Also known as:
Peptic ulcer, Duodenal ulcer, Gastric ulcer
A peptic ulcer is a sore in the inner lining of the stomach or upper small intestine (duodenum). Ulcers develop when the intestine or stomach's protective layer is broken down. When this happens, digestive juices can damage the intestine or stomach tissue. These strong juices, which contain hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin, also can injure the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that leads from your throat to your stomach.
Peptic ulcers are no longer a condition that most people have to live with their entire lives. Treatment cures most ulcers. And symptoms go away quickly.
Peptic ulcers that form in the stomach are called gastric ulcers. Those that form in the upper small intestine are called duodenal (say "doo-uh-DEE-nul" or "doo-AW-duh-nul") ulcers.