Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is abdominal pain.
Peptic ulcers include:
- Gastric ulcers that occur on the inside of the stomach
- Esophageal ulcers that occur inside the hollow tube (esophagus) that carries food from your throat to your stomach
- Duodenal ulcers that occur on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine (duodenum)
It's a myth that spicy foods or a stressful job can cause peptic ulcers. Doctors now know that a bacterial infection or some medications — not stress or diet — cause most peptic ulcers.