An ulcer is a breakdown in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine. A type of bacterial infection is the most frequent cause, but lifestyle factors may also raise the risk. The following preventive steps may ward off a peptic ulcer:

• Limit alcohol to no more than two drinks daily.

• Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.

• If you need to take painkillers, avoid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen, ibuprofen or aspirin.

• Consider, with your doctor’s approval, paracetamol instead.

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