Monday, October 11, 2010

Peptic Ulcer Also called: Duodenal ulcer, Gastric ulcer, Stomach ulcer, Ulcer

Illustration of stomach ulcers
A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or your duodenum, the first part of your small intestine. A burning stomach pain is the most common symptom. The pain


May come and go for a few days or weeks
May bother you more when your stomach is empty
Usually goes away after you eat

Peptic ulcers happen when the acids that help you digest food damage the walls of the stomach or duodenum. The most common cause is infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. Another cause is the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Stress and spicy foods do not cause ulcers, but can make them worse.

Peptic ulcers will get worse if not treated. Treatment may include medicines to block stomach acids or antibiotics to kill ulcer-causing bacteria. Not smoking and avoiding alcohol can help. Surgery may help for ulcers that don't heal.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

source: Medline Plus

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