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Health Information Center

Reducing Your Risk of Peptic Ulcer Disease

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Reducing Your Risk of Peptic Ulcer Disease

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.


  • Lanas A, Chan FKL. Peptic ulcer disease. Lancet. 2017;390(10094):613-624.
  • Peptic ulcer disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/peptic-ulcer-disease. Accessed May 5, 2022.
  • Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/peptic-ulcer-disease. Accessed May 5, 2022.
  • Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/peptic-ulcers-stomach-ulcers/all-content. Accessed May 5, 2022.


  • Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.