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Can someone die from a stomach ulcer?

Found out that my step mom has an ulcer. She doesn't seem to want to take care of it very well, still eating whatever she wants and drinking alcohol. Could she die? If she doesn't treat the ulcer will it kill her?
A stomach ulcer is an erosion in the lining of the stomach. These types of ulcers are usually quite painful. They are often caused by a combination of an infection with the bacteria H. Pylori along with excess acid secretion or use of certain medications (mostly non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications). Certainly drinking alcohol can exacerbate an ulcer. Stomach ulcers are dangerous because they can cause a couple of life threatening complications. First, stomach ulcers can bleed. When a stomach ulcer starts bleeding, it often takes long time to notice (because the blood has to be seen on either end of the gastrointestinal track) and it takes a long time to clot and stop bleeding (because of the stomach acid). Thus, the most life threatening complications of an ulcer is a major bleed. The second catastrophic problem that can occur is if the ulcer erodes all the way through the stomach causing a perforation. This can result in a terrible infection inside the abdomen. Your mother needs to be followed by a gastroenterologist for this ulcer. I suggest that you have her schedule an appointment today. There are medications that she can take which can help heal the ulcer and prevent these unwanted complications. Good luck.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.

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