A stress ulcer is an ulcer found in the upper gastrointestinal tract. They are usually caused by physical injury, such as surgery, or burns. These ulcers can become very serious, and it is important that you understand what they are and how to treat them correctly. Stress ulcers are a very common ailment, that people from all walks of life suffer from at some point.
What are Stress Ulcers?
When there is an imbalance between aggressive and defensive factors, the result is often a stress ulcer. The damage can actually come from a variety of causes but stress itself is almost always the primary cause.
The Symptoms of Stress Ulcers
Some of the common symptoms associated with stress ulcers include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. You may also experience a gnawing or burning pain in your abdomen – most likely between the breastbone and the navel. The pain tends to be worse when the stomach is empty, or straight after a meal. Some people experience very severe stress ulcer symptoms, but others may not notice any symptoms at all.
If you suspect that you have a stress ulcer, you should seek treatment immediately. If you do not get your ulcer treated, it could damage blood vessels and cause blood to seep out into the digestive tract.
Try to reduce any causes of stress in your life, as reducing mental and emotional stress can help the ulcer to heal. Visit your doctor, as they may be able to provide you with antibiotics which can help the ulcer to heal, and reduce the chance of it reoccurring.
In some serious cases, surgery may be required to remove the ulcer. The most common type of surgery for ulcers is Vagotomy, where the vagus nerve, which transmits messages from the brain to the stomach, is cut. Another option is the antrectomy, which is a form of surgery where the lower part of the stomach, which produces the hormone that stimulates the stomach to secrete digestive juices, is removed.
The important thing to remember is that if you are experiencing stomach pains, loss of appetite, or any of the other common symptoms that may indicate an ulcer, you should consult your doctor immediately. In most cases surgery is not necessary, but prompt treatment can prevent your ulcer from getting worse, and ensure that they are quickly curable, and less likely to return.