“Does STRESS cause stomach ulcers?”
In a college health center, this is a question I hear fairly often, especially around midterms or finals. Certainly most of us have experienced stomach discomfort when we are anxious- whether that is nausea, cramping, diarrhea or pain- but the vast majority of people with those symptoms do not have actual ulcers.
However, people who are stressed may have COPING HABITS that can irritate the stomach lining, causing a gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) which might facilitate the development of ulcers:
- Drinking too much alcohol (more than one drink/day for women, or more than