CommunityHealth Fix


Why an ulcer could be the culprit to your unexplained stomach pain

Posted at 11:35 AM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 13:35:15-05


A peptic ulcer refers to a painful sore in the lining of the stomach. Although there is no single cause for the development of peptic ulcers, there are several risk factors that increase your risk. Many cases of peptic ulcers are caused by the presence of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. However, other factors include:

  • Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Family history of peptic ulcers
  • Excess acid production
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Radiation treatment near the abdomen
  • Serious illness
Common symptoms of an ulcer
  • Burning pain in the upper or middle portion of stomach, especially between meals or in the evening
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach bloating
  • Nausea or vomiting
In severe cases of peptic ulcer, people may experience:
  • Blood in stool (dark stool)
  • Vomiting blood (may look like coffee grounds)
  • Weight loss
  • Severe pain
Treatment options
  • Lifestyle changes such as eliminating alcohol and smoking
  • Limit use of NSAID pain relievers and aspirin
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPI)
  • Antibiotics to treat H. pylori if it is present
  • Upper endoscopy to treat bleeding ulcers
  • Surgery