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Peptic Ulcer

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A peptic ulcer, also known as PUD or peptic ulcer disease, is the most common ulcer of an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is generally acidic and extremely painful. A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer. An ulcer in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer.

Signs and Symptoms

Small ulcers generally do not cause any symptoms. Some ulcers can cause severe bleeding.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Mild nausea
  • Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen
  • Bloody or dark tarry stools
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss


Possible causes are:

  • Too much consumption of alcohol
  • Tobacco chewing
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Having radiation treatments


Treatment involves a combination of medications to kill the H. pylori bacteria (if present), and reduce acid levels in the stomach.

Patients who are taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed a prostaglandin analogue (Misoprostol) in order to help prevent peptic ulcers, which are a side-effect of the NSAIDs.

Perforated peptic ulcer is a surgical emergency and requires surgical repair of the perforation. Most bleeding ulcers require endoscopy urgently to stop bleeding with cautery, injection, or clipping.