Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Gastric Ulcers and Stress
J. Bruce Overmier & Robert Murison
Two major loci of ulcers in the upper gastrointestinal tract are the body of the stomach (gastric ulcers) and the duodenum. This entry focuses on gastric ulcers because peptic/duodenal ulcers are dealt with elsewhere in this encyclopedia. Physiological injury to the stomach ranges from irritations of the mucosal lining (petechier) to erosions into the stomach lining causing surface bleeding (ulcerations) to lesions that penetrate the stomach wall (perforating ulcers). Gastric ulcers became a common medical problem in the 20th century. Ulcers are not only painful but can be life threatening. Taken together, all the medications to treat ulcers are currently the world's best-selling and most profitable drugs. Gastric ulcers have been considered typical psychosomatic disorders. Psychiatric thought from the 1930s attributed gastrointestinal disorders to intrapsychic conflicts often arising in highly motivated individuals frustrated by business world challenges. An alternative view that stress could cause physical illness arose primarily from the ...