Conditions / Peptic Ulcer


Ulcer means erosion while the word peptic is related to the stomach and small intestine. Peptic ulcers are erosions that develop on the lining of your stomach or upper portion of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers include:
Gastric ulcers – that involves the internal lining of the stomach
Duodenal ulcers – that involve the internal lining of the small intestine (duodenum)

Sign and Symptoms

  • Burning stomach pain
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting or vomiting blood
  • Dark blood in stools
  • Appetite changes
  • Feeling faint
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unexplained weight loss


This disease manifests when acid in the digestive tract starts damaging the inner lining of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can lead to open sores that may bleed. Common causes include:
Helicobacter pylori: A bacteria commonly live in the mucous layer. Often, it causes no problems, but it can cause inflammation of the stomach’s or intestinal inner layer, producing an ulcer.
Regular use of certain pain relievers like:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Steroids
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others)
  • Naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others)
  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Anticoagulants
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Risedronate (Actonel)
  • Alendronate (Fosamax)


Various types of tests are diagnostic of a peptic ulcer disease such as

  • Urea breath test
  • Laboratory tests for H. pylori
  • Endoscopy
  • Upper gastrointestinal series


    Treatment of peptic ulcers depends on the underlying cause. Usually, treatment will involve eradicating the H. pylori, if present, eliminating the use of aspirin and other causing medications and helping ulcer to heal with medication. Medications can include:

    Antibiotic medications to kill H. pylori

    • Amoxicillin (Amoxil)
    • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
    • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
    • Metronidazole (Flagyl)

    Medications that promote healing and block acid production (Proton pump inhibitors)

    • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
    • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)

    Medications to reduce acid production (Antacids)

    • Alka-Seltzer
    • Alternagel, Amphojel
    • Milk of Magnesia

    Medications that coat the lining of the stomach and small intestine

    • Sucralfate (Carafate)
    • Misoprostol (Cytotec)

    Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other healthcare professional. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment.

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