A peptic ulcer is when the lining of the stomach, the duodenum or esophagus gets a hole in it. An ulcer occurs when the digestive system's lining is corroded by digestive juices. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of adults around the world are affected by peptic ulcers at least once their lives.
A gastric ulcer is when a peptic ulcer affects the stomach. A duodenal ulcer is when it affects the duodenum, and an esophageal ulcer is when it affects the esophagus. When acidic digestive juices from stomach cells corrode the lining of these organs peptic ulcers can form.
The most common symptoms of peptic ulcers include:
-pain that feels like indigestion. This pain is often worse during sleeping hours, and can last up to several hours, occur from the belly button to the breast bone, feel worse on an empty stomach, be temporarily relieved by eating certain foods, and go away and return for days or weeks.
-trouble swallowing food
-regurgitation of food
-retching or feeling ill after eating
Severe symptoms include:
-black, tarry stools with dark blood
-nausea and vomiting
If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately. Over-the-counter treatments can provide temporary relief, but the root cause needs to be treated by a medical professional.
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