Did You Know: Peptic Ulcer Disease

Dr Orafidiya

15th Mar, 2016


  • Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) simply means a sore in the lining of the stomach or duodenum due to acid.
  • There are two major types:
  1. Gastric Ulcer- present in the stomach.
  2. Duodenal Ulcer: present in the duodenum
  • Duodenal ulcers are more common in men and gastric ulcers are more common in women.2
  • The two most important causes of PUD are:
  1. Infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori and
  2. A group of medications called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs are pain relievers/analgesics. Common examples include Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Naproxen, etc.
  • The two types of PUD have slightly different symptoms but have upper abdominal (tummy) pain in common.
  • People with gastric ulcer complain of a peppery/burning pain while eating which could make them vomit. On the other hand, the pain from duodenal ulcer is caused by hunger, so it usually disappears once the person eats.
  • Some people might have no pain but may experience indigestion or heart burns which are less common symptoms.
  • Milk doesn’t cure an ulcer, it just helps to buffer the acid thereby reducing the pain.
  • PUD is not caused by eating spicy food but it could make the symptom (pain) more severe.
  • PUD is not caused by emotional stress but people with PUD complain that it increases the pain2.
  • Physical stress may increase the risk of developing ulcers, particularly in the stomach. For example, people with injuries, such as severe burns, and people undergoing major surgery often require treatment to prevent ulcers and ulcer-related complications, such as bleeding 2.
  • Smokers are at a double risk of developing PUD. They are also prone to complications such as bleeding, perforation and delayed healing of ulcers1.
  • Studies have shown that excess alcohol may lead to a PUD and may delay healing1.
  • Thirty-five percent of patients diagnosed with gastric ulcers will suffer serious complications.2

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