A Closer Look At the Types of Peptic Ulcers

Do you have a recurring, burning stomach pain that isn’t relieved by over-the-counter medication? You may have an ulcer, a common condition that can be detrimental to your quality of life. There are two main types of peptic ulcers, and we’ll review them as well as provide insight into symptoms and effective treatments. 

At RMG Gastroenterology, we’ve specialized in treating patients with various ulcers, helping them through every step of the process from the initial diagnosis to recovery. With a team of board-certified expert gastroenterologists in Raleigh, we also have multiple convenient locations throughout the area to serve you. All you have to do is complete a brief appointment request form to get started. 

What Is a Peptic Ulcer?

A peptic ulcer occurs when open sores develop within the stomach lining. These can also appear in the upper region of your small intestine. 

The mucus lining of your stomach protects your digestive tract from the harsh acid of the stomach and other digestive juices. When there’s a hole or compromise in this protective lining, then an ulcer—a sore or lesion—develops.

Exploring the Types of Peptic Ulcers

Peptic Ulcers

This term describes ulcers that appear in both the stomach and the first part of the small intestine (which is called the duodenum). Typically, these ulcers are associated with a bacterium known as H. pylori, which weakens your stomach’s protective mucosal layer. Long-term use of NSAIDs– such as Advil and Motrin IB–also contribute to the development of peptic ulcers.

Despite popular belief, eating spicy foods and experiencing stress do not cause peptic ulcers. However, if you have an ulcer, they can make the signs and symptoms worse and more intense. 

Types of Peptic Ulcers

There are two main types of peptic ulcers:

Gastric ulcers: These appear on the inside of the stomach.

Duodenal ulcers: These appear on the inside section of your upper small intestine. 

What Are the Common Symptoms of a Peptic Ulcer?

Symptoms of peptic ulcers include:

Burning abdominal pain
Dark or bloody stools
Difficulty tolerating fatty foods

How Are Peptic Ulcers Treated?

Ulcers can be treated with acid-reducing medications—also known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2 blockers. These can reduce the amount of stomach acid, allowing the ulcer a chance to heal.

However, if it is clear that an H. pylori infection causes the ulcer, then we prescribe appropriate antibiotics. 

In certain cases, we may even prescribe certain cytoprotective agents. These are medications that protect the lining of your stomach. Examples of these medicines include Carafate and Cytotec. 

What Are the Risk Factors for Developing Ulcers?

Certain things can increase your risk of developing ulcers. These include:

Experiencing repeated, untreated stress
Consuming alcohol
Eating spicy foods

By themselves, these factors do not cause ulcers per se, but they can make ulcers progressively worse.

How Do You Rule Out One of These Types of Peptic Ulcers?

To rule out a type of peptic ulcer –either a gastric or duodenal ulcer– we’ll take your complete medical history and run some tests. These may include:

Comprehensive Treatment for Types of Peptic Ulcers is Available at RMG Gastroenterology

Our state-certified endoscopy facility provides the latest state-of-the-art medicine coupled with compassionate care, which helps us provide timely treatment for both gastric and duodenal ulcers. If left untreated, these types of peptic ulcers can cause more serious medical complications, so if you believe you have an ulcer, we encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible.

If you have any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact us to schedule an appointment to find relief from the pain of peptic ulcers.