What is a stomach or peptic ulcer?
About one in 10 Americans develops at least one ulcer during his or her lifetime. An ulcer is an open sore, or lesion, usually found on the skin or mucous membrane areas of the body.
- An ulcer in the lining of the stomach or duodenum is referred to as a peptic ulcer.
- When the ulcer is in the stomach, it is called a gastric ulcer.
- When the ulcer is in the duodenum, it is called a duodenal ulcer.
In the past, it was believed lifestyle factors such as stress and diet caused ulcers. Later, researchers determined that stomach acids – hydrochloric acid and pepsin – contributed to ulcer formation. Today, research shows that most ulcers (80 percent) of gastric ulcers and 90 percent of duodenal ulcers develop as a result of infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). It is believed that, although all three of these factors – lifestyle, acid and pepsin, and H. pylori – play a role in ulcer development, H. pylori is considered to be the primary cause, in most cases.
Mercy Gilbert Can Help You Learn More Stomach Ulcers
To find a doctor specializing in gastrointestinal disorders or to find a primary doctor, please call (480) 728-5414, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.