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Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Peptic Ulcer Disease

You have your own health history. Talk with your doctor about your risk factors and background with peptic ulcer disease. By talking openly and often with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

Tips for Getting Information

Here are some tips that will make it simpler for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask. They may also be able to provide more details to the doctor.
  • Write down your questions do you do not forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get and make sure you grasp what you are hearing. Ask for help if you need it.
  • Do not be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information. You have a right to know.

Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor

About Peptic Ulcers

  • What might have caused my peptic ulcer?
  • How might I have come into contact with Helicobacter pylori?
  • Should we take any steps to prevent other family members from getting H. pylori?

About Your Risk of Getting Peptic Ulcers

  • Could my ulcer come back?
  • How can I tell if my ulcer is coming back?
  • What can I do to lower my risk of getting a peptic ulcer?
  • What can I do to lower my risk of it coming back?
  • I use a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Is there anything I can do to lower my risk of getting a peptic ulcer?

About Treatment

  • Will I need an antibiotic?
  • Should I take more than one?
  • What other medicines will I need?
  • Will I need surgery?

About Habit Changes

  • Should I stop smoking?
  • Are there programs that can help me stop?
  • Should I stop drinking alcohol?

About Outlook

  • What is the chance that I will have a health problem?
  • What is the chance that my ulcer will come back?
  • What is the chance that I could get gastric cancer?
REFERENCES:

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Dyspepsia and gastro-esophageal reflux disease: Investigation and management of dyspepsia, symptoms suggestive of gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or both. NICE 2014 Sep:CG184.

Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/peptic-ulcer-disease. Updated April 2, 2018. Accessed February 3, 2020.

Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/peptic-ulcer-disease. Updated January 2020. Accessed February 3, 2020.

Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/peptic-ulcers-stomach-ulcers/all-content. Updated November 2014. Accessed February 3, 2020.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 2/3/2020