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Stomach Ulcer

Stomach Ulcer services offered in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, Clayton, Wilson, Henderson, Smithfield and Fuquay-Varina, NC

Stomach Ulcer

About Stomach Ulcer

Stomach ulcers develop when acid eats into the tissues lining your stomach and duodenum. To find the cause of your ulcers, visit Wake Endoscopy’s office in Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, Clayton, or Wilson, North Carolina. The practice’s dedicated gastroenterology team uses cutting-edge diagnostics and the most up-to-date treatments to heal stomach ulcers. Call the nearest Wake Endoscopy office or schedule a consultation online to get relief from painful stomach ulcers.

Stomach Ulcer Q&A

What is a stomach ulcer?

Ulcers are painful sores. Stomach (peptic) ulcers have two forms: Gastric ulcers affect the inside of your stomach, while duodenal ulcers affect the upper section of your small intestine (duodenum).

Stomach ulcers cause unpleasant symptoms such as:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux (heartburn)
  • Nausea
  • Feeling overfull
  • Bloating
  • Frequent belching
  • Trouble digesting fatty foods

What causes stomach ulcers?

Stomach ulcers develop when acid, infection, or certain medications injure the tissues lining your stomach and/or duodenum. Stomach acid is normal in the body, but the lining of the stomach is protected from the acid by a mucous layer that coats the lining and protects the tissue. 

However, if something causes stomach acid levels to rise excessively or the mucous layer isn’t thick enough, acid and other causes may damage the underlying tissues. The most common stomach ulcer causes are:

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria

  1. pylori infection is common and often causes no problems. However, it can lead to stomach ulcers in some people and rarely stomach cancer. If the bacteria is diagnosed, then it can be treated with antibiotics. 

Before H. pylori was discovered as a leading cause of stomach ulcers, physicians would implicate other factors such as stress, alcohol, spicy foods, and smoking. These other factors may not cause ulcers but can contribute to ulcer formation and prevent adequate healing of ulcers. 


Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lead to ulcer development. NSAIDs include popular over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen. Taking steroids can also increase the risk of ulcers. 

How does my provider diagnose stomach ulcers?

Diagnosing stomach ulcers begins with a symptom and medical history evaluation and a physical exam. The Wake Endoscopy team may recommend one or more diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Stool antigen test
  • Urea breath test

These tests can identify H. pylori infection; however, it may be better to “look” in your stomach to identify an ulcer due to another cause besides H. pylori infection. This is the advantage of an endoscopy. 

An endoscopy (EGD) is where your physician passes an endoscope (a long, flexible tube with a light and camera at the tip) into your stomach, easing the tube into your digestive system the same way food does. You are asleep for this painless procedure. They may take tissue samples for lab analysis.

What treatments do stomach ulcers need?

If medication is causing your ulcers, your provider finds alternatives. If the cause is H. pylori infection, specific antibiotics kill the bacteria. Medications that help heal ulcers include:

  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Histamine (H-2) blockers
  • Antacids
  • Cytoprotective agents

If you have a bleeding ulcer, the Wake Endoscopy team can stop the bleeding during your EGD.

Call Wake Endoscopy or book an appointment online today for a thorough stomach ulcer assessment.