Sign In

Peptic ulcer disease

​​​A peptic ulcer is a sore that can form on the lining of the stomach or duodenum. The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine.​


Some people with peptic ulcer have no symptoms. Other people can have symptoms that include:
  • ​​Pain in the upper belly
  • Bloating or feeling gull after eating a small amount of food
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Nausea and vomiting

All these symptoms are non-specific, and can also be caused by other conditions.

Sometimes, peptic ulcers can lead to serious problems. These include:

  • Bleeding — This can present as black tarry stool, vomiting blood, or sometimes, bright red bowel movements.
  • A hole in the wall of the stomach or duodenum — This can cause sudden and severe belly pain.


Common causes of peptic ulcers include:

  • An infection in the stomach or duodenum- This kind of infection is cause by a type of bacteria called “Helicobacter pylori”
  • Medicines called “Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs” (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen.


If you have symptoms of peptic ulcer disease, your doctor may offer a procedure called an Upper Endoscopy. During an upper endoscopy, a doctor puts a thin tube with a camera on the end into the person’s mouth, and down into the stomach and duodenum. The lining of the stomach and duodenum is checked for ulcers.

​Most patients diagnosed to have peptic ulcer are treated with medicines, including those with Helicobacter pylori infection. People who have serious problems arising from their peptic ulcers might need endoscopic therapy or surgery.

Contributed​ by Gastroenterology & Hepatology