Peptic ulcers: top symptoms include:
- Abdominal burning or gnawing pain
- Loss of appetite and/or bloating
Long thought to be caused by stress and too much coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods, doctors now know that many ulcers (open sores in the stomach wall) are caused by a hardy bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. That's why testing for H. pylori and treating it (with antibiotics) is important. But stress and dietary factors still matter, because they may make the stomach's environment more vulnerable to H. pylori. Reducing stress and eating healthier meals should help prevent and heal ulcers.
Check your symptoms with WebMD's Symptom Checker.