An ulcer or a stomach ulcer is a sore that is an open or a hole that is a painful wound formed in the stomach or in the upper part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. Stomach ulcers are very common, affecting millions of people yearly, and can occur in any age. It is not contagious, in other words, you cannot catch it from someone else.
Causes of an Ulcer
Generally, there is no known cause for stomach ulcers but certain causes are listed below may be factors.
- Bacterial infection
- Spicy foods
- Certain medication
Signs and Symptoms of Stomach ulcers
The major symptoms of stomach ulcer is a burning, gnawing like pain in the stomach that can last between 30 minutes to a few hours. The pain is classified as heartburn and located in the upper abdomen but can occur below the breastbone. Pain can be relieved by drinking milk, taking antacids, eating, or resting. If the pain persists, it is a good idea to see your doctor and make an appointment. Other stomach ulcer symptoms are listed below:
- Pain that comes and goes
- Pain that can wake you up at night
- Eating less
- Weight loss
- Frequent burping
- Frequent hiccups
- Vomiting blood
- Vomiting coffee grounds
- Bloody or black bowel movements
If you think you might have any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to see a doctor as soon as possible. If left untreated, ulcers can grow larger and can lead to other medical problems.