Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is abdominal pain.

Peptic ulcers include:

  • Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach
  • Esophageal ulcers that occur inside the hollow tube (esophagus) that carries food from your throat to your stomach
  • Duodenal ulcers that occur on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum)

It's a myth that spicy foods or a stressful job can cause peptic ulcers. Doctors now know that a bacterial infection or some medications — not stress or diet — cause most peptic ulcers.

Jul. 26, 2013