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.
The Medifocus Guide on Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD) provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of PUD?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing PUD?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of PUD?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of PUD?
What treatment options are available for the management of PUD?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in PUD?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for PUD?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about PUD?
What Your Doctor Reads:
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:
The use of consensus to develop guidelines for the management of Helicobacter pylori infection in primary care. European Society for Primary Care Gastroenterology. Family Practice. 2000
The management of Helicobacter pylori infection in primary care: a systematic review of the literature. Family Practice. 2000
Selective COX-2 inhibitors and gastrointestinal mucosal injury: pharmacological and therapeutic considerations. Journal of the Association for Academic Minority Physicians. 2000
Peptic ulcer disease: let's help cure it. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association. 2000
H pylori infection. Review of the guideline for diagnosis and treatment. Geriatrics. 2000
Acid suppression: optimizing therapy for gastroduodenal ulcer healing, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and stress-related erosive syndrome. Gastroenterology. 2000
Prevention of NSAID-related ulcers. Comprehensive Therapy. 2000
Current topics in the treatment of peptic ulcer. Internal Medicine. 2000
Surgical management of peptic ulcer disease today--indication, technique and outcome. Langenbecks Archives of Surgery. 2000
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