What is Peptic Ulcer Disease?

Peptic Ulcer Disease means that there is a tendency to, or possibility of developing an ulcer. The patient must be aware of this so that he or she can take measures to protect the stomach, even after an ulcer has healed. The steps involve certain lifestyle changes, such as avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol. Aspirin should be avoided at all times, even in small doses, unless discussed with the physician. In spite of these changes, ulcers may return and require some form of treatment indefinitely.

What are the Symptoms of PUD?

Ulcers may cause burning pain in the upper abdomen. This symptoms usually occurs several hours following a meal, after the food leaves the stomach, but while acid production is high. The burning sensation can occur during the night and be so extreme as to wake the patient. Instead of pain, some patients experience symptoms of intense hunger or bloating. Other patients have no pain but black stools, indicating that the ulcer has hemorrhaged. Bleeding is a serious complication of ulcers.


PUD can be diagnosed from a patient's medical history and the presence of risk factors. The diagnosis should be confirmed, however, by a test. Both Upper Intestinal endoscopies and Barium X-rays are used in confirming this diagnosis.


The physician will always evaluate each individual case and devise a comprehensive treatment program designed to heal the ulcer and prevent its recurrence. It may involve any or all of the following: Lifestyle changes, medications, diet, and/or antacids.


Metro Atlanta Gastroenterology, LLC
(404) 255-4333 • 5669 Peachtree Dunwoody Road • Suite 210 • Atlanta, GA 30342