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Microsoft word - pepticulcer.php
What is a Peptic Ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach or duodenum. The duodenum is
the first part of your smal intestine. If peptic ulcers are found in your stomach, they
are cal ed gastric ulcers. If they are found in the duodenum, they are cal ed duodenal
ulcers. You can have more than one ulcer.
What are the symptoms of Peptic Ulcers
A burning pain in the gut is the most common symptom.
comes in the middle of the night when your stomach is empty
What causes Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers are caused by:
bacteria cal ed Helicobacter pylori, or H pylori for short
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen
Your body makes strong acids that digest food. A lining protects the inside of your
stomach and duodenum from these acids. If the stomach lining breaks down, the
acids can damage the wal s. Both H pylori and NSAIDs weaken the lining so acid can
reach the stomach or duodenal wal . H. pylori causes almost two-thirds of al ulcers.
Many people have H. pylori infections but not everyone who has an infection wil
develop a peptic ulcer. Most other ulcers are caused by NSAIDs. Only rarely do other
Does stress or spicy foods cause Peptic Ulcers
Neither stress nor spicy food can cause ulcers but they can make ulcers worse.
Drinking alcohol or smoking can also make ulcers worse.
What are the complications of peptic ulcers
bleeding - either bright red blood or brown looking blood resembling coffee
grounds, or passing black bowel motion (the blackness is caused by the effect
perforation – a burst or ruptured ulcer causing sudden and severe pain
obstruction – of the outlet of the stomach causing bloating and vomiting after
If you have any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor immediately.
How are Peptic Ulcers diagnosed
If you have symptoms suggestive of a peptic ulcer, your doctor wil probably refer you
for an endoscopy. After being given sedation (relaxing medication) intravenously,
your specialist can pass a thin tube (tiny endoscope) that has a light and a camera
into the stomach and duodenum. Ulcers show up as a shal ow defect or depression
of the gut lining. Samples may also be taken to check for Helicobacter pylori.
How are Peptic Ulcers treated
The usual treatment is the suppression of the acid production of the stomach to al ow
the ulcer to heal. These drugs include Ranitidine (Zantac), Cimetidine (Tagamet),
Omeprazole (Losec) and Pantoprazole (Somac). Some other drugs are also used.
Your doctor or specialist wil also look for the underlying cause of the development of
Helicobacter pylori – checked by a sample taken during endoscopy. A CLO
Anti-inflammatory use- it is important to report al use of these drugs including
over the counter preparations such as Nurofen.
If anti-inflammatories can be stopped or Helicobacter pylori can be
eradicated, you may soon be able to stop acid blocking medication. If your
physician is concerned with the severity of your condition, ulcer prevention may
What happens if Peptic Ulcers don't heal
In most cases, medicine heals ulcers. You may need surgery of your ulcers:
perforate, bleed, obstruct the stomach or duodenum
Surgery for ulcers is not needed very often these days.
2005 Christchurch Surgical Associates
This pamphlet is provided as basic background information and does not contain al
of the known facts about this type of surgery. It is not a substitute for advice from
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MiraLAX and Gatorade Colonoscopy Prep Warning Some of your medications such as blood thinners (e.g.: Coumadin/warfarin, xarelto, Aggrenox, pradaxo, Plavix/clopidregel) may need to be stopped for a few days before your procedure. At the time your procedure was scheduled, we would have given you specific instructions of how to manage these changes – you would also want to check with the pres