About Stomach Ulcers
Stomach Ulcers are very common and often due to an H. pylori infection
A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine. A peptic ulcer may also develop just above the stomach in the oesophagus, although this is far less common.
A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric or stomach ulcer, whilst those that occur in the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers. It is possible to have both gastric and duodenal ulcers at the same time, and more than once in a lifetime.
A bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a major cause of peptic ulcers. H.pylori is one of the most common infections in the UK. More than 25% of people become infected with H. pylori at some stage in their life. Once you are infected it usually stays with you for the rest of your life, unless treated. About 15% of people who are infected with H. pylori go on to develop peptic ulcers, and although they can affect people of any age they are most common in women and men over the age of 60.
The most common symptom of both duodenal and stomach ulcers is abdominal discomfort including;
- a dull or burning pain
- particularly occurs between meals or during the night
- may be briefly relieved by eating food or by taking antacids
- lasts for periods of minutes to hours and comes and goes for several days or weeks
Other symptoms can include:
- weight loss
- poor appetite
- bloating and burping
- nausea and vomiting
An infection with H.pylori can be easily treated so if you have these symptoms UlcerScreen® can help in identifying their cause.