A stomach ulcer, also known as gastric ulcer, is a wound inside the inner lining of the stomach which causes pain. It feels like a burning sensation or an intense pain between your chest and belly button.
A stomach ulcer can be caused by an infection with a bacteria known as helicobacter pylori or by the long-term use of common pain relievers. The condition usually heals without any lasting complications, but you may develop serious complications if the stomach ulcer is left untreated.
- A burning pain, usually between the chest and belly button. This pain is more severe when your stomach is empty.
- A dull pain in the stomach may also be present.
- Acid may flow upwards from your stomach towards your throat (heartburn), which can give you a burning feeling in your chest.
- Feeling full and bloated.
- Belching and farting.
- Bringing up food to your mouth or or vomiting.
- You may have blood in your pooh, which shows up as a red-brown substance.
Common causes of peptic ulcer are:
- Infection with helicobacter pylori.
- Long-term use pain relievers, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Stress and spicy foods do not cause stomach ulcers, but they can make your symptoms worse.
- Infection with the helicobacter pylori bacteria.
- Long-term use of pain relievers like aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen or naproxen.
- There is no clear evidence that spicy and fried foods, and alcohol consumption cause stomach ulcers. However, they may make the condition worse.
- Stomach ulcers may also be caused by acute starvation.
- When you feel a sudden sharp pain in your stomach.
- When your pass dark coloured and stick pooh.
- Worsening of the dull stomach pain.
- When you vomit blood your should visit a healthcare centre immediately to seek medical care.
- An untreated stomach ulcer may cause severe symptoms such as weight loss and difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention without delay.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Protect yourself from infections by practising proper hand hygiene.
- Eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
- Don't ignore the symptoms of a stomach ulcer. left untreated, it may lead to serious complications.
- Keep physically active by exercising regularly.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. There is no need to fast or use a special diet.
- Some things can worsen a stomach ulcer, so it is important to avoid them, such as drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods.
- Yoghurts contains a good bacteria called probiotics that helps fight helicobacter pylori.
- You can use antacids to relieve stomach pain.
- Your healthcare provider will test you for a helicobacter pylori infection and recommend a treatment to fight the bacteria. This may include a combination of antibiotics and stomach acid blockers.
- You may have to use a stomach acid-blocker and antacid for a while to help your ulcer heal completely.
- If you stomach ulcer is caused by the long-term use of certain pain relievers, speak to your healthcare provider about changing to other pain relievers.
- If your stomach ulcer does not improve despite treatment, your healthcare may recommend having surgery to remove the ulcer or to patch a hole in the ulcer.
Stomach ulcers can be painful, but if you get diagnosed and treated early, the conditions will usually improve within a few weeks. If you're worried that the pain relievers that you are using put you at risk of developing a stomach ulcers, speak with your healthcare provider. They can prescribe alternatives.