Peptic Ulcer Disease
Many people who have peptic ulcers may not see a doctor when their symptoms begin. Their symptoms, such as belly pain, may come and go. Even without treatment, some ulcers will heal by themselves.
And even with treatment, ulcers sometimes come back. Certain factors such as cigarette smoking and continued use of Reference nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Opens New Window increase the risk of ulcers coming back.
Sometimes Reference ulcers can cause complications, such as bleeding, perforation, penetration, or obstruction. That's why it's important to treat an ulcer, even if you have one that isn't causing any symptoms.
Most peptic ulcers without complications heal, regardless of the cause. But an ulcer is likely to come back if you have an H. pylori infection that is not successfully treated. Recurring ulcers caused by reinfection with H. pylori are not common in the United States, except in areas that are overcrowded or have poor sanitation.
Ulcers in the stomach (gastric ulcers) often heal more slowly than ulcers in the upper small intestine (duodenal ulcers).
|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