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Stomach Ulcer

Ulcus ventriculi et duodeni (Latin name)

By Bjarne Lühr Hansen PhD, MD and Philipp Skafte-Holm MD, Mentor Institute

Stomach ulcer occurs due to an infection in the stomach. Stomach ache over the navel that relieves when you eat and drink is typical for stomach ulcers. There is effective stomach ulcer medicine. You should call your doctor immediately if there are signs of bleeding stomach ulcer or signs of a hole in the stomach ulcer.

Stomach ulcer is common. About 10% of the population gets a stomach ulcer during their life. Stomach ulcer occurs most frequently in people over 40 years of age.

Stomach ulcer is due to a destructive effect of the mucosa in the stomach and the duodenum. Stomach acid and other substances that form in the stomach can damage the mucosa. It is not exactly known why it happens to some and not to others.

Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori (HP) is essential for the development of a stomach ulcer.
A prolonged use of NSAID painkillers - also called arthritis medicine - may cause a stomach ulcer. Smoking can also lead to a stomach ulcer.

The typical symptom of stomach ulcers is abdominal pain located above the navel. The pain comes and goes and is relieved by food and drink. Pain at night that wakes you up is also typical. Some are also bothered by waterbrashes and heartburns.

The stomach ulcer may begin to bleed or penetrate the stomach and into the abdominal cavity. In case of bleeding, vomiting with blood and black shiny bowel movement is observed. If there is a hole in the stomach ulcer, severe abdominal pain develops in the back.

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Acid production in the stomach can be reduced by acid blocking medicine.
The bacterium HP can be eradicated with antibiotics.
A cure of both types of medicine at the same time is very effective.

What can you do?

You should avoid prolonged use of NSAID painkillers and stop smoking.

Contact the doctor tomorrow

If you have a stomach ache above the navel, that is relieved by food and drink. If you have a stomach ache that wakes you up at night.

Contact the doctor immediately

If you are vomiting blood or have black shiny bowel movement - it may be a sign of a bleeding ulcer.
If you get acute severe stomach ache that radiates in your back - it may indicate a hole in the stomach ulcer.