Stomach ulcers affect millions of the world's population and may occur during any stage of a person’s lifetime. Ulcer diseases are more prevalent among middle-aged individuals and end up causing heartburn, acid reflux, gnawing pain, and other symptoms. 


Furthermore, the symptoms of ulcers can be alleviated by lifestyle changes and taking remedies. It is also possible to prevent ulcers by adopting preventive measures that ensure a healthy life. 


Although ulcers are common, it is necessary to consult a doctor and take medications earlier. 


In this blog, let’s delve into detail about ulcers, their causes, treatment, and prevention. 


Overview and Types 

Ulcers are sores or openings in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine caused by the erosion of the mucous layers.


Ulcers that occur in the stomach are called gastric ulcers, and ulcers that occur in the small intestine are called duodenal ulcers. 


Duodenal ulcers account for 80% of peptic ulcers, while stomach ulcers account for 20%. 


It is possible to get ulcers in other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Esophageal ulcers are caused by chronic acid reflux in the esophagus. Jejunal ulcer occurs in the middle part of the small intestine as a side effect of gastrojejunostomy. 



The inside of the stomach is lined by a substance called mucus, which protects the organ from concentrated digestive juices, acids, and enzymes. The mucous also has the power to repair any damage that occurs, but when the condition persists for a long time, it leads to stomach ulcers. 


Although there are many cues, there are two main causes. 


  1. H. pylori infection is a bacterial infection that naturally exists in our stomach, or duodenum. Although for most people it doesn’t cause any trouble, ulcers happen when this bacteria overgrows, which causes an upset in the natural balance. To repair the lining, it diminishes itself, which leads to a more active attack of the bacteria, causing ulcers.
  2. Overuse of drugs, mainly NSAIDs, is popularly known as common over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and ibuprofen. Although it’s normal for people to take these pills, when taken regularly without a doctor’s approval, they can cause damage to the duodenum. 


Other causes include infections, schemia, psychological stress, chemotherapy, stomach cancer, Crohn’s disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. 


Ulcer Symptoms

The primary symptom of ulcers is a gnawing pain and burning sensation in the stomach, between the chest and belly button. 


Other symptoms include: 


  1. Heartburn 
  2. Fatigue 
  3. Burping 
  4. Bloating 
  5. Weight loss and lack of appetite 
  6. Nausea 
  7. Abdominal pain and swelling 
  8. Constipation 
  9. Feeling easily full 
  10. Anaemia 
  11. Blood in the stool or black stool
  12. Fever and chills 


Symptoms may vary from person to person, depending on the severity of the ulcer. So if you notice any symptoms, it is advised that you consult a healthcare professional. 



Treatments are catered to the individual patient’s needs, depending on the type and severity of the ulcer. 


Antibiotic drugs to kill H. pylori bacteria paired with medications to rid the stomach of acid are the most commonly used treatment options. 


Quitting over-the-counter drugs would be part of the treatment if the ulcer was caused by the drugs in the first place. Doctors may also prescribe cytoprotective agent drugs to treat ulcers. 


Antacids are also treatment options to fight and lessen stomach acids. H2 blockers, called histamine receptor blockers, reduce the amount of stomach acid. 


When medications fail, surgery may be necessary to treat ulcers. Below are some of the surgeries that are undertaken for ulcer conditions: 


  1. Gastrectomy: removing a part of the stomach 
  2. Antrectomy: removing the lower part of the stomach that aids in the production of digestive juices 
  3. Vagotamy: cutting the vagus nerve, which results in fewer digestive juices 


Preventive measures

Preventive Measure


By following preventive measures, it is possible to stay away from ulcers and pain. Consistent lifestyle changes reduce the risk of developing ulcers. 


  1. Quitting alcohol or limiting alcohol intake 
  2. Taking medications under the guidance of doctors 
  3. Proper hygiene is needed to prevent infections. 
  4. Avoid driving while taking medications. 
  5. Tackle stress or avoid stress. 
  6. Getting enough sleep 
  7. Including ample prebiotics, like kimchi, miso, yogurt, and kefir, in the diet 


Furthermore, home remedies for ulcers, which include a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can help heal peptic ulcers. Foods high in polyphenols have also been shown to protect against and heal ulcers. Dried rosemary, flax seed, dark chocolate, berries, and olives are some of the foods rich in polyphenols. 




Peptic ulcers are sores that occur on the stomach or small intestine due to the erosion of the mucous lining. It usually occurs due to a bacterial infection or improper use of NSAIDs. Symptoms usually include gnawing pain, bloating, and nausea. 


There are different treatments available, and when medications fail, surgery can be taken to treat ulcers. Preventing ulcers can be achieved by adopting simple and healthy lifestyle changes. 


It is also advised to avoid stressful circumstances, as psychological stress is related to ulcers. 


So, if you are facing any symptoms, please make sure to visit your nearest healthcare professional or hospital.