Peptic ulcer disease, or stomach ulcers, occurs when the lining of the stomach is damaged. This can also occur in your small intestine.
Pain medications that contain NSAIDs may often be the cause of stomach ulcers. NSAIDs are found in Aspirin, Motrin (or Ibuprofen), Aleve and many other over-the-counter pain medications.
H. Pylori: Also known to cause ulcers is H. Pylori, a bacteria that is found in 20% of the general population. However, ulcer formation from H. Pylori occurs in only a small number of people.
In general, neither the bacteria nor ulcers cause any symptoms. Sometimes (not often) the ulcers can cause a gnawing, aching discomfort when the patient eats certain foods, such as spicy food, citrus, tomato sauce, soda and caffeine. Only in rare occasions, the ulcer can bleed or cause obstruction.
H. Pylori bacteria can be easily treated with 12 to 14 days of antibiotics and a proton pump inhibitor (Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, or similar products).
However, an endoscopy (EGD) is necessary to view your stomach to detect the small ulcers and to treat the larger ones. Equally important, you should have an EGD to detect recurrent infection and any possible cancer.
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This section is as reference guide only. The information contained herein should not be used as or construed to be a diagnosis or used in place of a visit to a physician.