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Duodenal Ulcer, Peptic Ulcer Disease

If a body fails to neutralize the acid from the stomach or if the stomach makes too much acid and overcomes the ability of the duodenum to neutralize it, an ulcer may develop in the first portion of the duodenum. The symptoms caused by an ulcer may be pain when the stomach is empty (often relieved when food or antacid is ingested), nausea, vomiting or digested blood in the stool (bowel movement). The stool would appear black, sticky and have a foul odor. If bleeding occurs, one should consult his physician immediately! Most ulcers can be treated medically with a variety of medications. Surgery is indicated for any of the four following reasons:

1. Intractable pain - pain uncontrollable with medication.
2. Obstruction - scar tissue associated with the ulcer that has caused a narrowing of the small intestine.
3. Hemorrhage - bleeding which cannot be controlled by medical means
4. Perforation - the ulcer has penetrated through the wall of the small intestine causing leakage of the contents into the abdominal cavity.