Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you get an ulcer even if you have a healthy diet and exercise?"
Weird, sharp pain in my stomach that I just can't explain. I eat very healthy and exercise every day. Could I have an ulcer or does that only happen to people with a bad diet or drinkers?
A stomach ulcer can happen in anyone. This is because they are often caused by factors that are not under our control. Eating very healthy and exercising are always good for your health, but they don't always prevent stomach ulcers from occurring. Ulcers are often caused by an infection with the bacteria H. Pylori. These bacteria impair the normal defense the stomach lining has. Other causes of ulcers include the use of anti-inflammatory medications and too much acid in the stomach. People that drink alcohol or who smoke are more likely to get ulcers, but they usually also require on of the previously mentioned causes. A stomach ulcer is a break in the inner lining of the intestinal tract. It usually causes a deep gnawing pain that is either made worse, or made better with food. The description of your pain as sharp is not classic for an ulcer. Perhaps there is another cause for your symptoms. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can listen to your description of your symptoms and perform a thorough abdominal exam. If your doctor is concerned about an ulcer, you may get a referral to see a gastroenterologist (stomach specialist).
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.