Limit NSAID Use

Limit nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Only use the minimum amount when needed.

Practice Good Hygiene

H. pylori infection is a common cause of peptic ulcer disease. Washing hands often and only drinking water from a safe source can help lower this risk.

Quit Smoking

Smoking causes inflammation and increases stomach acid.

Drink Alcohol in Moderation

Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining. The risk of ulcers in higher in those who drink and take certain medicines, such as NSAIDs. Limit alcohol to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women.


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: Updated April 2, 2018. Accessed February 3, 2020.

Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated January 2020. Accessed February 3, 2020.

Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: Updated November 2014. Accessed February 3, 2020.

Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD  Last Updated: 2/9/2021