A peptic ulcer, or more commonly known as stomach ulcer, is nothing more than a small erosion in the digestive tract. There two types of peptic ulcer and those are gastric ulcer( which appears in the stomach) and the duodenal ulcer( it appears in the first 12 inches of the small intestine, immediately beyond the stomach). Studies made have shown that the second type is much more common among patients suffering from this illness. The fact is that ulcer are neither contagious nor cancerous. The case with duodenal ulcers is that they are most often benign, while on the other hand stomach ulcers may become malignant.

The spread of this disease through out people is actually quite high. This way we see that some 1 in 8 people will at some point in their lives be suffering from this disorder. This are rather chilling numbers. The size of the ulcer can very well differ from person to person; some may have an injury no bigger than small pee while others can develop severe ulcers roughly the size of an small apple.

A sad fact is that not only adults develop the disease. Children also develop ulcer, with the same painful symptoms as in grown ups.

We will now try to explain how exactly a stomach ulcer is formed. The fact is that the hydrochloric in our stomachs, responsible for dissolving the food, attacks and destroys the gastric or intestinal lining of the stomach, reaching at some point the wall of the stomach. The bacteria called Helicobacter pylori has a big role to play in the action of this disorder of the gastric tract. It is thought that it can cause both stomach and duodenal cancer. The risk exist of the transmission of the bacteria through contaminated food and water. To best fight the ravaging affects of this bacteria antibiotics are needed.

Normal natural weakening of the mucous lining protecting the stomach and small intestine cans also lead to ulcer. Other factors would be excess secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, genetic predisposition to this kind of diseases and of course psychical stress to which a person can be submitted.

Excess aspirin use and other anti-inflammatory drugs can also perturb the normal lining in the stomach. Smocking has also been proven to be a high risk in the development of the illness.

The most common symptom associated with ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain in the stomach. This can last from a few minutes to at least 3 hours. The common misinterpretation with heartburn, indigestion or hunger is wrong. Most often the pain is located in the upper abdomen but can also be traced immediately below the breath bone. Most of the patients suffering from ulcers feel the pain immediately after eating but they can also appear hours after the last meal. Drinking milk, proper eating and good rest is said to help a lot in relieving the pain.