PEPTIC ULCER: AN OFTEN-PAINFUL CONDITION

Peptic ulcers are craters or eroded areas in the protective lining of the stomach or intestine that are caused by excess stomach acids and other irritants. The most common type of peptic ulcer is called a duodenal ulcer, appearing in the upper part of the small intestine. Severe ulcers can lead to pain, bleeding and even perforations — holes — in the wall of the stomach or intestine. A perforated ulcer is life-threatening and must be surgically treated immediately.
Ulcers have been associated with bacterial infections, cigarette smoking and the use of certain drugs. Aspirin, ibuprofen and corticosteroids are known to cause ulcers in some people.
With the significant advances in treatment and with early detection, most people will recover from their ulcer in four to six weeks.
What you can do
To reduce the likelihood of getting an ulcer and speed the healing process if you already have one:
If you smoke, start taking steps to kick the habit, and avoid coffee, alcohol, aspirin and ibuprofen.
Avoid hot or spicy foods if they cause discomfort; for the most part you can eat a normal diet.
Don’t drink large amounts of milk. Calcium may stimulate acid production.
For temporary relief from ulcer pain, try over-the-counter (OTC) antacids such as Maalox or Mylanta.
H2 blockers are medications that decrease the production of stomach acid. These medications include famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid) and cimetidine (Tagamet). If symptoms persist after two weeks, consult your doctor before taking more of these medications.
Tell your doctor if you have a history of ulcers. Common medications taken for other ailments could increase your risk of ulcer recurrences.
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PEPTIC ULCER: AN OFTEN-PAINFUL CONDITIONPeptic ulcers are craters or eroded areas in the protective lining of the stomach or intestine that are caused by excess stomach acids and other irritants. The most common type of peptic ulcer is called a duodenal ulcer, appearing in the upper part of the small intestine. Severe ulcers can lead to pain, bleeding and even perforations — holes — in the wall of the stomach or intestine. A perforated ulcer is life-threatening and must be surgically treated immediately.Ulcers have been associated with bacterial infections, cigarette smoking and the use of certain drugs. Aspirin, ibuprofen and corticosteroids are known to cause ulcers in some people.With the significant advances in treatment and with early detection, most people will recover from their ulcer in four to six weeks.
What you can do To reduce the likelihood of getting an ulcer and speed the healing process if you already have one:If you smoke, start taking steps to kick the habit, and avoid coffee, alcohol, aspirin and ibuprofen.Avoid hot or spicy foods if they cause discomfort; for the most part you can eat a normal diet.Don’t drink large amounts of milk. Calcium may stimulate acid production.For temporary relief from ulcer pain, try over-the-counter (OTC) antacids such as Maalox or Mylanta.H2 blockers are medications that decrease the production of stomach acid. These medications include famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid) and cimetidine (Tagamet). If symptoms persist after two weeks, consult your doctor before taking more of these medications.Tell your doctor if you have a history of ulcers. Common medications taken for other ailments could increase your risk of ulcer recurrences.*84\303\2*

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