Peptic Ulcer Disease
Left untreated, many ulcers eventually heal. But ulcers often recur if the cause of the ulcer is not eliminated or treated. If ulcers keep coming back, you have an increased risk of developing a Reference serious complication, such as bleeding or a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine.
Most of the time, treatment means taking medicines—such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)—and making lifestyle changes, including:
- Not taking Reference nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), if possible. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil), and naproxen (such as Aleve).
- Quitting smoking.
- Not drinking too much alcohol (no more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women).
H. pylori infection
If treatment isn't working, you may need more Reference tests to look for bacteria. If you still have an H. pylori infection, your doctor will likely try a different combination of medicines. He or she may also suggest that you see a Reference gastroenterologist Opens New Window. This specialist will do an endoscopy to look at your ulcer and to take a tissue sample (Reference biopsy Opens New Window).
Treatment if ulcers get worse
If you have serious complications from a peptic ulcer, such as bleeding or obstruction, you may need an Reference endoscopy, even if you have already had one.
If your stomach or intestine has a perforation or your ulcer continues to bleed despite treatment, you may need surgery. But surgery is rarely used to treat an ulcer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology