stomach ulcer is a painful sore that develops in the lining of the stomach or the upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). Here are some key points about stomach ulcers:

  1. Causes:
    • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori): This bacterium commonly resides in the mucous layer that covers and protects the stomach and small intestine lining. In some cases, it can cause inflammation and lead to ulcer formation.
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Long-term use of medications like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) can increase the risk of developing ulcers.
    • Stress and spicy foods do not directly cause ulcers but can exacerbate symptoms.
  2. Symptoms:
    • Burning stomach pain: Acid in the stomach worsens the pain, especially on an empty stomach.
    • Feeling of fullness, bloating, or belching
    • Intolerance to fatty foods
    • Heartburn
    • Nausea
  3. Severe Signs or Symptoms (Less common):
    • Vomiting or vomiting blood (may appear red or black)
    • Dark blood in stools (stools that are black or tarry)
    • Trouble breathing
    • Feeling faint
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Appetite changes
  4. Diagnosis:
    • Tests include blood tests, breath tests, stool tests, endoscopy, and biopsy.
    • Endoscopy allows inspection of the stomach lining.
  5. Treatment Options:
    • Medications:
      • Antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin, clarithromycin) for H. pylori infection.
      • Proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole, lansoprazole) to reduce acid production.
    • Surgery may be necessary in severe cases with bleeding, perforation, or obstructions.
  6. Prevention:
    • Eat well-cooked food.
    • Wash hands regularly.
    • Avoid regular intake of painkillers without antacids.
    • Avoid smoking.

Remember to seek medical advice if you experience severe symptoms or suspect a stomach ulcer.