Peptic ulcer

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noun, plural: peptic ulcers

An ulcer in certain areas in the gastrointestinal tract caused in part by diminished protective mechanisms that shield the lining of the gastrointestinal tract from the corrosive action of acids and pepsin in the gastric juice.


Peptic ulcers may form in the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and/or Meckel's diverticulum. Many cases of peptic ulcers are associated with the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria as well as the prolonged use of aspirin and similar drugs. Stress seems also a factor since it can increase acid secretions.

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