Photos of healthy stomachs are available for viewing at Endoatlas.com, Naspghan.org and Ddc.musc.edu. These photos show the features of healthy stomachs, such as normal mucosal folds, and how they contrast with the features of unhealthy stomachs, which include ulcers, masses and cysts.
Stomachs are deemed healthy by doctors if they do not show certain unhealthy features, including ulcers, tumors, erosion, bleeding and an abnormal stomach lining. Patients with symptoms affecting the stomach are analyzed by doctors with the help of an endoscopy, which also allows for capturing photographs. Problems with the stomach are due to a variety of causes, which all create damage to the inner lining of the stomach. One cause of erosions and ulcers is excess acid in the stomach, which results in symptoms such as vomiting and heartburn.
Ulcers and tumors at the pylorus area of the stomach cause symptoms of bloating, lack of appetite and nausea. If bleeding occurs as a result of ulcers in the stomach, patients vomit black fluid and pass black stools, which eventually leads to anemia if not treated. Patients who smoke are at risk of gastric cancer and ulcers because tobacco damages the stomach lining. Alcohol and certain medications, such as aspirin, irritate the lining of the stomach and are factors in developing stomach problems.