gastric ulcer

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An ulcer in the stomach, caused by the action of gastic acid and, pepsin, on the stomach lining (mucosa). The output of stomach acid is not usually increased. Taking NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and the presence of Helicobacter pylori are important predisposing factors. Symptoms include vomiting and pain in the upper abdomen soon after eating, and such complications as bleeding (see also haematemesis), perforation, and obstruction due to scarring may occur. Symptoms are relieved by antacid medicines, but most ulcers heal if treated by an antisecretory drug. Surgery may be required if the ulcer fails to heal. Since stomach cancer may mimic a gastric ulcer, all gastric ulcers should be examined by a gastroscope and biopsies taken to aid in their differentiation.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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