• Talking to Your Healthcare Provider About Peptic Ulcer Disease

    You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with peptic ulcers. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.
    Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:
    • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and ask questions you might not have thought to ask.
    • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
    • Write down the answers you get, and ask for clarification, if necessary.
    • Don't be afraid to ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
    • What might have caused my peptic ulcer?
    • How might I have come into contact with Helicobacter pylori ?
    • Should we be taking any special precautions to prevent other family members from contracting H. pylori ?
    • Could my ulcer recur?
    • How can I tell if my ulcer is recurring?
    • What can I do to lower my risk of developing a peptic ulcer?
    • What can I do to lower my risk of recurrence?
    • I’m using a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Is there anything I can do to decrease my risk of developing a peptic ulcer?
    • Will I need an antibiotic?
    • Should I take more than one antibiotic?
    • What other medications will I need?
    • Will I need any surgical procedures?
    • Should I stop smoking?
    • What smoking cessation programs might be helpful?
    • Should I stop drinking alcohol?
    • What is the chance that I’ll develop a complication?
    • What is the chance that my ulcer will recur?
    • What is the chance that I could develop gastric cancer?


    H. pylori and peptic ulcers. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/index.aspx. Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed April 29, 2013.

    Meurer LN, Bower DJ. Management of helicobacter pylori infection. Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(7):1327-36.

    Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 22, 2013. Accessed April 29, 2013.

    Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/healthcare-management/working-with-your-doctor/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor.html. Updated November 2010. Accessed April 29, 2013

    Understanding peptic ulcer disease. American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/patient-center/digestive-conditions/peptic-ulcer-disease. Published April 23, 2010. Accessed April 29, 2013.

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