Sign in to your account

Don't have an account?

Create an account
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more
Black medical doctor in a white coat and red stethoscope examining a patient on a ward. Our doctors on askawayhealth have years of clinical experience to provide top notch care.

Need to check your symptoms?

Use our symptom checker to help determine what your symptoms are and to ensure you get the help you need.

Check your symptoms


Request a reset

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Reset your password

Don't have an account?

Create an account


Foods, Drinks and Drugs that Worsen a Stomach Ulcer

July 22, 2023

If you suffer from excess acid trouble, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat and drink, as they are common stomach ulcer triggers.

Woman in pain from stomach ulcer holding a glass of water

Certain foods, drinks, and drugs can worsen your symptoms and trigger flare-ups.

By avoiding these specific triggers, you can take control of your stomach ulcer and manage your symptoms more effectively.

Some Stomach Ulcer Triggers

Stomach ulcers, also known as peptic ulcers, are often caused by a bacterial infection called Helicobacter pylori.

Image of the helicobacter pylori which is a stomach ulcer trigger

Other common causes include the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen, excessive alcohol consumption, and smoking.

In addition to these causes, certain foods, drinks, and drugs can act as triggers for stomach ulcer flare-ups.

It’s important to understand these triggers in order to prevent the worsening of symptoms and promote healing.

Avoid Spicy and Acidic Foods

Spicy and acidic foods can irritate the lining of the stomach and worsen the symptoms of a stomach ulcer.

It’s best to avoid foods such as chilli peppers, hot sauces, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and vinegar.

These stomach ulcer triggers can increase stomach acid production and lead to discomfort and pain.

Opt for milder, non-acidic options to prevent flare-ups and promote healing.

spicy foods and drinks trigger stomach ulcers

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine are known to irritate the stomach lining and can trigger flare-ups of stomach ulcers.

It’s important to limit your intake of these substances to prevent worsening of symptoms.

Alcohol can increase stomach acid production and cause inflammation, while caffeine can stimulate the production of gastric acid.

Opt for non-alcoholic and decaffeinated beverages to reduce the risk of stomach ulcer flare-ups.

Ibuprofen sachet, one of the drugs that triggers stomach ulcers

Say No to Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can be harmful to individuals with stomach ulcers.

These medications are stomach ulcer triggers that can increase the risk of bleeding and further damage to the stomach lining.

It is important to avoid NSAIDs or consult with a healthcare professional for alternative pain relief options if you have a stomach ulcer.

Opt for acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead, as it is less likely to cause irritation to the stomach.

Many other drugs can trigger stomach ulcers, including over-the-counter ones.

If you develop new symptoms or flare-ups of ulcer pain, speak to your doctor. They can review the medicines you are taking to see if they may be responsible.

Quit Smoking and Avoid Secondhand Smoke

Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are stomach ulcer triggers that can worsen ulcer symptoms and delay healing.

The chemicals in cigarettes can irritate the stomach lining and increase acid production, leading to more pain and inflammation.

Quitting smoking is essential for managing stomach ulcers and promoting overall health.

Additionally, it is important to avoid secondhand smoke as it can have similar negative effects on the stomach.

Creating a smoke-free environment is crucial for preventing flare-ups and supporting the healing process.

More Reading

Editing by AskAwayHealth Team


All AskAwayHealth articles are written by practising  Medical Practitioners to help promote quality healthcare. The advice in our material is not meant to replace a qualified healthcare practitioner’s management of your specific condition.
Please get in touch with a health practitioner
 to discuss your condition, or reach us directly here. 

Our post contains affiliate links at no cost to you. You are in no way obligated to use these links. Thank you for being so supportive!

Image Credits: Canva

Share this blog article

On this page

Let us know what you think

Want to know how your comment data is processed? Learn more

Access over 600 resources & our monthly newsletter.

Askawayhealth 2023 grant recipient from European Union Development Fund

Askawayhealth, 2023 Award Recipient

Our educational content meets the standards set by the NHS in their Standard for Creating Health Content guidance.

Askawayhealth aims to deliver reliable and evidence based women's health, family health and sexual health information in a way that is easily relatable and easy for everyone to access.

Askawayhealth symptom Checker tool image

Utilize our complimentary symptom checker tool to gain more information about any uncertain symptoms you might have.