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Peptic Ulcer Disease - Treatment Overview

Left untreated, many ulcers eventually heal. But ulcers often recur if the cause of the ulcer is not eliminated or treated. If ulcers keep coming back, you have an increased risk of developing a serious complication, such as bleeding or a hole in the wall of your stomach or intestine.

Most of the time, treatment means taking medicines-such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)-and making lifestyle changes, including:

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Ruptured Spleen

The spleen is a delicate, fist-sized organ under your left rib cage near your stomach. It contains special white blood cells that destroy bacteria and help your body fight infections. The spleen also makes red blood cells and helps remove, or filter, old ones from the body's circulation. A layer of tissue entirely covers the spleen in a capsule-like fashion, except where veins and arteries enter the organ. This tissue, called the splenic capsule, helps protect the spleen from direct injury.

Read the Ruptured Spleen article > >

H. pylori infection

If your ulcer is caused by Helicobacter pyloriHelicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, treatment usually involves a combination of medicines, including antibiotics.

If treatment isn't working, you may need more tests to look for bacteria. If you still have an H. pylori infection, your doctor will likely try a different combination of medicines. He or she may also suggest that you see a gastroenterologist. This specialist will do an endoscopy to look at your ulcer and to take a tissue sample (biopsy).

Treatment if ulcers get worse

If you have serious complications from a peptic ulcer, such as bleeding or obstruction, you may need an endoscopy, even if you have already had one.

If your stomach or intestine has a perforation or your ulcer continues to bleed despite treatment, you may need surgery. But surgery is rarely used to treat an ulcer.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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