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Can Stress Cause Stomach Ulcers?
man holding his stomach

Can Stress Cause Stomach Ulcers?

How Stress Can Lead to a Medical Emergency

If you’ve ever heard the phrase "You're giving me an ulcer,” you may wonder if this is an old wive’s tale or if it’s possible. We’re here to answer the fact that yes: some ulcers can be caused by physiological stress.

Keep reading to learn more, and when you should seek out emergency care.

What Are Stress Ulcers?

An ulcer is a sore that forms in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract — the stomach or intestines. However, a stress ulcer specifically forms due to physiological stress. This may include:

  • Acidic foods.
  • Infection.
  • Serious injury.
  • Head injuries.
  • Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen.

In some severe cases of a stress ulcer, the patient’s pH levels may actually shift.

What Are Peptic Ulcers?

Also referred to as a stomach ulcer, a peptic ulcer can be made worse by stress — but is not caused by stress. Bacteria and certain types of medication can cause peptic ulcers, and they can form in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or lower part of the esophagus.

Signs of an Ulcer

Symptoms of peptic ulcers specifically include weight loss and indigestion-like pain. The following symptoms are signs of an ulcer:

  • Pain in the upper stomach.
  • Abdominal pain, with or without bloating.
  • Pain that varies based on food intake.
  • Feeling unusually full or bloated.
  • Symptoms of anemia, like pale skin and shortness of breath.
  • Nausea or vomiting.

The following symptoms of a heavily bleeding ulcer should be considered a medical emergency. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek emergency medical attention to diagnose your condition:

  • Vomit that contains large amounts of blood.
  • Bloody stool.
  • Dark bowel movements.
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed.

Emergency Medical Care in Longview, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, and Odessa

If you believe you are sick and are experiencing a medical emergency, don’t hesitate to seek the emergency care you need. Contact us online, call us at (903) 500-7321, or stop in for quick and effective relief or visit one of our locations in Longview, Nacogdoches, Lufkin, and Odessa today.

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