Peptic Ulcers Quick Overview
- A peptic ulcer is an open sore in the upper digestive tract. There are two types of peptic ulcers, a gastric ulcer, which forms in the lining of the stomach, and a duodenal ulcer, which forms in the upper part of the small intestine.
- Causes of peptic ulcers include
- the bacterium named Helicobacter pylori (H pylori),
aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
- Some people may have no symptoms of an ulcer, but common symptoms include
- Treatment of a peptic ulcer depends on the cause. Treatments include lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol, aspirin, and NSAIDs; acid-blocking medications; medications that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum; and "triple-therapy" or "dual-therapy" regimens for ulcers caused by H pylori.
- Surgery may be performed in some cases that do not respond to medical treatment.
- The prognosis for peptic ulcers is generally good, and most individuals will improve with the appropriate medicine.
- Complications of peptic ulcers include bleeding, perforation, and obstruction.
What is a peptic ulcer?
In the digestive system, an ulcer is an area
of open sores where tissue has been destroyed by the gastric juices and stomach acid. Peptic ulcer disease is a general term for ulcers that occur in the
lining of the stomach or of the duodenum (upper part of the small intestine).
A peptic ulcer is an erosion or sore in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract.
The mucous membrane lining the digestive tract erodes and causes a gradual breakdown of tissue.
This breakdown causes a gnawing or burning pain in the upper middle part of the belly (abdomen).
Although most peptic ulcers are small, they can cause a considerable amount of discomfort.
Peptic ulcers are a very common condition in the United States and throughout the world.
In the United States, about 10% of the population will develop a duodenal ulcer at some point in their lives.
Peptic ulcer disease affects about 4.6 million people annually.
The occurrence of peptic ulcer disease is similar in men and women. Approximately 11%-14% of men and 8%-11% of women will develop peptic ulcer disease in their lifetime.
The mortality rate of peptic ulcer disease is approximately one death per 10,000 cases. The mortality rate due to ulcer hemorrhage is approximately 5%.
Stomach ulcers can occur at any age, although they are rare in children and
The good news is that we have learned a lot about stomach ulcers in the past 20 years and effective therapies are now available.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/24/2015
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