Gastric ulcer. Excised region of the human stomach containing a bleeding gastric (peptic) ulcer. At centre is the peptic ulcer, a crater-like breach in the lining of the stomach caused by digestion of the wall (mucosa) by stomach acid, pepsin and bile. Symptoms of an ulcer include vomiting and stomach pain shortly after eating. Bleeding from the ulcer, as here, is the commonest complication; perforation of the stomach wall or obstruction due to scarring may occur. Alcohol, bacteria, smoking, and certain drugs irritate an ulcer by affecting the protective mucous of the stomach wall. Treatment is with antacid medicines, and surgery may be required if the ulcer persists.
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