What are the Causes and Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers?

02. 26. 2018

Have you ever complained that a stressful situation was giving you an ulcer? It is a common expression, but how would you know if you actually had an ulcer?

What is a Stomach Ulcer?

Peptic ulcers are sores that form on the lining of the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine. Ulcers that occur in the stomach are referred to as gastric ulcers and those located in the small intestine are called duodenal ulcers.

What Causes Stomach Ulcers?

High stress levels and spicy foods do not cause ulcers; however, they can exacerbate existing ulcers. Most peptic ulcers are caused by either an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria or by prolonged use of aspirin and painkillers such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

What are Common Stomach Ulcer Symptoms?

Some of the most common symptoms of a peptic ulcer include:
• Burning pain in the stomach
• Heartburn
• Nausea
• Belching
• Bloating
• Feeling full
Fatty food intolerance

Some ulcers cause severe symptoms including:
• Weight loss
• Appetite changes
• Vomiting or vomiting blood
• Tarry stools
• Breathing trouble

Although peptic ulcers can disrupt eating habits, sleeping schedule and quality of life, three out of four people with ulcers do not experience any symptoms at all.

When to Visit a Gastroenterologist

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, you should make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. It is also important to see a doctor if you take aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Aleve, Motrin or other painkillers on a regular basis. You could be developing an ulcer without knowing it. Other medications like steroids and anticoagulants can increase your risk as well, so call a gastroenterologist if you have concerns.

Related Articles:

5 Digestive Issues You Shouldn’t Ignore
Medications That Can Trigger Heartburn
When Heartburn Isn’t Really Heartburn
Contact a Gastroenterologist

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