Peptic ulcer disease - discharge
A peptic ulcer is an open sore or raw area in the lining of the stomach (gastric ulcer) or upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcer). This article describes how to care for yourself after you have been treated by your health care provider for this condition.
Ulcer - peptic - discharge; Ulcer - duodenal - discharge; Ulcer - gastric - discharge; Duodenal ulcer - discharge; Gastric ulcer - discharge; Dyspepsia - ulcer - discharge; Peptic ulcer discharge
What to Expect at Home
You have peptic ulcer disease (PUD). You may have had tests to help diagnose your ulcer. One of these tests may have been to look for bacteria in your stomach called Helicobacter pylori (H pylori). This type of infection is a common cause of ulcers.
Most peptic ulcers will heal within about 4 to 6 weeks after treatment begins. DO NOT stop taking the medicines you have been prescribed, even if symptoms go away quickly.
Diet and Lifestyle
People with PUD should eat a healthy balanced diet.
It does not help to eat more often or increase the amount of milk and dairy products you consume. These changes may even cause more stomach acid.
Other things you can do to ease your symptoms and help healing include:
Avoid drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn). Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) to relieve pain. Take all medicines with plenty of water.
The standard treatment for a peptic ulcer and an H pylori infection uses a combination of medicines that you take for 5 to 14 days.
If you have an ulcer without an H pylori infection, or one that is caused by taking aspirin or NSAIDs, you will likely need to take a proton pump inhibitor for 8 weeks.
Taking antacids as needed between meals, and then at bedtime, may help healing also. Ask your provider about taking these medicines.
Talk to your provider about your medicine choices if your ulcer was caused by aspirin, ibuprofen, or other NSAIDs. You may be able to take a different anti-inflammatory drug. Or, your provider may have you take a drug called misoprostol or a PPI to prevent future ulcers.
You will have follow-up visits to see how your ulcer is healing especially if the ulcer was in the stomach.
Your provider may want to perform an upper endoscopy after treatment if the ulcer was in your stomach. This is to make sure healing has taken place and there are no signs of cancer.
You will also need follow-up testing to check that the H pylori bacteria are gone. You should wait at least 2 weeks after therapy is completed to be retested. Test results before that time may not be accurate.
When to Call the Doctor
Get medical help right away if you:
Call your provider if:
Chan FKL, Lau JYW. Peptic ulcer disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 53.
Kuipers EJ, Blaser MJ. Acid peptic disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 139.
Vincent K. Gastritis and peptic ulcer disease. In: Kellerman RD, Rakel DP, eds. Conn's Current Therapy 2019. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier 2019:204-208.
Review Date: 3/27/2019
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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