Could You Be Developing An Ulcer? What You Need To Know

by Brent Woods

Are you wondering if you are developing an ulcer? This condition can make you very miserable without proper treatment, and it can also develop into a medical emergency. These are the things you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of stomach ulcers.


An ulcer can usually be easily treated if caught before it becomes severe. You need to see a medical care provider if you are experiencing any ulcer symptoms.

The primary symptom of an ulcer is pain or a burning feeling in your middle somewhere between your navel and your chest. The severity of your discomfort also indicates the severity of your ulcer. You may also experience:

  • Weight loss and lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Pain or burning sensation (that may be relieved when you eat bland foods or take an antacid)

Ulcer Types

Ulcers may occur in your stomach (gastric ulcer), your esophagus (esophageal ulcer), or in the upper part of your small intestine (duodenal ulcer).  Peptic can refer to an ulcer in your stomach or duodenum.


The foremost cause of an ulcer is contracting the bacterial infection Helicobacter pylori. Other contributing factors include longtime use of NSAID medications (contributes to development of gastric ulcers) and the offenders are often

  • Aspirin
  • Ketoprofen
  • Ibuprofen,
  • Naproxen
  • Excessive Drinking (most often causes esophageal ulcers)
  • Heavy smoking (most often causes duodenal ulcers)


To receive medical treatment for an ulcer, you may first need to undergo a barium swallow test and x-rays so that the doctor can determine the location of the ulcer and the severity of it.

If it caused by the bacteria, you will need to go on a combination of antibiotics and a bismuth subsalicylate regimen to destroy the infection and coat the stomach. Other drugs such as proton pump inhibitors may be used to reduce the amount of digestive acid and allow the ulcer to heal.

 There are some other things you can do to heal, and they are

  • Learning to handle stress with relaxation techniques
  • Avoiding NSAID medications. You can take acetaminophen for pain, however.
  • Take iron if the ulcer has lowered your hemoglobin, but don't take an excessive amount or this can exacerbate your discomfort.

Emergencies Related to Ulcers

These signs can indicate your ulcer has worsened:

  • Having black tarry appearing stools
  • Bleeding during a bowel movement or vomiting
  • Vomiting a substance that looks like coffee grounds
  • Experiencing weakness and/or mental confusion

You may now be experiencing the effects of:

  • Hemorrhaging due to a damaged blood vessel,
  • A perforated ulcer and the damage extends through your digestive system walls, or
  • Scarring or swelling that is preventing digestion.

In these cases, you will likely need surgery to repair the damage. You need to seek medical attention immediately because, although your condition is treatable, a delay can result in more damage.

For more information, contact a clinic such as Entira Family Clinics.