Peptic Ulcer Disease

Monday, September 16, 2013

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

Dr. Hill:

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 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 non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or excess acid production.

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 shouldnt 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, dont smoke, avoid alcohol and dont overuse NSAIDs. If you have symptoms, contact your doctor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.