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It used to be thought that stress and/or spicy foods caused ulcers, but this was disproven in the past decade with the discovery by an Australian GI doctor of H. Pylori, a bacteria that can live in your stomach. This bacteria accounts for most ulcers and causes gastritis, too. An other reason for ulcers is the use of NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). There is a blood test and a breath test for H. Pylori. The blood test can give false negatives, as it did in me. The gold standard for detection is a biopsy of your stomach lining, which can be done during an endoscopy. I would start with the blood test if I were you, since that's the least invasive.There is a treatment for H. Pylori, which consists of a regiment of drugs for 2 weeks. I had an ulcer and H. Pylori and from your symptoms, it sounds like you might have it, too. H. Pylori can lie dormant in your system for years before it's triggered into an active state. They are not sure what triggers it. Mine seems to have been triggered by an infection I picked up from food in a foreign country. I did the treatment and feel much better.Hope this helps.Stacey
 
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