What Are the Causes of Bleeding Gastric Ulcers?

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A gastric ulcer is an open sore that develops on the inside lining of the stomach. It is a form of peptic ulcer and is also called a stomach ulcer. Untreated gastric ulcers can lead to internal bleeding, scar tissue and infection. Bleeding gastric ulcers can occur as slow blood loss or severe blood loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  1. Bacteria

    • The most common cause of gastric ulcers is infection with H. pylori bacteria. H. pylori is a common bacteria that lives within the mucous layer that lines the stomach. This type of bacteria doesn't always cause problems, but sometimes it inflames the lining of your stomach, leading to an ulcer. If the bacteria is untreated, the stomach lining continues to wear away, and eventually becomes a bleeding ulcer.

    Use of Medications

    • Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen don't always cause gastric ulcers, but if you use them frequently, they can inflame the lining of your digestive tract. If you have an existing ulcer, continued use of these medications can lead to bleeding.


    • Ulcers caused by NSAIDS are more likely to bleed than those caused by bacteria, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

    Other Causes

    • Certain factors don't necessarily cause gastric ulcers but can aggravate existing ulcers and lead to bleeding. These factors include stress, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking too much alcohol.


    • If you have an ulcer, to help prevent complications including bleeding, avoid unnecessary use of NSAIDS and learn techniques for managing stress.

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