Advertisement

Can stress cause ulcers?

One debunked myth about stress and your health is that stress causes ulcers. It doesn’t. However, stress can worsen existing gastrointestinal conditions, such as chronic heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Stress is also a frequent factor in many other gastrointestinal conditions. Non-ulcer stomach pain or indigestion (dyspepsia) can definitely be exacerbated by stress.
Doctors used to think that ulcers were caused by stress and spicy foods. Now, we know that stress doesn't cause ulcers, it just irritates them. Ulcers are actually caused by a bacterium (germ) called H. pylori. Researchers don't yet know for sure how people get it. They think people might get it through food or water. It's treated with a combination of antibiotics and other drugs.
This answer is based on the source infromation from the National Women's Health Information Center.

It is possible for stress to contribute to the formation of some ulcers. Canker sores, ulcers in the mouth, are linked to stress. However, stress is not a cause of peptic ulcers. These ulcers that occur in the digestive tract were once thought to be the result of stress, but it has become clear that stress does not cause them, although it can inflame ones that already exist.

Continue Learning about Ulcers

Could I Have an Ulcer and Not Know It?
Could I Have an Ulcer and Not Know It?
Around 25 million people will have a stomach ulcer in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite their preva...
Read More
Are Meckel's diverticulum ulcers serious?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
By itself, a Meckel's diverticulum is not serious and only results in complications for 4.2 percent ...
More Answers
How can peptic ulcers be prevented?
Dr. Robynne K. Chutkan, MDDr. Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Find out your Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) status if you have symptoms suggestive of an ulcer, do...
More Answers
What Causes Stomach Ulcers?
What Causes Stomach Ulcers?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.