A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. This area of the small intestine is called the duodenum. Peptic ulcers may be named by their location:
Treatment may include antibiotics, medications that heal the ulcer and protect the stomach, and lifestyle changes. Surgery may be needed for ulcers that bleed, obstruct, perforate, or don't heal with other treatments.
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Upsets in the balance of stomach acid and digestive juices can lead to an ulcer. This can be caused by:
- Helicobacter pylori ( H. pylori) infection
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Less common causes include:
Last reviewedApril 2013by Daus Mahnke, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.