Among the diseases of the century due to modern lifestyles, we find, in the lead with back pain, the stomach ulcer.

More common in men than in women, more common in their forties, there are in France more than 80 000 ulcers each year. It is always preceded by several years of stomach problems, by chronic crises and periodicals.

What is an ulcer?

This is a lesion of the cavity of the stomach or duodenum (initial part of the small intestine that begins at the outlet of the stomach). Gastric juices, though very acidic, not normally cause no damage to the stomach lining or duodenum. In the case of an ulcer, the mucosa, for various reasons, can not stand gastric acidity, it then undergoes erosion becomes a wound.


Symptoms of gastric damage

This damage causes references acids, burning throat, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and, of course, pain in the upper abdomen (especially on an empty stomach because the food intake quiet moment). At an advanced stage, the wound may bleed. In the case of prolonged gastric problems, consult: the wound can worsen and eventually perforate, causing internal bleeding or peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, that is to say, the membrane that covers the walls interior of the abdomen), that will require emergency intervention.

What are the causes?

During a physical or mental stress, and under the influence of certain drugs, the proportion of hydrochloric acid of gastric juice increases.

# Taking certain anti-inflammatory drugs, such as acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) can cause. Generally, disorders regress upon cessation of treatment.
# It seems that some family plots may be involved (“ulcer families”), but there are common patterns for more than a possible genetic predisposition.
# Tobacco, coffee, stress, alcohol, short nights and poor diet are also likely to cause an ulcer.
# A bacterium called Helicobacter pylori , is a common cause. It encourages the repetition of the process and slows ulcer healing.


It will most often drug and rarely surgery. The doctor will confirm the clinical diagnosis by a radio or the stomach by endoscopy. The endoscope will allow it to take pictures and possibly make a levy (to confirm or bacterial presence). New drugs neutralizing excess stomach acid are effective. It is also possible, if the ulcer is not too advanced, to make it disappear by herbal medicine, homeopathy and other alternative therapies.


An ulcer is not in itself a disturbing pathology. But most often it reveals the problems inherent to the lifestyle. The best way to avoid it is to live healthily, regulating his diet, alcohol consumption, by eliminating tobacco and ensuring the quality of his sleep. To guard against ulcer, avoid stressing his body as well as his mind.