A stomach ulcer is an open sore in the lining of the stomach. Stomach ulcer (gastric) and duodenal ulcer, which is located just after the stomach, in the first part of the small intestine, are generally used the same term. This condition is called peptic ulcer disease.
Whether it affects the stomach or the duodenum, an ulcer is an erosion of the lining of the mucous membrane. It causes more or less severe pain, depending on the thickness of the affected layer. The pain felt comes from the contact between the wound and the gastric juices which help digestion.
Causes of stomach ulcer
Ulcers are caused by an imbalance in the acid concentration in the stomach and duodenum. It is estimated that up to 85% of ulcers are caused by an overgrowth of a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.
There are other causes that can increase your risk of developing a stomach ulcer:
• Heavy consumption of nicotine, alcohol or coffee
• Taking certain medications
• Psychological stress
• Physical stress related to a serious injury, burn or other trauma
• Certain analgesics (aspirin, ibuprofen) and medicines against rheumatism
• Increased production of acid in the stomach
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