What causes stomach ulcers?


Quick Answer

Stomach ulcers are caused by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori; the regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen; and conditions that cause excess stomach acid. According to WebMD, 80 percent of stomach ulcers are caused by H. pylori.

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Full Answer

Mayo Clinic notes that potassium supplements and medications used to treat osteoporosis, known as biphosphonates, can cause ulcers to form.

Ulcers may be asymptomatic or may cause noticeable symptoms, such as heartburn, nausea or a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach. Severe symptoms include blood in the stool or vomit and weight loss. Aside from H. pylori infection and NSAIDs, other risk factors include a family history of ulcers, drinking alcohol and being over age 50, according to WebMD.

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