We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Ulcers?

By Jane Harmon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

While the word ulcer can refer to any type of sore or lesion that won't heal, in common usage it typically refers to peptic ulcers, very painful lesions that form in the stomach or intestine. For years, even centuries, they were believed to be caused by stress and/or particular kinds of food and were considered a chronic condition. That is, it was thought that people couldn't "cure" this condition, they just just had to manage it with antacids, diet — eating only bland food, for example — and lowering stress levels. The classical stereotype of the overworked Type-A manager would depict him getting off the phone and reaching for antacids as he clutched his midsection, with the idea that stress was making him ill.

Because the stomach is a highly acidic environment, it was thought that bacteria simply couldn't live there for long. In 1982, however, Robin Warren, an Australian pathologist, proved that patients with chronic ulcers also had colonies of bacteria inhabiting their stomach. Barry Marshall, of the University of Western Australia, took this finding and, working with Warren, located and identified the bacterium in question, which they named Helicobacter pylori.

Their findings were so contradictory to prevailing conventional wisdom that their work got very little notice, even though it promised a permanent cure to this condition. In a dramatic display of the validity of their findings, Dr. Marshall deliberately infected himself with Helicobacter pylori and gave himself ulcers, which were then cured by a round of antibiotic treatment. Still, it took the next two decades to overthrow long-held beliefs on the treatment of this problem, and many laymen today still believe that it is chronic and incurable. In October 2005, Warren and Marshall were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine, in recognition for their groundbreaking work.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By zenmaster — On Jul 27, 2010

Although the pain in stomach ulcers is caused by H. pylori, there are several other risk factors that can be called causes of stomach ulcers.

For instance, those with heavy smoking and drinking habits are much more at risk for ulcers than those who drink moderately and don't smoke.

Long-term usage of painkillers can also irritate your stomach lining, leaving you susceptible to ulcers.

Additionally, some chronic diseases can increase the likelihood of having an ulcer.

Finally, although stress is not the cause of stomach ulcers, it is often a contributing factor.

By StreamFinder — On Jul 27, 2010

@gregg1956 -- The most common stomach ulcer signs and symptoms are those you mentioned; stomach pain and burning.

However, it often presents like heartburn or indigestion, especially in the beginning.

Most people with ulcers begin to experience pain and burning in their upper abdomen, and sometimes beneath their breastbone.

The pain tends to come and go, and is sometimes exacerbated by eating. The pain is so severe that it wakes sufferers up at night.

In very severe cases, weight loss, blood in the stool and vomit, and anemia sometimes occur.

Even those who think they may just have chronic heartburn should consult with their doctor, since both chronic heartburn and ulcers can have very serious complications.

By gregg1956 — On Jul 27, 2010

So what are common stomach ulcer symptoms? Aside from the stereotypical burning and pain in the stomach, are there any others?

By anon78875 — On Apr 20, 2010

One day when traveling in the car, i had a sharp pain at the left side of my abdomen. I have been suffering for more than eight years but not even a single doctor was able to detect the problem.

In October last year while tossing in the bed, i had a feeling as if something was tearing inside my stomach (like when one is yawning and the corner of the lips tear). But there is no bleeding and O even know it's like there are ulcers somewhere.

i thought maybe there is a problem with fallopian tubes or something. Can you help?

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.