Diseases & Conditions

Peptic ulcer disease and gastritis

PUD is an ulcer or sore that forms on the lining of the stomach or duodenum (first part of small intestine).

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining

A peptic ulcer is a sore or crater in the lining of the stomach or first portion of the small intestine (duodenum). Gastritis is inflammation (redness, swelling, irritation) of the lining of the stomach. Symptoms of peptic ulcers and gastritis include: 1) burning or cramping in the stomach/upper abdominal area that is typically associated with food (can improve or worsen with food); 2) nausea or vomiting; 3) Black, tarry or bloody stools (a sign of ulcer bleeding). Evaluation for an ulcer or gastritis may involve bloodwork, breath tests, an x-ray or an upper endoscopy, which is when a thin tube is inserted through the mouth into the stomach and small intestine under sedation to evaluate and biopsy these areas.

The two most common causes of peptic ulcers and gastritis are: 1) infection with Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori), a bacterium that resides in the lining of the stomach and duodenum, and 2) aspirin or non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (i.e. Motrin, Alleve, ibuprofen, naproxen). Management of peptic ulcers and gastritis is aimed at treating the underlying cause. If H. pylori is found, then antibiotics will be prescribed and if NSAIDs are the cause, then the patient will be asked to stop these medications to allow the ulcer to heal. Antacids and other ulcer medications are also typically prescribed and long-term management depends on the specific situation.

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