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Clinical findings
A peptic ulcer is an erosion of the gastrointestinal mucosa. It may be found in the esophagus, stomach, and most often in the duodenum. Pain is caused by contact of the hydrochloric acid with the eroded surface. The pain is described as dull, gnawing, burning, or even piercing. The patient with a peptic ulcer is often anxious, tense, emotional, and one who strives for perfection in whatever he does. Usually there is increased secretion of gastric juice and increased motility. Many patients who have restricted their intake to relatively few foods have low blood proteins, anemia, and weight loss.
The objective of treatment is to heal the ulcer. Physical and mental rests are crucial not only during the acute illness but subsequent to full healing. Most patients require some guidance in modifying their life style so that there is less stress both at home and at work.
The physician prescribes one or more of these drugs: antacids to neutralize acid; anti-cholinergic agents to reduce acid secretion; and antispasmodics to reduce motility. Antacids interfere with iron absorption, and iron supplements may be prescribed to correct or prevent anemia.
The objectives of dietary management are to maintain good nutrition; to supply the nutrients needed to heal the ulcer, protein and ascorbic acid being especially important; and to provide foods that give the patient satisfaction and comfort.

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