Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) is a discontinuity or break in the stomach's inner lining, a protective layer in the stomach, composed of mucus and bicarbonate that neutralizes the stomach’s acid secreted by the stomach mucosa. Peptic ulcers are common in the first part of the small intestine, or sometimes the lower esophagus. The most common symptoms are burning sensation and pain in the stomach region. It is diagnosed by endoscopy and urease breath tests, and it is treated by medications and some surgical procedures when needed.
Among many causes of peptic ulcer disease, the most common is a bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). These bacteria enter the body and live in the digestive tract and cause ulceration in the body. This makes it the most critical factor in peptic ulcer disease accounting for 90% of duodenal and 70 % of gastric ulcers.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen damage the gastric mucosal barrier, making it an essential etiological factor in 30% of cases of gastric ulcers. In some cases, they may be responsible for duodenal ulcers as well.
Contrary to popular belief, stress and spicy food do not cause peptic ulcers.
There are two most important types of gastric ulcers;
The incidence of peptic ulcer disease has declined as the awareness about the risk factors has spread. The prevalence was higher in males before but now has come in equal ratios between males and females.
The following risk factors are essential in causing the disease:
Peptic Ulcer Disease causes the following signs and symptoms.
Your doctor will take a detailed history to ask about the possible risk factors causing the ulcers. But some tests are essential to confirm the presence and the type of ulcers;
The treatment involves removing the causative factors, eradicating the bacteria, and controlling the acid secretion of the stomach.
Surgical management is also an option if there is a risk for perforations and bleeding.
Types of procedures
Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) has an excellent prognosis after the underlying cause is treated. Unfortunately, recurrence is standard, with rates exceeding 60% in most serious cases.
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on May 25, 2023.
Peptic Ulcer Disease - American College of Gastroenterology (gi.org)
Peptic Ulcer Disease - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)