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Can an ulcer be caused by an anxiety attack? My friend has a lot of anxiety attacks. They are not on any medications that I am aware of. They are between the ages of 17-21 and I am concerned because I've heard that ulcers are caused by a virus not anxiety attacks. What could have caused their ulcer? Spicey foods? A big Anxiety attack? A virus? Or a more serious health problem?


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replied August 4th, 2010
Stomach, Ulcers, Gastric Bypass Answer A14944
Hi! Many thanks for your question on eHealth forum!

Yes, ulcers are commonly seen in over anxious people. This is because the hormones released in anxiety erode the mucosa of the stomach. Other than that, faulty food habits, spicy food, alcohol, smoking, long gaps between meals, taking drugs both street drugs and painkillers etc on a regular basis, all cause acidity due to more hydrochloric acid production and hence ulcer.

If at such a young age they have ulcer, they should get this investigated by a gastroenterologist. Your friends will need to take a combination of medications like a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole empty stomach in the morning and an antacid gel after meals for complete relief. Possibility of H pylori infection too should be looked into by a carbon urea breath test and a combination antibiotic tried.

Life style changes that will help include: Avoid heavy meals and eat frequent small meals. Avoid too much of caffeine, tea, smoking, fried food and drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic fuzzy ones. Avoid heavy exercises within 4 hours of a heavy meal. Raise the head end of the bed by pillows to 30 degrees. Avoid lying down for least 2 hours after food. Maybe these tips will help your friend.

However, since a confirmed diagnosis cannot be given on net please ask them to consult a doctor first. Hope this helps. Take care!



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