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Peptic ulcer

Related Terms

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Background

  • A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach, esophagus, or the first portion of the small intestine. Peptic ulcers may also be referred to as an ulcer.
  • Ulcers are crater-like sores, generally one-fourth to three-fourths inch in diameter, but sometimes one to two inches in diameter. Ulcers that form in the lining of the stomach are called gastric ulcers. Ulcers that form just below the stomach at the beginning of the small intestine in the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers. Less common ulcers occur in the esophagus and are called esophageal ulcers.
  • A burning stomach pain is the most common symptom of an ulcer. The pain may come and go for a few days or weeks or may bother the individual more when the stomach is empty. The pain usually goes away after eating, but may return when the stomach becomes empty again.
  • Peptic ulcers occur when the digestive juices that help food digest damage the walls of the stomach or duodenum. The most common cause is infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori. Another cause is the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®). Spicy foods do not cause ulcers, but can aggravate them and make them worse.
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Risk Factors and Causes

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Signs and Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Complications

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.