U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Peptic Ulcer Disease

Definition and Facts for Peptic Ulcer Disease

​A peptic ulcer is a sore on the lining of your stomach or duodenum. People who take NSAIDs such as aspirin and ibuprofen long-term or are infected with the bacteria H. pylori are most likely to develop peptic ulcers.

Symptoms and Causes of Peptic Ulcer Disease

​A dull or burning pain in the stomach is the most common symptom of peptic ulcers. Causes include long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), an infection with H.pylori, or both. Rarely, tumors cause peptic ulcers.

Diagnosis of Peptic Ulcer Disease

​Ulcers have different symptoms and causes, but only endoscopy or an x-ray can determine if you have one.

Treatment for Peptic Ulcer Disease
Your doctor will decide the best treatment based on the cause of your peptic ulcer. Most ulcers heal from treatment with Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). If a peptic ulcer is caused by NSAID’s, your doctor may tell you to stop taking these medicines.​
Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Peptic Ulcer Disease

​Different foods do not cause or prevent peptic ulcers, but drinking alcohol does make ulcers worse.

Clinical Trials for Peptic Ulcer Disease

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support basic and clinical research into many digestive disorders.​

Your Digestive System and How It Works

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract-also called the digestive tract-and the liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.

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This content is provided as a service of the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Content produced by the Clearinghouse is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and outside experts.