Symptoms such as pain and indigestion, felt where food sits in the stomach, might lead to worries about an ulcer. Stomach ulcers are damage to a small area in the lining of the stomach. Ulcers can also happen just below the stomach. The symptoms of stomach ulcers vary, although there is usually pain. Symptoms can easily be confused with those of other problems in the gut. Doctors can help with persistent symptoms, and if the cause is an ulcer, it can be treated.
What is a stomach ulcer?
When a small area of the surface on the inside of the stomach is damaged in a certain way, this is a stomach ulcer. Ulcers can happen just past the stomach, too – slightly lower down the gut, in the first few centimeters of the small intestine. The cause of stomach ulcer is damage from the acid contents of the stomach. The stomach is where food first sits after passing down from the mouth. Stomach acid and churning help with digesting food. The acid also helps protect against harm from microbes. The stomach protects itself from the acid it secretes. If this surface protection is harmed, the acid can cause damage. This damage is what results in an ulcer. Mouth ulcers and stomach ulcers are both shallow