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"What are the symptoms of having an ulcer?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of having an ulcer?


When I eat spicy foods or drink booze, I get some real discomfort in my stomach. Pain feels like its only in one particular spot. Is this an ulcer? I?m 24 years old, female. Aren?t ulcers just something old guys get?


This symptoms you described certainly do sound like indigestion. Foods that stimulate the production of stomach acids (such as spicy foods) are more likely to provoke the symptoms, as are substances, like alcohol, that interfere with the stomach lining's natural methods for protecting itself from its own acid. Whether or not you have an actual ulcer is harder to say. Gastritis, or irritation of the stomach lining, is on a continuum with ulcer, meaning that if what is leading to the symptoms you have persists for long enough, the damage to the stomach might be enough to eventually cause an ulcer. You may want to try to eliminate the foods that bother your stomach and see what happens. Alcohol and smoking are particularly irritating to the stomach. You could also try some over the counter antacid preparations to see if those make a difference. However, if the symptoms worsen or persists, or if you have any pain, weight loss, or blood or black color in your bowel movement, you need to see a doctor right away, as these are more serious signs of damage to the stomach. Also if you are consistently needing anti acids in order to be comfortable, you need to see your doctor.

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