Peptic ulcers are “sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine,” defines Healthline.com, and they occur as a result of the stomach’s mucus lining no longer working effectively.
They are a common issue, affecting approximately 1 in 10 people in Western countries at some point in their lives, and cause symptoms such as burning stomach pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. But what is it that causes peptic ulcers to occur in the first place? The following are the five most common culprits.
1. Bacterial Infection
An infection with Helicobacter pylori is the primary cause of peptic ulcers. The Mayo Clinic explains that these bacteria “commonly live in the mucous layer that covers and protects tissues that line the stomach and small intestine.”
And while they don’t regularly cause issues, they can sometimes trigger “inflammation of the stomach’s inner layer, producing an ulcer.” It is thought that some of the primary ways Helicobacter pylori spreads is through food, water, and closer person-to-person contact.