Peptic Ulcer Disease
What is peptic ulcer disease?
Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the lining of your stomach (gastric ulcers) and on the upper part of your small intestine (duodenal ulcers). Your digestive tract is coated with a layer of mucus to protect against acid, however when this mucus is low or acid is high, ulcers can develop.
What are the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease?
You may have an ulcer if you suffer from:
- Stomach pains
- Weight loss
- Appetite changes
However, the majority of people with peptic ulcers don't show signs of any symptoms.
How is peptic ulcer disease diagnosed?
To identify if you have an ulcer you may be required to provide a blood test and stool sample. You may also be referred to have a gastroscopy.
How is peptic ulcer disease treated?
Ulcers generally have two causes; regular use of over the counter painkillers or from the H.pylori (Helicobacter pylori) bacteria. If you use painkillers you may be prescribed an alternative medication. If it is found that you have the H.pylori bacteria, a course of antibiotics should be able to treat this. You may need another gastroscopy to confirm that your ulcers have healed. You can also help prevent any ulcers from forming by stopping smoking, reducing your stress levels and eating a balanced diet.