Stomach ulcers form when acid comes into contact with unprotected tissues in the lining of the stomach. The healthy stomach protects itself from erosion through a mucosal layer secreted by special cells on the stomach wall. Occasionally however, this protection breaks down for various reasons. The result is basically an open sore that develops on the lining of the stomach. Most people used to think that ulcers were caused by stress or by eating too much spicy food. While either of these can cause more acid in the stomach, it has now been found that most ulcers are caused by H. pylori, but only when certain conditions are present. In fact, many people have H. pylori in their gut, but never develop ulcers.
What causes Stomach Ulcers?
The direct cause of peptic ulcers is the destruction of the gastric or intestinal mucosal lining of the stomach by hydrochloric acid, an acid normally present in the digestive juices of the stomach. Infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is thought to play an important role in causing both gastric and duodenal ulcers. Helicobacter pylori may be transmitted from person to person through contaminated food and water. Antibiotics are the most effective treatment for Helicobacter pylori peptic ulcers.
Acid Reflux occurs when the tube that you uses to intake the food from the throat to stomach is not strong enough to handle the acid. The food intaken by you is digested by the stomach with the help of an acid produced and stored by it. The stomach walls are built strong enough to store that acid without causing damage.
Injury of the gastric mucosal lining, and weakening of the mucous defenses are also responsible for gastric ulcers. Excess secretion of hydrochloric acid, genetic predisposition, and psychological stress are important contributing factors in the formation and worsening of duodenal ulcers.
Another major cause of ulcers is the chronic use of anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin. Cigarette smoking is also an important cause of ulcer formation and ulcer treatment failure.