Dr Stephen John Middleton MA MD FRCP FAHE
If left untreated ulcers can cause problems such as pain and can sometimes bleed or erode through the lining and cause a hole in the gut called a perforation. It is therefore important to have ulcers diagnosed and treated promptly. Ulcers often cause pain which can be related to eating, either increased in the case of stomach ulcers or reduced, which often indicates a duodenal ulcer. Your GP may whish to check for H. pylori infection, which can be done by stool or blood test and there is also a breath test.
H.pylori can be eradicated by a combination of acid blockers and antibiotics. This usually stops any more ulcers forming unless the infection returns which can occur on rare occasions. If drugs are the cause an alternative should be found if possible. Sometimes no cause is found and then drugs that reduce acid may be required to prevent recurrent ulceration.