Peptic Ulcer Disease
Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2008

Peptic ulcer disease is a very common ailment, affecting one out of eight persons in the United States. In todayís 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Ed Hill tells us more about this condition.

Peptic ulcer disease refers to painful sores or ulcers in the lining of the stomach or first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.

No single cause has been found for ulcers. However, it is now believed that ulcers result from an imbalance between digestive fluids in the stomach and duodenum.

Ulcers can be caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or excess acid production from tumors in the stomach.

An ulcer may not have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can include a gnawing or burning pain in the stomach, bloating, heartburn and nausea or vomiting.

Though ulcers often heal on their own, you shouldn't ignore their warning signs. If not properly treated, ulcers can lead to serious health problems such as bleeding, perforation or gastric outlet obstruction.

Treatment for ulcers may include making changes to ones lifestyle, taking medication or undergoing surgery.

To prevent ulcers from developing, donít smoke, avoid alcohol and donít overuse NSAIDs. If you have symptoms of an ulcer, contact your doctor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Ed Hill.