A peptic ulcer is a break, tear, or hole in the lining of the stomach or duodenum -- the opening to the small intestine. The most common cause of damage to the lining that protects the stomach is an imbalance in the pH of the digestive juices. Because of the highly acidic nature of digestive juices, peptic ulcers can be excruciating and most the time are difficult to ignore. If they do go undiagnosed or treated, they can lead to dangerous health complications.
Abdominal pain that comes on after a meal, as the stomach empties and the digestive juices are agitated, can indicate an ulcer. The pain generally come in waves and may be stabbing, burning, or sharp.
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