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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.
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.
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.