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Peptic Ulcer Disease
(GS016)

Introduction


A peptic ulcer is an open wound or raw area on the lining of the upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcer) or the stomach (gastric ulcer). Ulcers develop when an imbalance occurs between the digestive juices used by the stomach to break down food and the various factors that protect the lining of the stomach and duodenum. Ulcers are usually one-quarter to one-half inch in diameter.

One in every ten Americans develops an ulcer at some point in life. Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) affects all age groups, including children. Men are affected twice as often as women. Duodenal ulcers tend to occur between the ages of 25 - 75, while gastric ulcers peak between the ages of 55 and 65.

PUD was once thought to be caused by stress, spicy food and alcohol and the treatment was bedrest and a bland diet. The role of stomach acid was then discovered and antacids were introduced into the therapeutic regimen. In 1982, however, bacteria called Helicobacter (H.) pylori appeared to be a major factor in PUD.

Treatment of PUD consists of medications to lower stomach acid and antibiotics to treat H. pylori if present. Dietary interventions are also very important. Surgery may be needed for persons with persistent or recurrent bleeding.

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The Medifocus Guide on Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:


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This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:


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