Peptic Ulcer

A Peptic Ulcer is a breach in the lining (mucosa) of the digestive tract.

Peptic ulcers are caused by digestion of the mucosa by pepsin and acid. This may happen when pepsin and acid are present in abnormally high concentrations or when something else reduces the normal protective mechanisms of the mucosa. Bile salts may be involved, especially in cases of stomach ulcers.

A peptic ulcer may be found in:

There may not be any obvious symptoms of a peptic ulcer, but some patients experience abdominal pain, typically just below the sternum.


Effects / Symptoms of a peptic ulcer can include:

  • abdominal pain - often just below the sternum (="breastbone"), which may be a persistent burning pain that extends to he person's back. In some cases this pain may begin approx. 20 mins after eating, or it may awaken the person at night.
  • heartburn
  • regurgitating food
  • vomiting
  • bitter taste in the mouth

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