Peptic Ulcer Disease

Tips on Peptic Ulcer Disease

  1. Ulcers are "sores" that frequently affect the stomach and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).
  2. Bacterial infection is the most common cause of duodenal ulcers.
  3. Stomach ulcers are often a side effect of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs used primarily to treat arthritis.
  4. Alcohol ingestion, cigarette smoking, and emotional stress may also influence the development of an ulcer or interfere with its healing.
  5. Upper abdominal pain is the most common symptom of ulcers, but many ulcers cause no symptoms at all.
  6. Ulcers may hemorrhage (bleeding) into the gastrointestinal tract; this results in the passage of black ("tarry") stool. Very serious ulcer disease may also cause a blockage between the stomach and small intestine and this complication results in persistent vomiting. Severe pain results from the most urgent complication of ulcers - peritonitis caused by a tear through the wall of the stomach or duodenum.
  7. Almost all ulcers can be treated successfully, usually without surgery. Many ulcers can be prevented.
  8. Ulcer treatments include antibiotics, agents that neutralize gastric acid or reduce its secretion, and drugs that strengthen the resistance of the stomach and duodenum.