Peptic Ulcer Disease

Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. There are three types of peptic ulcers, coinciding with the part of the body in which they can develop; gastric ulcers develop in the stomach, esophageal ulcers develop in the esophagus, and duodenal ulcers develop in the small intestines. These ulcers form when digestive juices damage the walls of the organ, most commonly caused by bacteria (H. pylori) or frequent use of certain pain relievers. Peptic ulcers are a fairly common health problem.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Burning abdominal pain
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloody or dark stools
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Indigestion

Treatment Options:

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your ulcer. If the cause is H. pylori, your doctor will prescribe medication, which may include antibiotics and antacids to fight stomach acid. Aside from an H. pylori infection, treatment options may include prescription or over-the-counter PPI (proton pump inhibitors) or acid blockers.