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How is a peptic ulcer diagnosed?

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A peptic ulcer is a sore on the inside of your stomach or at the top of your small intestine. It can cause repeated burning pain.

Your doctor will examine you and ask about your symptoms. Next, they may:

  • Take samples of your blood, poop, or breath for tests to check for signs of the H. pylori bacteria, which can cause peptic ulcers.
  • Use a long, flexible tube called an endoscope to look down your throat and into your stomach for signs of an ulcer. (You’ll be given medicine to make you sleepy.) An endoscope can also take a small sample of tissue from an ulcer that can be tested in a lab.
  • Have you drink a milky liquid called barium before he takes X-rays of your stomach. This drink coats your digestive system and makes problems like ulcers show up more clearly.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Peptic ulcers.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Peptic ulcers.”

The Mayo Clinic: “Peptic ulcer.”

American Family Physician: “Diagnosis and Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori Infection.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on September 20, 2017

SOURCES:

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Peptic ulcers.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Peptic ulcers.”

The Mayo Clinic: “Peptic ulcer.”

American Family Physician: “Diagnosis and Treatment of Peptic Ulcer Disease and H. pylori Infection.”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on September 20, 2017

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How is a peptic ulcer treated?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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