Yes, spicy foods can be uncomfortable and irritating when dealing with a stomach ulcer. But unlike popular belief, spicy foods do not actually cause them.
Stomach ulcers are typically developed by the overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen or a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori or commonly known as H. pylori. It is a gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium found usually in the stomach. It was identified in 1982 by Australian scientists Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who found that it was present in a person with chronic gastritis and gastric ulcers, conditions not previously believed to have a microbial cause. It is also linked to the development of duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer. The symptoms for H. Pylori, if present, are often those of non-ulcer dyspepsia: stomach pains, nausea, bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting or passing a black stool. Most of the time up to 85% of people infected with H. pylori never experience symptoms or complications.
Stress is also looked to as a stomach ulcer culprit the way spicy foods are. Although they can make ulcers worse, they do not increase the risk of developing one the way an H. pylori infection and NSAID use could. So spicy food lovers, rejoice!