Stomach Ulcer Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

Stomach Ulcer Definition, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention


Gastric ulcer is a condition characterized by painful sores on the lining of the stomach. Gastric ulcers are part of the group of peptic ulcer disease, which can occur in the stomach or small intestine.

Gastric ulcers occur when the production of a thick layer of mucus that protects the stomach from digestive tract fluids decreases. This allows stomach acid to damage the tissue lining the stomach, which then causes an ulcer to form. Ulcers in the stomach should be treated early to prevent the worsening of symptoms.

Stomach Ulcer Symptom

Gastric ulcers can cause a series of symptoms, with the degree of severity depending on the severity of the ulcers that arise.

One of the most commonly observed symptoms of peptic ulcers is a burning feeling or pain in the center of the abdomen, between the chest and the navel. Generally, the pain will be worse when the stomach is not filled and can last from a few minutes to several hours.

Some of the signs and symptoms of peptic ulcers that can also be found are:

  • Dull pain in the stomach
  • Weight loss
  • Do not want to eat because of pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • feeling well
  • It’s easy to feel full
  • Burping or reflux of stomach acid
  • Heartburn (burning feeling in the chest)
  • Pain that improves after eating, drinking, or taking antacids
  • Anemia, which is characterized by feeling tired, short of breath, or pale skin
  • Dark stools like tar
  • Vomiting accompanied by blood

Stomach Ulcer Reason

The causes of peptic ulcers can occur by a number of things below:

  • Infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori )
  • Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).


The diagnosis of peptic ulcers can be determined based on medical interviews, physical examinations, and certain supporting examinations. To determine the diagnosis of peptic ulcers, the doctor will evaluate the medical history and see if there are drugs that are being consumed.

To rule out H. pylori infection, blood, stool, or breath tests can be done. With a breath test, a person will be advised to drink a clear liquid and then breathe into a bag, which is then sealed. If H. pylori is present, the breath sample may contain higher than normal levels of carbon dioxide.

Several other investigations that can be done to diagnose stomach ulcers are:

  • Barium swallow exam, in which a person ingests a thick, white barium liquid that coats the upper digestive tract, which helps doctors to visualize the stomach and small intestine using X-rays.
  • Endoscopic examination, which uses a thin, lighted tube that is passed through the mouth into the stomach and upper part of the small intestine. This examination can be done to see the presence of ulcers, bleeding, and abnormal tissue.
  • Endoscopic biopsy, in which a small tissue sample is taken for further analysis in a laboratory.

Stomach Ulcer Treatment

Treatment of peptic ulcers depends on the underlying cause. Most of the time, peptic ulcers can improve with some medicines prescribed by a doctor. However, in rare cases, surgery may be required.

Some of the treatment options that can be done are:

  • Non-surgical treatment. If stomach ulcers are caused by H. pylori bacteria, doctors can prescribe a combination of drugs, which include certain classes of antibiotics and drugs to inhibit stomach acid production. Treatment is aimed at eliminating the bacteria and treating the signs and symptoms that occur.
  • Surgical treatment. In very rare cases, complex peptic ulcers may require surgery. This can occur for ulcers that recur, don’t heal, bleed, tear the lining of the stomach, block the passage of food from the stomach to the small intestine.


To prevent bacterial infections that can cause peptic ulcers, wash your hands regularly with running water and soap. Apart from that, it is also important to ensure that all the food consumed has been cleaned beforehand and cooked as needed.

To prevent stomach ulcers caused by NSAIDs, it is important to limit the consumption of this class of drugs. If you need to take NSAIDs, make sure to follow the recommended dosage and avoid alcohol while taking these medications. Drug consumption should also be accompanied by adequate food and fluids.

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