I'm 20 years old, in good health. Recently I have been experiencing stomach aches and nausea throughout the day. This has been persisting for about a week, maybe a bit more. Sometimes the feeling phases between feeling very hungry and feeling nauseas and achy, each of these having an interval of a few minutes. It has been affecting my appetite, as I don't want to eat as much as I usually do for fear of making myself feel worse.
Recently I've moved back to school after winter break, switching from home cooked food to processed cafeteria food. Usually this upsets my stomach a little bit for a few days until i'm used to school food, but it never lasts this long and is not as bad. Also, the stomach aches & nausea don't seem to coincide with when I eat at school and when I eat elsewhere, it doesn't seem to discriminate. It's not very severe pain, but it's very frustrating and can sometimes cross the line from annoying to rather painful. I have yet to vomit because of it, though I often feel like I'm going to.
Another fellow on the forum sounded like he was having similar issues, and an ulcer was given as a possibility and pepcid or zantac was recommened. Would these help me? How serious is an ulcer if I do have one?
Also, some possibly relevant information: I never, ever burp. I've never really been able to do it at all, even if I try. I even stopped drinking carbonated beverages a while ago because they just give me a gaseous stomach ache. I've also been a vegetarian for about 3 years.
Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, or acid reflux, is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates (backs up, or refluxes) into the esophagus. The liquid can damage the lining of the esophagus, causing inflammation (esophagitis), although this occurs in a minority of patients. The regurgitated liquid contains acid and pepsin that are produced by the stomach. (Pepsin is an enzyme that begins the digestion of proteins in the stomach.) The refluxed liquid also may contain bile that has backed-up into the stomach from the duodenum. (The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine that attaches to the stomach.) Acid is believed to be the most injurious component of the refluxed liquid. Pepsin and bile also may injure the esophagus, but their role in the production of symptoms and esophageal damage (esophagitis) is not as clear as the role of acid.
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