What is Peptic Ulcers?
Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach or small intestine. Peptic ulcers are common and cause abdominal pain. Stress and diet do not contribute to peptic ulcers as doctors previously thought. If the ulcer is located in the stomach it is called a gastric ulcer. If it is located in the duodenum of the small intestine it is called a duodenal ulcer.
What are the causes?
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – a bacteria that lives in the mucus lining of the stomach and intestines. Although H. pylori normally do not cause problems, sometimes it irritates and inflames the lining of the stomach or intestines causing an ulcer.
- Stomach acids (hydrochloric acid and pepsin) that help with digestion can also cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the stomach and intestines
- Excessive consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – pain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium make the stomach vulnerable to stomach acids
Treatments for Peptic Ulcers:
- Medications to destroy the h. pylori bacteria – antibiotics
- Medications to reduce the levels of acid in the stomach or intestine
- Acid blockers - H-2 blockers to reduce the amount of acid produced
- Antacids - neutralize acid
- Proton pump inhibitors - block acid production
- Cytoprotective agents – medicines to protect the lining of the stomach and intestines
- Surgery – only if your child does not respond to medications or complications develop
What can I do?
- Do not feed your child spicy, fatty or acidic foods – these foods do not cause ulcers but they can irritate existing ulcers
- Talk to your child’s doctor about the treatment plan in order to avoid complications
It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
- Burning abdominal pain
- Vomiting or vomiting blood
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Weakness and tiredness
- Blood in the stool