Peptic ulcer

Ulcer - peptic; Ulcer - duodenal; Ulcer - gastric; Duodenal ulcer; Gastric ulcer; Dyspepsia - ulcers; Bleeding ulcer; Gastrointestinal bleeding - peptic ulcer; Gastrointestinal hemorrhage - peptic ulcer; G.I. bleed - peptic ulcer; H. pylori - peptic ulcer; Helicobacter pylori - peptic ulcer

A peptic ulcer is an open sore or raw area in the lining of the stomach or intestine.

  • A gastric ulcer occurs in the stomach.
  • A duodenal ulcer occurs in the first part of the small intestine.
Ulcer emergencies

Peptic ulcers may lead to emergency situations. Severe abdominal pain with or without evidence of bleeding may indicate a perforation of the ulcer through the stomach or duodenum. Vomiting of a substance that resembles coffee grounds, or the presence of black tarry stools, may indicate serious bleeding.

Gastroscopy procedure

The procedure called gastroscopy involves the placing of an endoscope (a small flexible tube with a camera and light) into the stomach and duodenum to search for abnormalities. Tissue samples may be obtained to check for H. pylori bacteria, a cause of many peptic ulcers. An actively bleeding ulcer may also be cauterized (blood vessels are sealed with a burning tool) during a gastroscopy procedure.

Location of peptic ulcers

A peptic ulcer is an open sore or raw area in the lining of the stomach (gastric) or the upper part of the small intestine (duodenal).

Cause of peptic ulcers

A major cause of peptic ulcer, although far less common than H.pylori or NSAIDS, is Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. A large amount of excess acid is produced in response to the overproduction of the hormone gastrin, which in turn is caused by tumors on the pancreas or duodenum. These tumors are usually malignant, must be removed and acid production suppressed to relieve the recurrence of the ulcers.

Stomach disease or trauma

An ulcer is a crater-like lesion on the skin or mucous membrane caused by an inflammatory, infectious, or malignant condition. To avoid irritating an ulcer a person can try eliminating certain substances from their diet such as caffeine, alcohol, aspirin, and avoid smoking. Patients can take certain medicines to suppress the acid in the stomach causing the the erosion of the stomach lining. Endoscopic therapy can be used to stop bleeding from the ulcer.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention