Painful sores that occur in the stomach lining or at the top of the small intestine (duodenum) are called peptic ulcers. While spicy and acidic foods can aggravate peptic ulcers, these do not cause the disease. No specific cause for it has been identified, although an imbalance in the stomach’s digestive juices is thought to be a factor. Symptoms of peptic ulcers can include serious upper abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, burning stomach pain between meals, dark stool, bloating, indigestion and weight loss. Left untreated, people with peptic ulcer disease can develop significant health complications such as internal bleeding, a perforation in their stomach lining or a gastric outlet obstruction. Treatment starts with conservative measures such as dietary and lifestyle modifications but can also include antibiotic and other medications and endoscopic surgery.