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Stomach Ulcers & Exercise

author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
Stomach Ulcers & Exercise
Exercise may help reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.

Stomach ulcers, also sometimes called peptic ulcers, are wounds that develop on the lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. The ulcers develop when acid used by the stomach for digestion eats away at the lining of these organs. Some people are more prone to develop these ulcers, but there are several things you can do to control and reduce the risk of them. One of them is exercising.

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Ulcer Causes

The occurrence of stomach ulcers can be related to one or more factors. Some people are genetically inclined toward developing ulcers. For others, stress can cause or exacerbate damage caused by stomach acid. Overeating can expand the stomach and cause other pain leading to stomach ulcers, and the type of foods consumed can also influence this condition.


Stomach ulcers can cause a burning sensation sometimes referred to as heartburn. Although this may only cause discomfort in the short term, it can lead to more serious problems. Serious ulcers can break down the lining of the stomach, increasing the pain and requiring immediate medical attention. Some less significant developments include increased gas and burping created in the stomach.


According to the New York Times, there is some evidence that exercise can help reduce the risk of ulcers developing in some people. A study published in the Western Journal of Medicine concluded that exercise may be a nonpharmacological approach to reducing the occurrence of ulcers, but no studies have verified this benefit in women.

Lifestyle Changes

You can make several lifestyle changes to improve your rate of ulcers. Though exercising can help, it can have even more impact when combined with stress relief therapy. Choosing foods that don't cause your stomach to develop heartburn can also help, and taking aspirin or ibuprofen might also prove effective, according to Kaiser Permanente.


If you're unable to treat your stomach ulcers on your own, see a doctor and determine what courses of action are available. You might be given a prescription-strength medication to reduce your stomach's production of acid. You should also integrate fruits and vegetables into your diet. These foods rarely exacerbate stomach ulcers. Also avoid spices and peppers, which are likely to worsen your condition.

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