A peptic ulcer similar to a break or hole in the lining of stomach or upper intestine.
There are three main causes of ulcers; stomach acid, a bacteria called H. Pylori, which can live in the stomach, and certain medications, mainly aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil, Motrin or Aleve.
Ulcers can cause upper abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, indigestion and occasional heartburn. Ulcers can occasionally bleed or perforate if they become severe or complicated.
Ulcers are most commonly diagnosed by upper endoscopy test. An X-ray of the GI tract can also be performed but is less common.
Upper endoscopy is done while patient is under sedation so there is no pain or discomfort during the test. A flexible tube with an internal light is placed down the patient’s throat, down the esophagus and into the stomach and upper intestine.
The endoscope visualizes the surface lining of the esophagus, stomach and intestine and allows the visualization of the ulcer.
Treatments of ulcers are with medication and reduce stomach acid, such as Pepcid, Zantac or stronger ones such as Prilosec, Proton or Medium which your physician will prescribe. If bacteria are present, then certain antibiotics are given along with medication to reduce acid. Avoiding anti-inflammatory medications would also be advised.
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