Peptic Ulcer Disease

Peptic ulcer disease refers to painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

Quick Facts

Symptoms:

In severe cases, symptoms can include:
  • Dark or black stool (due to bleeding)
  • Vomiting blood (can have a "coffee-grounds" appearance)
  • Weight loss
  • Severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen

Common Causes:

You may be more likely to develop ulcers if you:
  • Are infected with the H. pylori bacterium
  • Take NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and many others
  • Have a family history of ulcers
  • Have another illness, such as liver, kidney, or lung disease
  • Drink alcohol regularly
  • Are 50 years old or older 

Diagnosis:

  • Medical history review and review of symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • Test for H. Pylori
  • Upper endoscopy or EGD 

Common Treatment:

  • Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medications (i.e. Prilosec, Prevacid, etc.)
  • Antibiotics
  • Stop smoking
  • Eliminate alcohol intake
  • Reduce/eliminate use of NSAIDs 

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