Symptoms and Signs of Peptic Ulcer Symptoms and Treatment

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Peptic Ulcer Symptoms and Treatment

A peptic ulcer is an erosion of the lining of theĀ esophagus, stomach or duodenum. The development of peptic ulcers is related to the presence of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach or taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) in about half of cases. Other possible causes of peptic ulcers can include smoking, severe psychological stress, or certain drugs. Sometimes, the exact cause is not known.

Symptoms of a peptic ulcer do not necessarily relate to the degree or severity of the ulceration. The most common symptom is pain in the upper abdomen, which can be felt as burning, sharp, stabbing, or dull. Associated symptoms can include feeling full when eating, and acid reflux (heartburn). The pain often occurs 1-3 hours after eating or during the night and is relieved by food or antacids that neutralize stomach acid.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.