Also called a peptic ulcer, it is an open sore that develops on the insidelining of the stomach. This kind of ulcer is very common, affecting as many asten percent of the American population.
Symptoms of stomach ulcers
The most common symptoms of stomach ulcers are abdominal pain, a feeling of beingbloated, loss of appetite, inexplicable weight loss, nausea, sometimesaccompanied by vomiting, and, in some cases, vomiting blood (this may happenwhen the ulcer starts to bleed, or from the damage of the esophagus caused by continuousvomiting), etc. Abdominal pain may vary in several ways: it may be feltanywhere from the breastbone down to the navel; it may flare at night, orlessen when a person eats something that is known to buffer stomach acid; itmay last for several hours, or even for several days.
If a person should feel any of these symptoms, he must immediately seek medicalhelp. The doctor will run the necessary tests (a blood test, or a breath test,etc.) to establish whether it is, in fact, an ulcer.
If left untreated, an ulcer may lead to other severe medicalconditions. It might cause internal bleeding, various infections and scartissue.
Stomach ulcers causes
The cause of most ulcers is a bacteria called Heliobacter pylori. It was oncebelieved that spicy foods are, in fact, the culprit for this kind of disease,but, with the help of modern technology, this was easily proven wrong. However,spicy food is somewhat a trigger, while, it can worsen the situation.Heliobacter pylori exists in the layers of the lining of the stomach. It oftencauses no problems, but, if it inflames, it leads to an ulcer.
There are, of course, other factors that may lead to ulcers.These are: smoking (while it has been proven that nicotine raises the levels ofstomach acid), extreme use of pain relievers, excessive alcohol consumption (whilealcohol irritates the mucous layer of the stomach, increases the quantity ofstomach acid being produced, and causes the erosion of the mucous layer), and,of course, stress (which is a known contributing factor to developing an ulcer).
Doctors usually, when healing ulcers, tend to do two things: to kill thebacteria that started the ulcer and reduce the level of stomach acid.
They may prescribe antacids, then, a combination of antibiotics, acid blockers andproton pump inhibitors.
With the help of a doctor, stomach ulcer is easily cured with little chances ofit ever coming back.