The stomach is a complex combination of muscles and acids. While it was once believed that the most likely cause of stomach ulcers was stress, it is now accepted that lifestyle is one of the main contributing factors. Bacterial infection is also a possible cause, although until not too long ago it was believed that the stomach was too inhospitable an environment for bacteria to survive. Unfortunately, stomach ulcer symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and quite painful and are only likely to worsen without the proper treatment.
Specifically, a gastric ulcer is a lesion that appears in the membrane or lining of the stomach. The same acids that are used to break down food and other stomach contents attach the tissue believing it to be food and this increases the amount of damage to the stomach lining. The stomach acid will typically try to carry on eating away at the sore and over time this can lead to serious lesions and may completely perforate the lining which causes internal bleeding.
Duodenal ulcers are the most common form of ulcer, but these do not strictly speaking, occur in the stomach itself, but in the first 10 to 12 inches of the small intestine. Duodenal ulcers can prevent food from passing to the stomach. Common symptoms of such ulcers include vomiting food and blood.
Stomach Ulcer Symptoms
Common symptoms of stomach ulcers are a gnawing pain in the stomach that typically worsens after taking food and drink. Pain can radiate further and may even reach the back and the type of pain experience may be dull or sharp. Bad wind, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, lethargy, a poor appetite, and weight loss are all possible stomach ulcer symptoms although these are less likely to occur.
Treating stomach ulcers is important because left unchecked they can become life threatening as the stomach continues to eat away at the tissue in the body. As well as looking for these symptoms you may also consider using a home test kit which typically involves testing a drop of blood for Helicobacter pylori bacterium; often a precursor to stomach ulcers.