Ulcers, also called gastric ulcers, are painful sores in the stomach lining. The stomach ulcer is a type of peptic ulcer disease that affects both the stomach and small intestines. The condition will occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects the stomach surface from the digestive juices is reduced. When the mucus is removed, the digestive acids will ‘digest’ the tissues of the stomach which causes an ulcer. Although stomach ulcers can be cured easily, if left alone they can become severe.
There are only two causes of stomach ulcers, and it’s always caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori and the long-term use of NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
Although it’s rare, a condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing the body’s production of acid. But the syndrome is thought to cause only 1 percent of all peptic ulcers.
Signs and Symptoms
There are several types of signs and symptoms associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the ulcer will also depend on the severity of the condition. But the most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen. When the stomach is empty the pain is more intense and may last for a few minutes to several hours.
Additional symptoms include
- Weight loss
- Dull pain in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Acid reflux
- Pain that will improve when you eat or drink
- Anemia which includes, tiredness, shortness of breath or pale skin
- Bloody vomit
- Dark, tarry stools
Depending on the cause of your ulcer, the treatment will be based according to its origin. Surgery may also be an option to treat ulcers.
If you think you are suffering from Ulcer you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Ulcer as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).