Peptic ulcer disease - discharge
Ulcer - peptic - discharge; Ulcer - duodenal - discharge; Ulcer - gastric - discharge; Duodenal ulcer - discharge; Gastric ulcer - discharge; Dyspepsia - ulcer - discharge
What to Expect
You have peptic ulcer disease (PUD). A peptic ulcer is an open sore or raw area in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer) or upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcer).
You may have had tests to help diagnose your ulcer. One of these tests may have been to look for a bacteria in your stomach called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This type of infection is a common cause of ulcers.
Most peptic ulcers will heal within about 4 to 6 weeks after treatment begins. DO NOT stop taking the medicines you have been prescribed, even if symptoms go away quickly.
Diet and Lifestyle
People with PUD should eat a healthy balanced diet.
It does not help to eat more often or increase the amount of milk and dairy products you consume. These changes may even cause more stomach acid.
Other things you can do to ease your symptoms and help healing include:
Avoid drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain. Take all medicines with plenty of water.
The standard treatment for a peptic ulcer and an H. pylori infection uses a combination of medicines that you take for 5 to 14 days.
If you have an ulcer without an H. pylori infection, or one that is caused by taking aspirin or NSAIDs, you will likely need to take a proton pump inhibitor for 8 weeks.
Taking antacids as needed between meals, and then at bedtime, may help healing also. Ask your provider about taking these medicines.
Talk to your provider about your medicine choices if your ulcer was caused by aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs. You may be able to take a different anti-inflammatory drug. Or, your provider may have you take a drug called misoprostol or a PPI to prevent future ulcers.
You will have follow-up visits to see how your ulcer is healing.
Your provider may want to perform an upper endoscopy after treatment to make sure healing has taken place.
You will also need follow-up testing to check that the H. pylori bacteria are gone. You should wait at least 2 weeks after therapy is completed to be retested. Test results before that time may not be accurate.
When to Call the Doctor
Get medical help right away if you:
Call your health care provider if:
Eichenseher, J. Peptic ulcer disease. In: Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 42.
Lanza FL, Chan FK, Quigley EM: Practice Parameters Committee of the American College of Gastroenterology. Guidelines for prevention of NSAID-related ulcer complications. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104:728-738. PMID: 19240698 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19240698.
Review Date: 4/20/2015
Reviewed By: Subodh K. Lal, MD, Gastroenterologist with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, Austell, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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