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Peptic Ulcers (Stomach Ulcers)

General Information
Symptoms and Causes

What is a peptic ulcer?

A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach or duodenum. Rarely, a peptic ulcer may develop just above your stomach in your esophagus. Doctors call this type of peptic ulcer an esophageal ulcer.

Causes of peptic ulcers include

Who is more likely to develop peptic ulcers caused by NSAIDs?

People of any age who take NSAIDs every day or multiple times per week are more likely to develop a peptic ulcer than people who do not take them regularly. NSAIDs are a class of pain killers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Long-term use of NSAIDs can cause peptic ulcer disease.

Your chance of having a peptic ulcer caused by NSAIDs, also called an NSAID-induced peptic ulcer, is increased if you

Who is more likely to develop peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori?

About 30 to 40 percent of people in the United States get an H. pylori infection.1 In most cases, the infection remains dormant, or quiet without signs or symptoms, for years. Most people get an H. pylori infection as a child.2

Adults who have an H. pylori infection may get a peptic ulcer, also called an H. pylori-induced peptic ulcer. However, most people with an H. pylori infection never develop a peptic ulcer. Peptic ulcers caused by H. pylori are uncommon in children.2

H. pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that can damage the lining of your stomach and duodenum and cause peptic ulcer disease. Researchers are not certain how H. pylori spread. They think the bacteria may spread through

Researchers have found H. pylori in the saliva of some infected people, which means an H. pylori infection could spread through direct contact with saliva or other bodily fluids.3

Who develops peptic ulcers caused by tumors?

People who have Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) develop peptic ulcers caused by tumors. Anyone can have ZES, yet it is rare and only occurs in about one in every 1 million people.4 However, ZES is more common among men 30 to 50 years old. A child who has a parent with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 is also more likely to have Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.5

What other problems can a peptic ulcer cause?

A peptic ulcer can cause other problems, including

You may need surgery to treat these problems.

Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of a peptic ulcer?

A dull or burning pain in your stomach is the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer. You may feel the pain anywhere between your belly button and breastbone. The pain most often

Less common symptoms may include

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