Peptic ulcers are sores that develop in the lining of the stomach, lower esophagus, or small intestine. These ulcers form when digestive juices damage the walls of the organ, most commonly caused by bacteria (H. pylori) or frequent use of medications, such as certain pain relievers. These ulcers are diagnosed by an upper endoscopy (EGD).
Signs & Symptoms:
- Burning abdominal pain
- Changes in appetite
- Vomiting of blood or coffee ground-like material
- Bloody or dark stools
- Unexplained weight loss
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your ulcer. If the cause is H. pylori, your doctor will prescribe medication, which may include antibiotics and antacids to fight stomach acid. Aside from an H. pylori infection, treatment options may include prescription or over-the-counter PPI (proton pump inhibitors) or acid blockers.