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What Is an Ulcer?

An ulcer of the stomach is most commonly a peptic ulcer. It is a sore on the lining of the stomach or duodenum, which is at the beginning of the small intestine. There are many causes of peptic ulcers, which include:

Ulcers are not caused by stress or eating certain food, but these can make ulcers worse.


Ulcers are a common complaint – affecting 1 in 10 Americans at some point in their lives. Symptoms of ulcers include:

  • Ache in the abdomen, which often feels like a gnawing pain

  • Pain that comes and goes, but is most frequent after a meal

  • Pain that wakes you up in the middle of the night

  • Pain that is relieved by eating or taking antacid medicine

Severe Symptoms

Severe symptoms of ulcers include:

  • Weight loss

  • Loss of appetite

  • Bloating

  • Burping

  • Nausea and vomiting

Treatment Options

A gastroenterologist will work closely with you to develop a plan that treats your ulcers and relieves symptoms. Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics – Ulcers caused by an infection can heal with antibiotics prescribed by your physician.

  • Antacids – Over-the-counter or prescription-strength antacids can help fight or reduce stomach acid.

  • Cyroprotective agents – Medicine to help protect stomach lining or the small intestine can help reduce symptoms while the ulcer heals.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of ulcers, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat ulcers.