Peptic Ulcers

Also known as: ulcers, gastric ulcers, stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers.

What are peptic ulcers?

An ulcer is an open sore in the skin, or in the lining tissue of the mouth to the anus (mucus membranes of the gastrointestinal tract ). Peptic ulcers are those that occur where hydrochloride acid and pepsin are present- when the peptic ulcer is in the stomach it's called a gastric ulcer; when in the duodenum it's called a duodenal ulcer.

What causes peptic ulcers?

The most common cause of peptic ulcers is a bacterial infection ( Helicobacter pylori ) which weakens the defensive mechanisms of the stomach/duodenum lining making it more easily damaged by the acid/pepsin bathing it. Factors which potentially increase the risk of development ulcers include genetics, sharing a bed/overcrowded circumstances, stress, caffeine intake, aspirin and ibuprofen.

What are the symptoms of peptic ulcers?

Along with the burning stomach pain, peptic ulcers can cause heartburn, bloating nausea, belching, vomiting ( sometimes with blood ) and a feeling of abdominal fullness. Complications may include bleeding, perforation of the stomach/duodenum or scar formation which can cause a blockage.

What are gastric ulcer care options?

A variety of antibiotics can be used to kill the bacterium the causes peptic ulcers, and/or medications to reduce the amount of stomach acid, promote healing and/or protect the lining of the stomach. Usually medicines will heal the ulcer, however occasionally, surgery may be needed to fix the damage caused by an ulcer.

This page was last updated on: 1/28/2018 3:45:58 PM

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Dr. Peters is employed by Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA), the physician-led group practice of Miami Children’s Health System. He sees patients at the Nicklaus Children's Palm Beach Gardens Outpatient Center and is the PSA Northern Regional Chief, Section of Gastroenterology.