Stomach Ulcers: Causes, Signs, Treatment, Diet, And More

In this, a girl is shown holding her stomach

What is Stomach Ulcers?

Stomach ulcers are a condition, where wounds, and sourness occur in the lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine, causing pain.

If ulcers occur in the stomach and intestine then is called a “Peptic ulcer“, this word comes from pepsin (an enzyme in our stomach).

If ulcers occur in the part of the intestine just outside your stomach it is called a “duodenal ulcer“.

NOTE: It is also known as gastric ulcers, which are more common in people 60 or over. and men are more affected than women (1).

Reasons for stomach ulcers

When the stomach lining (a thick layer of mucus that protects our stomach from acid, and other enzymes), is damaged or reduced, then acid gets a chance to eat our stomach lining, causing an ulcer.

Here are other main reasons for stomach ulcers. including:

Bacteria – A bacteria called (H-pylori), type is gram-negative, it breakdown the protective mucus lining, then gastric acid starts eating stomach lining.

These bacteria can enter through food, water into your stomach, where it’s multiple, and do their work.

Certain pain relievers – If you are regular use certain pain delivers such as aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Which slow down mucus secretion, or block your body from making a chemical that protects the stomach’s inner lining, which causes ulcer disease.

Some other factor that can triggers ulcer worse

Here is some factor that can make your ulcer worse, so avoid these are:

Smoking – Cigarettes contain many toxic chemicals, that enter our blood through the lungs, which disbalances hormonal balance.

Drinking alcohol – alcohol contains acid, which increases the acidic environment more acidic, which causes pain.

Stress – It is one of the main reasons that trigger ulcers more.

Spicy food – Eating a lot of spicy food may not cause ulcers, but it definitely can make ulcers worse and harder to treat.

Signs and symptoms

A dull or burning pain is the most common symptom of peptic ulcers (2), but many people with peptic ulcers don’t even have symptoms (3).

Here are the most commonly seen symptoms of stomach ulcer

  • Pain may occur middle of your abdomen and between your chest and belly button. 
  • Buring sensation
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea/vomitting
  • Appetite changes
  • Weight loss

The pain may stop for a while you eat something but it may come back.

In severe cases of stomach ulcers such as:

  • blood in vomitting
  • Blood in stool

Talk to your doctor if you face any type of stomach discomfort because it might be some other health condition.

If it is not treated then it will not take much time for the condition to worse, and bleeding ulcers can become life-threatening (4).

However, some people may experience painless other symptoms such as:

  1. Acid reflex,
  2. Heartburn
  3. Indigestion
  4. Feeling sick

Pain in the stomach is the most commonly seen sign of an ulcer, but pain can happen due to other health conditions:

  • Indigestion problem – such as constipation, and gas
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • Periods cramps
  • food poisoning or food allergy
  • gallstones
  • kidney stones
  • stomach flu
  • hernia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

NOTE: If pain is occurring suddenly after eating, then it may be gastric ulcer pain.

NOTE: If it comes after 3 to 4 hours of eating food, then there may be a duodenal ulcer.

Therefore, the pain of this can come between 2 to 4 pm at night.

How doctor diagnose it?

To diagnose doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and any medicines that you have taken.

And doctor perform tests such as endoscopy or an x-ray, and Barium swallow can determine if you have one. Explained test here:

Endoscopy – In this, a thin camera-lighted tube is inserted inside your stomach through your mouth, helping in finding the site, size, formation, and bleeding of the ulcers.

Barium swallow – In this, you swallow a bright white substance called barium, then this substance coats your upper gastrointestinal tract, then the doctor does an X-ray in which it looks white.

Treatment of Ulcer

Stomach ulcer treatment will depend on your symptoms and the severity of your ulcer.

Therefore, diagnose it as soon as possible and start its treatment.

It is caused by bacteria (H-pylori), the doctor can kill it by giving you a combination of antibiotics drugs.

A doctor can give you PPI (proton pump inhibitors) to heal ulcers, it stops hydrogen iron pump, to prevent acidic environment, which helps the stomach lining heal faster.

However, most ulcers are healed with (PPIs) treatment, but If the ulcer is caused by NSAIDs, then the doctor may forbid you to take it.

Antiacid is also given in stomach ulcers that neutralize stomach acid.

In other cases, doctors may prescribe you medicines, cytoprotective like which protects your stomach and intestine lining, so the ulcer can heal.

Most ulcers can be treated with medicines, but in rare cases, when ulcers become worse, then surgery may be required.

Surgery can be done in some cases when:

  • Damged area do not heal
  • continue to return
  • bleeding
  • When food comes in stomach but prevent it from going into the small intestine.

Food To eat and avoid

Different foods do not cause or prevent peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers), but drinking alcohol does make ulcers worse.

Here is a food list that is backed by doctor consulting.

  • Food with probiotics such as yogurt, kimchi, are rich in good bacteria.
  • Oats, pear, apple, and dalia that high fiber,
  • Sweet potato, which contain vitamin A, it’s believed that, it prevent ulcer formation.
  • Red chill peppers, that rich vitamin C, which help in heal ulcer.
  • Fruit juices also help in healing ulcer

Food to avoid

  • Alcohol, which irriate and damage stomach lining
  • Fatty, fried food, it takes longer time to digest
  • Spicy food


  • Avoid spicy food, acid drink, and smoking.
  • keep yourself tension free or stress free, because stress can release your hormones more, which trigger gastronia lining.
  • Also, getting enough sleep is one of the common way to manage stress, which can also can boost your immune system.
  • Before eating any food eat it after washing and cooking properly.
  • Follow good hygein, because this (H-pylori) can enter your body through contaimented food and water such as wash your hands with soap, etc.
  • Drink only fresh or running water.

Check Out – Can Drink Enough Water And Doing Exercise Prevent The Diseases?


Lift untreated or staying with an ulcer for a long-time put you in serious complications and can be life-threatening.

Complication includes:

  • Internal bleeding, which causes blood vessels destroyed, and leads to anemia.
  • Obstruction in your pyloric sphincter, which located between stomach and intestine, due to which the stomach juices do not do down and you feel bloated.
  • A hole in stomach wall, which increase the risk of infection.
  • Gastric cancer, studies suggest that people with (H-pylori) infection are at increases risk fo gastric cancer.


Burning pain is the most common symptom of peptic ulcers.

If it comes after 3 to 4 hours of eating food, then there may be a duodenal ulcer. Therefore, the pain of this can come between 2 to 4 pm at night.

Most ulcers are healed with (PPI) treatment, but If the ulcer is caused by NSAIDs, then the doctor may forbid you to take it.


Hello, I'm Sahil bisht, I am a Mechanical engineer, As well as, aspiring blogger with an obsession for health. This blog delicate to people who want to learn in health.

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