Microsoft word - diet-peptic ulcer disease

Board Certified in Gastroenterology
Nick Sharma, M.D. Brian D. Feiock, M.D. Brian E. Longendyke, D.O. Michael Weiss, M.D.
Michael W. Bays, D.O. Srinivas Raju, M.D. Ramesh Koka, M.D. Tal Hazan, M.D. Julian Perez, M.D.

— Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is a chronic (long lasting) condition that affects the gastrointestinal (GI)
tract or digestive system. PUD causes ulcers (sores or lesions) in the lining (mucosa) of the stomach or first part of the
small intestine (duodenum). Peptic ulcer disease often results in burning pain in the upper center of the abdomen.
In addition to the foods that we eat, a number of other substances also come in contact with the digestive tract. Some of
these substances can be harmful to the gastric (stomach) or intestinal mucosa. Substances that can damage the lining of
the stomach and duodenum include oral medications (e.g., nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs]),
microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, parasites), and chemicals produced by the body during digestion (e.g., stomach [gastric]
acid, pancreatic enzymes, bile). Digestion is the process of breaking down food into a form that can be absorbed into the
bloodstream and used by the body.
Normally, a complex defense system helps to protect the lining of the digestive tract and repair damage to the
gastrointestinal mucosa. This defense system includes the production of mucus and certain chemicals (e.g., bicarbonate),
and blood circulation in the GI tract. Mucus coats and protects the lining of the GI tract, chemicals help neutralize stomach
(gastric) acid, and blood flow helps to renew the lining of the digestive tract and repair damaged cells. Peptic ulcer
disease occurs as a result of inflammation, damage, or a structural defect in the GI tract that disrupts this defense system,
allowing ulcers (sores or lesions) to develop in the stomach or duodenum. These sores, called peptic ulcers, are larger
than 5 mm in size and reach into the layer beneath the mucosa (submucosa). Peptic ulcers that form in the lining of the
stomach are called gastric ulcers and those that form in the lining of the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers.
Sign and Symptoms — The most common symptom of peptic ulcer disease is burning pain in the upper center of the
abdomen (called epigastric pain). Pain often comes and goes, improves after eating, and worsens when the stomach is empty
(about 2 or 3 hours after eating). Many patients experience severe pain during the middle of the night.
Other PUD symptoms include the following:
In patients who have peptic ulcer disease, stress, diet (e.g., spicy foods, foods that are high in fat), alcohol, and smoking can
worsen symptoms. Peptic ulcer disease can cause serious complications that require immediate treatment. These
complications include the following:
 Perforation (formation of a hole in the GI tract)  Obstruction (blockage) of the GI tract Perforation, which also is called ulceration, is caused by digestive acids that burn through the mucosa and the gastric or
duodenal tissue beneath the mucosa. Perforation of the stomach or small intestine can cause peritonitis (inflammation of the
abdominal lining), which often requires surgery and aggressive antibiotic therapy.
Disease Treatment — Treatment for peptic ulcer disease (PUD) depends on the underlying cause and the severity of the
condition. PUD usually is treated using medications.Peptic ulcer disease caused by Helicobacter pylori infection requires
antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin [Amoxil®, Trimox®], clarithromycin [Biaxin®], metronidazole [Flagyl®], tetracycline [Sumycin®]) to
destroy the bacteria.In most cases, "triple therapy," which consists of two antibiotics and another type of medicine to promote
healing and reduce symptoms is used. To work with the antibiotics, physicians often prescribe one or more of the following:
 Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs; e.g., Prilosec®, Nexium®, Prevacid®)  Histamine-2 (H-2) blockers (e.g., Pepcid®, Tagamet®, Zantac®)  Bismuth subsalicylate (e.g., Pepto-Bismol®) This combination of medicines generally is taken for 10 to 14 days. Patients who have peptic ulcer disease should take all
medications as directed, even if symptoms improve during treatment. Antacids may be used to reduce pain and other
symptoms during treatment.
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In addition to medications, peptic ulcer disease treatment also may involve lifestyle modifications, such as smoking cessation,
stress reduction, and dietary changes (e.g., avoiding foods that worsen symptoms). Patients who have PUD should avoid taking
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
In rare cases, surgery may be performed to treat severe peptic ulcer disease that does not respond to medications or to treat
complications of PUD (e.g., perforation, obstruction). Types of PUD surgery include vagotomy (used to reduce the production of
stomach [gastric] acid), pyloroplasty (used to widen the lower portion of the stomach [pylorus]), and partial gastrectomy (removal
of part of the stomach).
Complications of surgery include the following:

Prognosis and Prevention of Peptic Ulcer Disease — When the underlying cause for peptic ulcer disease is
successfully treated, the prognosis (expected outcome) for patients with the condition is excellent. To help prevent peptic ulcers,
avoid the following:
 Common sources of Helicobacter pylori bacteria (e.g., contaminated food and water, floodwater, raw sewage)  Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) Good hygiene can help reduce the risk for peptic ulcer disease caused by Helicobacter pylori infection. Washing the hands
thoroughly with warm soapy water after using the restroom and before eating and avoiding sharing eating utensils and drinking
glasses also can reduce the spread of bacteria that can cause PUD.

Causes and Risk Factors for Peptic Ulcer Disease —
The most common cause for peptic ulcer disease is Helicobacter
(pronounced HEE-li-co BACK-ter pie-LOR-ee or HELL-uh-koh-BAK-tur py-LOH-ree) infection, also called H. pylori
infection. Helicobacter pylori are spiral-shaped bacteria that are found in contaminated food and water. These bacteria, which
were formerly called Campylobacter pylori, spread through close contact (e.g., sharing drinking glasses and eating utensils) and
poor hygiene.
H. pylori infection occurs when these bacteria attach to the lining of the stomach or small intestine, multiply, and release toxins
that cause mucosal inflammation and damage. Helicobacter pylori infection can cause peptic ulcer disease, gastritis
(inflammation of the stomach lining), and other complications (e.g., stomach [gastric] cancer).
Long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, also can damage
the lining of the GI tract and cause peptic ulcer disease. These medications, which are used to reduce pain and inflammation,
should be used only as directed. When used in combination with NSAIDs, corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone) further increase
the risk for peptic ulcers.
In most cases, peptic ulcer disease caused by Helicobacter pylori infection or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs resolves
once the infection is treated or the medication is discontinued.
Serious illnesses (e.g., liver disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD], kidney failure) can increase the risk for
developing peptic ulcer disease. Trauma resulting from physical stress (e.g., severe burns, traumatic brain injury [TBI], surgery)
also can increase the risk for PUD.
Diagnosis of Peptic Ulcer Disease — Diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease involves taking a medical and family history and
performing a physical examination and diagnostic tests. In most cases, an upper GI series and an upper endoscopy are
performed to diagnose PUD.
In an upper GI series, the patient drinks a contrast solution (e.g., barium) and a series of x-rays are taken of the upper
gastrointestinal tract (i.e., the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine). The contrast solution produces clearer images of the
lining of the GI tract and helps the physician detect ulcers.
Upper endoscopy involves passing a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera attached through the throat and into the stomach and
upper portion of the small intestine (duodenum). Upper endoscopy, which is performed under sedation, allows the physician to
visualize the lining of the GI tract and detect ulcers. During this procedure, a small piece of tissue can be removed for
microscopic evaluation (called a biopsy).
Once a diagnosis of peptic ulcer disease has been made, other laboratory tests (e.g., breath tests, blood tests, stool tests) are
performed to determine if the condition is caused by bacteria (e.g., Helicobacter pylori).
4790 Barkley Circle, Bldg. A Fort Myers, FL 33907 (239) 275-8882 Fax (239) 275-1969
1425 Viscaya Parkway, Suite 101 Cape Coral, FL 33990 (239) 458-0822



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