Stomach ulcers, which are also known as gastric ulcers, are painful sores in the stomach lining. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestine.
Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer.
Stomach ulcers may be easily cured, but they can become severe without proper treatment.
What causes stomach ulcers?
Stomach ulcers are almost always caused by one of the following:
1. an infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
2. long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
3. Rarely, a condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing the body’s production of acid. This syndrome is suspected to cause less than 1 percent of all peptic ulcer.
Symptoms of stomach ulcers
A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer.
The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.
Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:
1. dull pain in the stomach
2. weight los
3. not wanting to eat because of pai
4. nausea or vomiting
6. feeling easily full
7. burping or acid reflux
8. heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest
9. pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacid
10. anemia, whose symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin
11. dark, tarry stools
12. vomit that’s bloody or looks like coffee ground
Talk to your doctor if you have any symptoms of a stomach ulcer. Even though discomfort may be mild, ulcers can worsen if they aren’t treated. Bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening.
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