Peptic Ulcer Diagnosis
Common Health Issues

Peptic Ulcer Diagnosis

An ulcer is simply a sore, and the word “peptic,” indicates that the sore is in the stomach or the duodenum. The disease is commonly referred to as ulcers and affects millions of people.


Its cause is not fully understood but it is associated with the presence of an excessive amount of acid gastric juices secreted by the stomach for purposes of digestion. People with ulcers have excessive secretions, not only after eating but also between meals and at night during sleep.


Because worry and anxiety can increase these secretions, ulcers are considered to be primarily a psychosomatic disease.


Peptic Ulcer Symptoms

The most common symptoms of peptic ulcer are: 

Pain and Discomfort: The victim of an ulcer feels either pain, a burning sensation or discomfort in the upper abdomen. These symptoms are usually felt about two or three hours after meals or in the middle of the night; sometimes the distress occurs sooner after eating. Nausea and vomiting can also occur. These so-called hunger pains generally subside promptly upon eating, drinking milk, or taking bicarbonate of soda or other antacids


Bleeding: Untreated peptic ulcers can cause a slow seeping of blood, resulting in anemia and the loss of health and strength. The bleeding may be in the form of a sudden hemorrhage and threatens life itself. Blood is sometimes vomited and appears brownish because of the effect of the stomach acids. Blood in the bowel movements may be responsible for black or tarry stools. In the case of a massive hemorrhage, the person becomes weak, faint and thirsty. He requires immediate medical attention and hospitalization. Full recovery often is a slow process




Perforation: An ulcer may perforate the wall of the stomach or duodenum. This causes excruciating pain in the upper abdomen. Patients have described it as “the worst pain of my life.” The victim must be rushed to the hospital for immediate surgery to prevent possible fatal consequences.




Peptic Ulcer Diagnosis

In order to diagnose peptic ulcer, the stomach acids are tested after a sample of the stomach content has been obtained by passing a tube through the mouth and esophagus. X rays of the stomach and duodenum are also taken. A gastroscopic examination in which the doctor looks into the stomach by means of an instrument resembling a periscope, is especially important to many cases.



Anyone with symptoms suggesting a peptic ulcer should see a doctor promptly. An ulcer that has caused only mild discomfort can suddenly threaten the victim’s life. Other potentially dangerous diseases can resemble a gastric ulcer; some of these require immediate treatment.



Peptic Ulcer Treatment

Ulcers can be successfully treated, but there is no quick and easy cure. The fundamental of the treatment are a bland diet (alcohol, tobacco, tea, coffee and spicy foods should be avoided) and medications to neutralize excess stomach acid. And ulcer that has been healed by medical treatment may return if emotional tensions persist.


Therefore, every effort should be made to help the person relax. Medicines such as barbiturates and other sedatives are sometimes given for this purpose.



Various operations have been attempted for the relief of ulcers. In an operation called a gastroenterostomy, the stomach content are by-passed from the duodenum into the jejunum, that portion of the small intestine that extends from the duodenum to the ileum. The procedure is not as successful as some doctors once hoped it might be, because the ulcer may recur at the new opening between the stomach and intestine.



This marginal, or jejunal, ulcer can be fully as troublesome as the original one. In another operation called subtotal gastrectomy, the acid-producing part of the stomach is cut away. It is a drastic operation and must be performed by an experienced surgeon. Still another operation, vagotomy, cuts the vagus nerves leading to the stomach and thus reduces the flow of acid in the stomach


Rich Health Editorial Team

Health Research

Rich Health Editorial Team is made up of medical practitioners and experienced writers who provide information for dealing with health issues in a simple and easy-to-understand manner