Your stomach produces a very strong acid that it uses to break down and digest food. To protect the rest of your body from that acid, there is a lining of mucus on the inside of your stomach that prevents the acid from doing damage to your stomach lining. When that mucus becomes ineffective, the acid begins to dissolve the lining of your stomach, and this creates an ulcer. Stomach ulcers are actually very common. It is estimated that 10 percent of the entire population has ulcers. While ulcers can be extremely painful, they are relatively easy to take care of with medication. But if you ignore the symptoms of an ulcer, then you are inviting increasingly serious medical problems. It is true that stress can help in the creation of ulcers, but the most common causes of ulcers are bacteria found in the body and taking too much aspirin or ibuprofen. People often confuse the symptoms of an ulcer with the more common heartburn. But ulcer symptoms tend to last longer and, for the most part, are much more painful.
Less serious ulcers can go weeks or even months before they are noticed. These ulcers cause the stomach lining to bleed, but they are easy to rectify. More serious ulcers result in holes in the stomach that can be intensely painful and very dangerous if not taken care of immediately. If you think you might have an ulcer, it is a good idea to visit your doctor just to be sure.
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