Does fasting cause ulcer? Most ulcer patients assume that food must be present in the stomach often


The question, does fasting cause ulcer comes up almost all the time, especially during the religious observances such as Ramadan. There is no definite theory that states that stress, lack of food or fasting causes ulcers in the stomach and small intestine, although it is important to keep in mind the calorie intake the body requires for proper functioning.


What is stomach ulcer?

Stomach ulcers, which are also known as gastric ulcers, are painful sores in the stomach lining. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease (PUD). Peptic ulcers are any ulcers that affect both the stomach and small intestines.

How does this ulcer occur in the stomach?

Mucous lining is a natural defense mechanism of our digestive system that enables protection to stomach wall as also enables digestion of food in the cavity, prevents allergens from passing into the blood stream.

Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This allows the digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, causing sores on the walls of the stomach.

Stomach produces various acid to digest the food and protect from microbes. To protect body from various acids it also produces mucus to protect the layer of stomach and intestine. When the layer of mucus become thin or worn away and not able to protect various tissue in the body, acid causes sores in stomach and intestine. This sores become ulcer.

Causes of Ulcer – Does fasting cause ulcer?

Most ulcer patients assume that food must be present in the stomach often. So one question that stems from this is – Does fasting cause ulcer?

Stomach ulcers are caused by

  • Chronic infection by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
  • By a decrease in the production of protective mucous that coats the stomach lining. The mucous typically lessens with the long term use of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen) which, by preventing inflammation, may also turn off production of mucous.
  • Rarely, a condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers by increasing the body’s production of acid. This syndrome is suspected to cause less than 1 percent of all peptic ulcers.


It would be almost impossible to conclude that a healthy person with no previous history of ulcer can be found to have ulcer by fasting alone, but for those with existing gastritis and ulcers, fasting could bring about the manifestation of more symptoms.

Credit:, Shivender Kumar & Glenn Jørstad Jakobsen

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