This is a sore, or sores, that develop in the lining of the stomach.
A peptic ulcer is a sore that develops in the lining of the upper gastrointestinal tract. The upper gastrointestinal tract includes the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small bowel (duodenum).
An upper endoscopy with biopsy is an examination of the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). It may be recommended if you have symptoms of an ulcer.
The stomach produces acid and other substances that help break down (digest) the food we eat. Normally, the lining of the stomach and small bowel is protected from potential harmful effects of acid.
About half of all peptic ulcers are associated with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, or simply H. pylori. However, most people who carry H. pylori do not develop ulcers.
For many people, the symptoms of a peptic ulcer are mild or barely noticeable.
Other symptoms of a peptic ulcer may include:
Severe symptoms associated with a peptic ulcer include:
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a peptic ulcer. He or she will ask questions about your medical history and do a physical examination.
If your healthcare provider recommends an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, prior to the procedure tell them about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications and supplements). Ask about specific instructions you should follow before the procedure. These may include:
Remember to arrange for transportation to and from the facility and for help at home.
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of a peptic ulcer.
If an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is recommended, what should I ask before the procedure?
After your endoscopy, your healthcare provider should provide a description of any problems found during the procedure and how they treated them. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans.
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