Ulcers are sores in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine. They show up as unexplained stomach pain and are generally caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (not stress). Note that they are worsened with use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen) — be careful if self-treating abdominal pain! Ulcers can cause mid to upper abdominal pain. If untreated, ulcers can cause internal bleeding or lead to serious infection.

young african nurse comforting female patient in doctor's office


  • Dull, burning stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Burping
  • Nausea


  • Testing for Helicobacter pylori
  •  Endoscopy
  •  Upper GI series


  • Acid-reducing medicine
  • Antibiotics
  •  Surgery, in rare cases