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Peptic Ulcer Disease

06:44 EST 19th February 2017 | BioPortfolio

Peptic Ulcer Disease - stomach ulcer, duodenal ulcers used to refer to all types of peptic ulcers.

A peptic ulcer is an erosion in a segment of the Gastrointestinal (GI) muscularis mucosae, typically in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or the first few centimeters of the duodenum (duodenal ulcer).  

There are two main causes of stomach ulcers:

  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, which can irritate the stomach or upper intestine lining, causing an ulcer to form
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, which can have a similar effect

Symptoms typically include burning epigastric pain that is often relieved by food. Diagnosis is by endoscopy and testing for H. pylori. Treatment involves acid suppression, eradication of H. pylori (if present), and avoidance of NSAIDs.

Treating stomach ulcers

  • Medication can be used to treat stomach ulcers. A type of medication known as a proton pump inhibitor can usually reduce the amount of acid in your digestive system, allowing the ulcer to heal.
  • If an H. pylori infection is responsible for the ulcers, a combination of antibiotics can be used to kill the bacteria which should prevent the ulcer coming back.
  • If the ulcers are related to the use of NSAIDs, they are usually stopped and proton pump inhibitors used. In the case of aspirin-induced ulcers the aspirin sometimes needs to be continued, depending on why it is being given.
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