Ulcers were initially believed to be caused by extra acid in the stomach and small intestine.  The basis of treatment is antacids and medications blocking acid production, such as Tagamet and Pepcid.

Research however, reveals the role our thoughts, emotions and response to stress plays in triggering ulcers.

Research on the role our mind plays in ulcer has declined significantly since the early 1970s, to the praise of those who argued that ulcers are purely an infectious disease.  There is, however, a significant body of research that soundly demonstrates the link between stress and the development of peptic ulcers.

Psychological factors are estimated to contribute to one third to over two-thirds (30% to 65% of all ulcers), including those related to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or the Helicobacter.

While a substantial portion is related to other factors such as smoking, insomnia, irregular eating habits, heavy alcohol intake, and NSAIDS.  The remainder results from the body’s response to distress that causes increased acid release, the stress mechanism (regulated in the brain) and the weakened protective function of the lining of the intestinal tract.

Reference:  http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/content/abstract/62/2/176