Updated 20 December 2017

What are peptic ulcers?

Peptic ulcers are sores in the lining of the stomach, duodenum or oesophagus.


A peptic ulcer is a sore in the protective lining (mucosal lining) of the gastrointestinal (digestive) tract and develops when the lining is damaged. The acid secreted by the stomach cells eat away at thewall of the stomach or upper small intestine, forming an ulcer.  

Revised and reviewed by Dr John P Wright MBChB, MRCP (UK), PhD. Gastroenterologist in private practice, Cape Town. February 2015

Previously reviewed by Prof Jan van Zyl, Department of Gastroenterology, University of the Free State, July 2011



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