Peptic Ulcer: Introduction
A peptic ulcer is a hole in the lining of the stomach or the duodenum of the small intestine. There are two types of peptic ulcers. They include a gastric ulcer, which is a peptic ulcer in the stomach. A duodenal ulcer is a peptic ulcer in the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine.
Peptic ulcer is a common condition. Peptic ulcers form when the lining of protective mucus and other substances break down, which allows acidic digestive juices to damage the stomach or duodenal lining.
Peptic ulcer is frequently caused by an infection of a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Other causes of peptic ulcer include long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve), which are irritating to the stomach lining. Peptic ulcer can also occur after within a few days after a physically stressful event, such as an illness, surgery or injury, and result in peptic ulcers that can bleed. Peptic ulcer can also be caused by a stomach tumor or pancreas tumor. Smoking is a risk factor for developing a peptic ulcer.
Typical symptoms of peptic ulcer include heartburn and pain in the upper abdominal area. If left untreated peptic ulcer can lead to complications, including life-threatening complications. For more details about symptoms and complications, see symptoms of peptic ulcer.
Diagnosing peptic ulcer and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination.
Diagnostic testing generally includes an endoscopy procedure. In this procedure, a special lighted instrument is inserted through the mouth and throat into the stomach. This instrument, called an endoscope, takes pictures of the stomach and/or sends images to a computer monitor.
A biopsy may also be taken during an endoscopy. A biopsy involves taking a small sample of esophagus or stomach tissue to examine it under a microscope.
Blood tests may also be done to test for a Helicobacter pylori infection, the most common cause of peptic ulcer. A stool sample may be tested to determine if there is blood in the stool, which could indicate that there is a perforated peptic ulcer that is bleeding or a variety of other conditions.
Diagnosis may also include a complete blood count, which can determine if anemia is present and may indicate that a peptic ulcer has become a perorated ulcer and is bleeding.
A diagnosis of peptic ulcer and its cause can be delayed or missed because symptoms of peptic ulcer may be intermittent and for other reasons. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of peptic ulcer.
Treatment of peptic ulcer involves reducing the amount of stomach acid so that the stomach or duodenum can heal. Surgery may be required in severe cases. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of peptic ulcer. ...more »
Peptic ulcers are an inflammation of the stomach or duodenal lining.
Once believed to be caused by spicy food and stress, these have been
found merely to be aggravating factors, and
the real causes have been found by research to include bacterial infection (H pylori)
or reaction to various medications, particularly NSAIDs.
The identification of H. pylori ulcers has led to a cure
for this subtype
that was discovered as recently as 1982.
Whereas treatment used to involve bedrest and antacids, modern treatment
involves killing the H. pylori bacteria or removing the underlying NSAID medication. ...more »
Peptic Ulcer: Symptoms
Symptoms of peptic ulcer can vary depending on the individual. Symptoms can be mild to severe.
Typical symptoms include epigastric pain, and burning in the upper abdomen. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and pain between the shoulder blades in the back. The pain of a peptic ulcer often begins about two hours after eating and also occurs at night. Eating more ...more symptoms »
Peptic Ulcer: Treatments
The first step in treating peptic ulcer is prevention. This includes not smoking. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) should be taken only as directed. Even when taken as directed, some people will develop peptic ulcer with the use of these drugs.
Treatment plans for peptic ulcer are individualized ...more treatments »
Peptic Ulcer: Misdiagnosis
A diagnosis of peptic ulcer and its underlying cause may be delayed or missed because symptoms can be mild or intermittent.
Symptoms of peptic ulcer can also be similar to symptoms of a variety of other diseases and conditions. These include indigestion, GERD, biliary colic, gastroenteritis, and gallstones. Other disease with similar symptoms ...more misdiagnosis »
Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer
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symptoms of Peptic Ulcer
Treatments for Peptic Ulcer
- Treatments for gastrointestinal bleeding:
- Discontinue causative medications - for NSAIDs and other secondary causes
- more treatments...»
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treatments for Peptic Ulcer
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Wrongly Diagnosed with Peptic Ulcer?
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diagnostic tests for Peptic Ulcer
Peptic Ulcer: Complications
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Causes of Peptic Ulcer
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causes of Peptic Ulcer
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Disease Topics Related To Peptic Ulcer
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Peptic Ulcer: Undiagnosed Conditions
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Misdiagnosis and Peptic Ulcer
Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms
of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed.
The best known, ...read more »
Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea
is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance.
The digestive system contains a variety of "good"...read more »
Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely
to cause some level of diarrhea in patients.
The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad...read more »
Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down
with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I...read more »
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed
(it...read more »
Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive
conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see ...read more »
Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent
difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases.
Some of the better known possibilities are peptic...read more »
Read more about Misdiagnosis and Peptic Ulcer
Peptic Ulcer: Research Doctors & Specialists
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Peptic Ulcer: Rare Types
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Latest Treatments for Peptic Ulcer
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latest treatments for Peptic Ulcer
Evidence Based Medicine Research for Peptic Ulcer
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Prognosis for Peptic Ulcer
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Research about Peptic Ulcer
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Clinical Trials for Peptic Ulcer
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and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.
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Clinical Trials for Peptic Ulcer
Statistics for Peptic Ulcer
Peptic Ulcer: Broader Related Topics
Types of Peptic Ulcer
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Article Excerpts about Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of the
stomach or duodenum, which is the beginning of the small intestine. Peptic
ulcers are common: One in 10 Americans develops an ulcer at some time in
his or her life.
(Source: excerpt from H_ pylori and Peptic Ulcer: NIDDK)
Definitions of Peptic Ulcer:
Ulceration of the GASTRIC MUCOSA due to contact with GASTRIC JUICE. It is often associated with HELICOBACTER PYLORI infection or consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
- (Source - Diseases Database)
An ulcer of the mucous membrane lining of the alimentary tract
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
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