But if your symptoms of a burning stomach or abdomen last well beyond your digestive cycle, you may have more than a sensitive stomach. You may be subject to one of a variety of stomach problems such as ulcers, or common disorders such as lactose or gluten intolerance, stress, endometriosis or irritable bowel disease.
Here are six ailments that could be souring your stomach.
Ulcers are the result of an acid imbalance in your stomach or duodenum, the first part of the small intestine, right after the stomach. Most ulcers are caused, strangely enough, by a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Medications called NSAIDS, like aspirin, ibuprofen, Naprosyn, can all contribute to ulcers. So can alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco.
Symptoms of an ulcer include bloating, nausea, gnawing or burning pain between meals or late at night. Severe cases that warrant immediate care have the following signs: weight loss; severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen; vomiting blood that looks like coffee grounds, and dark or black stool because of the presence of blood.
Don’t ignore signs of an ulcer. It can also cause bleeding, perforations of the stomach wall or gastric obstruction where scar tissue makes it difficult to get from the stomach to small intestine.
Treatment for ulcers includes lifestyle changes, medications and surgery. This means eliminating alcohol, cigarettes and NSAIDS. Surgery is called for when there is a hole in the stomach wall and/or there is bleeding.