Mount Sinai South Nassau presents:


Can spicy foods cause ulcers?

Q:Can spicy foods cause ulcers?


A: No. Spicy foods may aggravate ulcer symptoms in some people, but they don’t cause ulcers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the vast majority of cases, ulcers are caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. Chronic use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can also damage tissues, leading to ulcers. Smoking and stress can aggravate an existing ulcer.

Ulcers occur because of uncontrolled increased acid production in the stomach and changes in the immune system — the body system that fights infection. Ulcers cause stomach pain, most often when the stomach is empty or at night. Other symptoms can include:

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sudden, sharp abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bloody or blackish bowel movements

Ulcers can happen anywhere along your digestive tract and are curable. Untreated, they can lead to serious, even life-threatening complications. If you think you may have an ulcer, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

For more information about primary care services available at Mount Sinai South Nassau, click here.

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