A peptic ulcer is a sore that can form on the lining of the stomach or duodenum. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine.
Some people with peptic ulcers have no symptoms. Other people can have symptoms that include:
All of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. But if you have these symptoms, let your doctor or nurse know.
Sometimes, peptic ulcers can lead to serious problems. These include:
Common causes of peptic ulcers include:
Yes. If you have symptoms of a peptic ulcer, your doctor might do:
Treatment depends on the cause, but most peptic ulcers are treated with medicines.
People with H. pylori infection are often treated with 3 or more medicines for 2 weeks to get rid of the infection. This treatment can include:
Some people need to take medicines that reduce the amount of acid for a longer amount of time. Some people take these medicines for the rest of their life.
It is important to follow all your doctors' instructions about taking your medicines. Let your doctor or nurse know if you have any side effects from your medicines.
People who have serious problems from their peptic ulcers might also need to be treated with surgery.
After treatment, people often have follow-up tests. These can include:
To help a peptic ulcer heals and to prevent future peptic ulcers, you can: