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PEPTIC ULCER

A peptic ulcer, also known as PUD or peptic ulcer disease[1] is an ulcer of an area of the gastrointestinal tract that is usually acidic and thus extremely painful. As much as 80% of ulcers are associated with Helicobacter pylori, a spiral-shaped bacterium that lives in the acidic environment of the stomach, however only 20% of those cases go to a doctor. Ulcers can also be caused or worsened by drugs such as Aspirin and other NSAIDs
A peptic ulcer may arise at various locations:

  • Stomach (called gastric ulcer)
  • Duodenum (called duodenal ulcer)
  • Esophagus (called esophageal

Symptoms of a peptic ulcer can be:

  • Abdominal pain, classically epigastric with severity relating to mealtimes, after around 3 hours of taking a meal (duodenal ulcers are classically relieved by food, while gastric ulcers are exacerbated by it);
  • Bloating and abdominal fullness
  • Waterbrash (rush of saliva after an episode of regurgitation to dilute the acid in esophagus)
  • Nausea, and lots of vomiting
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss;
  • Hematemesis (vomiting of blood); this can occur due to bleeding directly from a gastric ulcer, or from damage to the esophagus from severe/continuing vomiting.
  • Melena (tarry, foul-smelling feces due to oxidized iron from hemoglobin)
  • Rarely, an ulcer can lead to a gastric or duodenal perforation. This is extremely painful and requires immediate surgery.
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