the traditional regimen of antibiotics.
Honey is far from simply sweet. Depending on the plant it’s derived from, honey can contain up to 200 elements, including polyphenols and other antioxidants. Honey is a powerful antibacterial and has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth. As long as you have normal blood sugar levels, you can enjoy honey as you would any sweetener, with the bonus of perhaps soothing your ulcers.
Garlic extract has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth in lab, animal, and human trials. If you don’t like the taste (and lingering aftertaste) of garlic, you can take garlic extract in supplemental form. Garlic acts as a blood thinner, so ask your doctor before taking it if you use warfarin (Coumadin), other prescription blood thinners, or aspirin.
Cranberry has been shown in some studies to help decrease urinary tract infections by preventing bacteria from settling on the walls of the bladder. Cranberry and cranberry extract also may help fight H. pylori. You can drink cranberry juice, eat cranberries, or take cranberry supplements.
No specific amount of consumption is associated with relief. Too much cranberry in any form may cause stomach and intestinal discomfort due to its high sugar content, so start with small amounts and increase gradually. Many commercial cranberry juices are heavily sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which can also add empty calories. Avoid those juices by buying juice sweetened only by other juices.
Mastic is the sap of a tree grown in the Mediterranean. Studies of the effectiveness of mastic on H. pylori infection are mixed, but at least one small study shows that chewing mastic gum may help fight H. pylori, getting rid of the bacteria in about 3 out of 10 people who used it. However, when compared to the traditional combination of antibiotics and acid-blocking medications, the medications were significantly more effective than the gum. The traditional treatment got rid of the bacteria in more than 75 percent of the people studied. In this study, the mastic gum was not associated with any side effects. You can chew the gum or swallow mastic in supplement form.
FRUITS, VEGGIES, AND GRAINS
8. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
A diet centered on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is not just good for your overall health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a vitamin-rich diet can help your body heal your ulcer. Foods containing the antioxidant polyphenols may protect you from ulcers and help ulcers heal. Polyphenol-rich foods and seasonings include:
blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, elderberries, and blackberries
FOODS TO AVOID
Foods to limit or avoid with ulcers and acid reflux
Some people with ulcers also have acid reflux disease. Certain foods, in certain people, can affect the lower part of the esophagus, called the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), allowing acid and stomach contents to back up into the esophagus. This can cause injury to the esophagus, as well as heartburn, indigestion and other discomfort.
To reduce acid reflux pain, you may want to limit:
coffee, and other caffeinated beverages
chilies and hot peppers
acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes
Overeating and eating within two to three hours of going to bed may also worsen the symptoms of acid reflux. But not every food acts the same is every person, so keeping track of which foods seem to make acid reflux symptoms worse can be helpful.
Having more than one drink a day for women and more than two for men is considered excessive drinking. If a couple of drinks after work is how you unwind, you might want to consider a healthier alternative. Regular alcohol use cause significant stomach inflammation. Also, alcohol is another substance that can relax the lower part of the esophagus, increasing your risk for acid reflux.
FIND A DOCTOR
Finding a doctor for ulcers
Looking for doctors with the most experience treating ulcers? Use the doctor search tool below, powered by our partner Amino. You can find the most experienced doctors, filtered by your insurance, location, and other preferences. Amino can also help book your appointment for free.
Abdominal bloating occurs when the abdomen feels tight or full. This may cause the area to appear visually larger. The abdomen may feel hard or tight to the touch, and can cause discomfort and pain.
Shortness of breath is difficulty breathing. It’s the feeling that you can’t catch your breath, and that you are not taking in enough air. It can cause feelings of faintness and panic if it continues for long periods.
Possible causes of abdominal bloating and shortness of breath
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
anxiety or panic disorder
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Other causes of abdominal bloating and shortness of breath
Abdominal bloating has many causes. It is more common in people who experience functional gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome or gastroparesis. Bloating can be due to the buildup of gas, fluids, or food in the stomach.
Overeating or eating foods known to contribute to bloating and gas, such as cabbage, beans, and lentils, may cause bloating.
Abdominal bloating can affect the diaphragm, a muscular partition between the chest and abdomen. The diaphragm assists in breathing, which means bloating can lead to shortness of breath. This happens if the pressure in the abdomen is enough to restrict the movement of the diaphragm.
Being short of breath can cause you to take small, short breaths. This can lead to swallowing air, which is known as aerophagia. Difficulty breathing can be brought on by anxiety or panic attacks, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and asthma attacks.
There are conditions that can result in both abdominal bloating and shortness of breath.
Any condition that leads to the buildup of air or foodstuffs could cause both bloating and shortness of breath. Also, stool inside the intestines, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, lactose intolerance, constipation, ileus, bowel obstruction, and gastroparesis could cause bloating and shortness of breath.
If bloating or shortness of breath is severe, seek immediate medical treatment.
Remember that the above list is not exhaustive but contains some of the more common conditions that may cause shortness of breath and abdominal pain.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR
When to seek medical help
Most abdominal bloating should resolve itself with time when the excess gases, liquids, or food can move through the stomach and intestines. However, if your abdominal bloating and shortness of breath last longer than a day, seek medical attention.
Also seek immediate medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with shortness of breath and abdominal bloating:
blood in your stool
dark, bloody, or tarry-looking stools
loss of control over bladder or bowel movements
severe abdominal pain
vomiting that does not cease after one day
any worsening symptoms
How are abdominal bloating and shortness of breath treated?
Medical treatments for abdominal bloating and shortness of breath will address the underlying condition. For example, over-the-counter medications may help resolve abdominal bloating. Bronchodilators can help to open the airways and improve breathing.
When you experience abdominal bloating, drinking more water may help to reduce symptoms. Walking also helps to relieve gas, but this may not be possible if you are experiencing shortness of breath.
If anxiety is causing your symptoms, taking slow, deep breaths, and thinking calm, peaceful thoughts might help relieve your symptoms.
Taking over-the-counter medications to reduce gas, such as simethicone drops, digestive enzymes, and activated charcoal may help abdominal bloating. Find a great selection of digestive enzymes here and activated charcoal here.
How can I prevent abdominal bloating and shortness of breath?
Avoiding foods known to cause abdominal bloating can help reduce your risk for experiencing symptoms. Also avoiding carbonated beverages can help.
Refraining from smoking can also help to reduce shortness of breath, and lessen the risk of potentially fatal lung disorders.
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The prostate, an organ located under the bladder, produces semen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. The risk of developing prostate cancer progressively increases with age.
Out of every 100 men over the age of 60, six will have prostate cancer before their 70th birthday, according to the CDC.
There’s no absolute prostate cancer prevention, but evidence suggests diet plays a key role. Keep reading for diet tips and more information.
Tomatoes, watermelon, and other red foods owe their bright color to a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Studies show that men who consume this fruit and tomato-based products have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t.
Other findings suggest that cooking tomatoes makes it easier for your body to absorb lycopene. The redder the tomato, the better because lycopene accumulates during ripening. That means that pale, store-bought tomatoes that are picked too early have less lycopene than vine-ripened tomatoes.
Nutrients and vitamins contained in fruits and vegetables may lower your risk of getting prostate cancer. Green vegetables contain compounds that help your body break down cancer-causing substances called carcinogens. A nutrient-rich diet may also help slow the spread of cancer.
By eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to fill up on processed junk food.
Fatty acid, known as omega-3, may help reduce your risk of developing prostate cancer. Omega-3 is found in certain fish including sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout, and salmon.
When compared to a high-fat diet, eating a low-fat diet and taking fish oil supplements has been found to slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. It’s easier to treat cancer that hasn’t yet spread outside the prostate.
A nutrient called isoflavones has been linked to a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Isoflavones are found in:
Some studies have shown that men who drink green tea, or take green tea extract supplements, have a lower risk of prostate cancer than those who don’t.
Decades of studies suggest that indulging a serious coffee habit is linked to a decreased risk of fatal prostate cancer:
This describes a dose-response relationship between prostate cancer and coffee. That means the effect on prostate cancer goes up or down with the amount of coffee you drink. These effects may not extend to someone who only grabs an occasional cup.
However, high doses of caffeine can cause major health issues, such as irregular heartbeat and seizures. According to Mayo Clinic, the daily recommended amount of caffeine for most healthy adults is 400 milligrams — or about 1 1/2 cups.
How coffee is prepared can also be a factor. A study in Norway looked at coffee brewed with a filter, and boiled coffee, which doesn’t use such a filter. Men who drank boiled coffee seemed to have a lower risk of prostate cancer than men who drank coffee prepared another way or not at all.
The chemicals cafestol and kahweol have well-known cancer-fighting abilities. Researchers believe these chemicals are trapped when coffee runs through a paper filter. Boiled coffee may allow these cancer-fighting chemicals to stay in your daily brew.
Studies indicate a link between animal fats and an increased risk of prostate cancer. In addition to meat, animal fats are found in lard, butter, and cheese. Whenever possible, replace animal-based fats with plant-based fats.
This, instead of that:
Also, overcooking meat produces carcinogens, so be careful not to over-cook your meat.
Prostate cancer patients who smoke are more likely to have a recurrence of the disease. Smokers are also more likely to have an aggressive form of prostate cancer.
It’s not too late to quit. When compared with current smokers, prostate cancer patients who quit smoking for more than 10 years had the same mortality risk as those who never smoked.
Some studies suggest that low folate levels in your blood increase your risk for cancer. Folate is found in a variety of foods, including green vegetables, beans, and orange juice. Increasing your intake of these foods may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. However, supplementing with folic acid, a man-made form of folate, may increase the risk of cancer.
Some studies have linked dairy products, or diets high in calcium, with an increased risk of prostate cancer, but this risk is considered minimal.
Too much fat, especially in the middle of your body, is linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer.
Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. Benefits of exercise include increased muscle mass and better metabolism. Try:
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Vary your routine and invite your friends to participate. You’re more likely to workout if it’s fun.
Ask your doctor about your risk for developing prostate cancer. Some points to discuss include:
Tell your doctor if you’re just beginning a new exercise program, or if you have the following symptoms:
If you’re looking to shed some pounds, you may have considered trying a vegan diet. Vegans don’t eat meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products. Instead, they eat things like fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, as well as plant-based milks, other nondairy products, and meat alternatives.
Although some people choose the vegan lifestyle out of ethical concerns for animals, the diet itself can have some health benefits. Ac, Is this Approach healthy?cording to recent studies, being vegan may even help you lose a significant amount of weight.
How exactly? More research is needed, but it’s thought that going vegan may lead to reducing the number of high-calorie foods you consume. With a vegan diet, you may end up replacing such foods with high-fiber alternatives that are low in calories and keep you fuller longer.
Cutting out some of the main food groups in your diet may seem unhealthy. And unless you carefully pay attention to your nutrition, it can be.
Some worry, for example, about getting enough protein or other essential nutrients, like vitamin B-12. This vitamin is found naturally only in animal products, and if you become deficient, it may result in anemia. Vegans need to supplement their diet with vitamins, vitamin-fortified cereals, and fortified soy products to avoid deficiencies.
Others may have trouble with yo-yo dieting after going vegan. What does this mean? It’s when you go through cycles of losing weight and then regaining all or more of that weight, possibly after having trouble sticking to vegan-only foods. This type of dieting is associated with some serious health consequences, like an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Regardless of these and other possible pitfalls, you can eat a vegan diet healthily and lose weight. The key — as with all diets — is focusing on nutrient-dense foods versus empty calories. For vegans, these foods would include things like:
OTHER WAYS TO LOSE WEIGHT
Women generally need to eat 2,000 calories each day to maintain weight. To lose weight, this number drops to around 1,500 calories a day. Men generally need to eat 2,500 calories each day to maintain their weight and around 2,000 calories a day to lose weight.
A junk-food calorie doesn’t equal a whole-food calorie as far as nutrition goes. Even if you stay below your calorie goal, filling up on all Nutter Butter cookies, which happen to be vegan, is very different from filling up on buckets of fresh produce.
Although you can’t control all of these factors, you can control your diet and exercise. Regardless of the type of diet you choose, you should follow these guidelines for healthy eating
Grazing throughout the day isn’t good for weight loss. Timing your meals is essential to boosting your metabolism and promoting healthy eating habits.
In general, try eating meals at the same time each day to get your mind and stomach into a predictable pattern. Munch on a larger breakfast in comparison to the other meals in your day. This may mean shifting your lunch a bit earlier and eating a smaller dinner.
If you’ve exercised, try eating within 45 minutes of finishing. This will help feed and repair your muscles.
When shouldn’t you eat? Within two hours of bedtime. Consuming calories too close to bedtime is associated with weight gain and sleep disturbances.
WATCH YOUR PORTIONS
Portion sizes matter with any of the foods you eat — vegan or not. The United States Department of Agriculture’s My Plate suggests that average women and men get the following number of servings of these foods each day:
|Food group||Servings for women||Servings for men|
|dairy or dairy alternatives||2–3||2–3|
|meat and beans||5 ounces||6 ounces|
Here are examples of single servings of different foods in each group for vegans:
|grains||• 1 slice bread
• 1 cup cold cereal
• 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, or rice
|vegetables||• 1 cup raw leafy greens
• 1/2 cup raw or cooked veggies
• 3/4 cup vegetable juice
|fruits||• 1 medium piece whole fruit, such as an apple, banana, orange, or pear
• 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
• 3/4 cup no sugar-added fruit juice
|dairy||• 1 cup nondairy milk|
|meat and beans||• 1/2 cup cooked dry beans
• 1/2 cup tofu
• 2-1/2 ounces soy burger
• 2 tablespoons peanut butter
• 1/3 cup nuts
|fats||• 1 tablespoon oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 medium avocado
• 1 ounce nuts
• 2 tablespoons nut butter
Current recommendations for protein intake are around 5.5 ounces per day, or around 0.41 grams per pound of body weight. This means a 150-pound woman should consume approximately 61 grams of protein each day. A 175-pound man should consume around 72 grams each day.
When you break this down into calories, there are about 4 calories per gram of protein. So the woman in this example would need to get 244 calories from protein each day, and the man would need to get 288 calories from protein.
Good sources of plant protein include:
|Food||Serving size||Grams of protein|
|beans, such as chickpeas, black beans, and kidney beans||1 cup||15|
|tofu, firm||4 ounces||11|
|textured vegetable protein (TVP)||1/2 cup||8|
|peanut butter||2 tablespoons||8|
Before you sip that store-bought smoothie, consider how many calories it might contain. Even so-called healthy drinks and energy mixes can pack quite a caloric punch.
First, let’s take a look at a beverage most people know to steer clear while dieting: A 20-ounce soda contains around 240 calories and 15 to 18 teaspoons of sugar.
Read labels carefully and consider saving these drinks for special occasions.
Sticking with water is typically your best bet when trying to lower the number on the scale. It’s hydrating and contains zero calories. If you don’t like plain water, you might consider adding a squeeze of lemon or lime or trying herbal teas and sparkling waters.
The same rules apply to vegan and non-vegan desserts: Eat them in moderation. The average American eats a whopping 22.2 teaspoons of sugar each day. Whether that comes from a decadent ice cream sundae or a batch of vegan cookies, it’s still 335 calories that contain little nutritional value.
Sugar can actually disrupt your metabolism and lead to health issues beyond weight gain, including high blood pressure, inflammation, and elevated blood triglycerides. How much of the sweet stuff is enough? Women should try to limit their daily sugars to around 6 teaspoons or 100 calories each day. Men should aim to get fewer than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories each day.
If you’re looking for a healthy vegan dessert option that’s relatively low in calories without added sugars and fats, try fresh fruit. Otherwise, eat a small portion of a vegan dessert and save the rest for tomorrow or next week.
Eating a vegan diet may help you lose weight. Still, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor or a dietitian before making big changes to your diet. You should discuss how you’ll get critical nutrients, like protein and B vitamins.
Your doctor may also have other suggestions for how you might lose weight, like keeping a food diary or engaging in a regular exercise routine.