Peptic Ulcer Disease
What is Peptic Ulcer Disease?
Peptic ulcer disease is a condition where painful, open sores develop on the inner lining of the stomach (gastric ulcers) and upper part of your small intestine (duodenal ulcers). They are caused by acid in your digestive tract eating away at the lining of your stomach or small intestine. Normally, these areas are coated by a layer of mucus to protect the lining from the acid. If they become out of balance, the acid can cause ulcers. Common reasons for this include infection with the H. pylori bacteria that causes inflammation in the stomach lining, and regular use of pain relievers including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox), ketaprofen, and others. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not included in this list. Contrary to popular belief, stress and spicy foods don’t cause ulcers, but they can make ulcer symptoms worse.
What are the Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer Disease?
The signs and symptoms of peptic ulcer disease commonly include:
- Burning stomach pain – an empty stomach makes it worse
- Feeling of fullness or bloating
- Fatty food intolerance
Less commonly, severe signs or symptoms of peptic ulcer disease may include:
- Dark or black stool (due to bleeding)
- Weight loss
- Severe pain in the mid to upper abdomen
If you are experiencing severe or frequent symptoms of peptic ulcer disease, schedule an appointment with Digestive Health Associates of Cheyenne. One of our providers will evaluate your condition, perform screening tests to make a diagnosis, and talk with you about your treatment options.
How Do You Treat Peptic Ulcer Disease?
To diagnose peptic ulcer disease, your doctor may first get your medical history and complete a physical exam. Laboratory tests for the H. pylori bacteria, an endoscopy to view the inside of your stomach or x-rays of your upper digestive system (sometimes called a barium swallow) will help your doctor make a diagnosis. Treating the condition depends on the cause. If you have an H. pylori bacteria infection, antibiotics combined with medication to reduce acid production typically allow the ulcers to heal. Different combinations of medications may treat ulcers from other causes.
Our board-certified, experienced physicians at Digestive Health Associates of Cheyenne will provide you with the best diagnosis and treatment options for peptic ulcer disease. Contact us today.
Learn More: Peptic Ulcer Disease
American College of Gastroenterology
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