Saturday, April 1, 2023

Can mental stress cause stomach ulcers?

Mental stress cannot cause stomach ulcers, though it can aggravate the symptoms. But, physical stress can cause a different type of ulcer called stress ulcer.

We are often told that we may end up with stomach ulcers if we take too much stress in our work or personal life. But what does the science say?

The stomach ulcers that we hear about are a type of peptic ulcer. These are sores in the digestive tract that are formed by erosion in the mucosal linings due to gastric juices. They develop slowly over a period of time and are aggravated by mental tension. However, stress and tension cannot cause them. They are caused by bacteria named Helicobacter pylori or NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs).

A specific type of stomach ulcer is caused by physical, but not mental, stress. It is appropriately named Stress Ulcer. It is typically caused by acute medical conditions such as burns, trauma to the brain, major surgery, conditions needing ICU admission, or a serious long-term illness. Stress ulcers develop rapidly and can be life-threatening since they mostly affect medically infirm.

Here is an article on both types of ulcers: Does stress cause ulcers?

Here is my short video on this subject.

First published on: 1st December, 2021
Image credit: Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels


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