Bruce Springsteen postpones tour: What to know about health condition he's experiencing

The E Street Band leader is being treated for peptic ulcer disease.

September 28, 2023, 1:08 PM

With Bruce Springsteen no longer touring for the rest of this year, the spotlight has been turned on the health condition that caused him to postpone multiple performances.

Springsteen is being treated for peptic ulcer disease, a diagnosis he first revealed publicly earlier this month.

According to a message shared Wednesday on Springsteen's official Instagram account, the 74-year-old singer is now "on the mend," but will need to continue treatment for the remainder of the year.

"Bruce Springsteen has continued to recover steadily from peptic ulcer disease over the past few weeks and will continue treatment through the rest of the year on doctor's advice," the statement read. "With this in mind, and out of an abundance of caution, all remaining 2023 tour dates for Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band will be postponed until 2024."

PHOTO: Bruce Springsteen performs at Villa Park on June 16, 2023 in Birmingham, England.
Bruce Springsteen performs at Villa Park on June 16, 2023 in Birmingham, England.
Steve Thorne/Redferns via Getty Images, FILE

Springsteen was originally supposed to resume touring Nov. 2 in Vancouver, after postponing shows in September, with a final two-night run in San Francisco, Dec. 10 and 12.

What to know about peptic ulcer disease

Springsteen is not alone in suffering from ulcers, which affect as many as 6% of people in the United States, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief medical correspondent and a board-certified OB-GYN, explained that peptic ulcer disease is the medical term for ulcers, which are small sores on the lining of the stomach.

"These are ulcerations or little erosions that can occur," Ashton said. "They can be tiny or they can be very large and significant, either in the body of the stomach or the duodenum, in the upper part of the small intestine."

Peptic ulcers can be caused by a bacterial infection or consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. Lifestyle factors like smoking and drinking alcohol can increase risks of developing ulcers, according to the NIDDK.

The most common symptoms of ulcers include abdominal pain -- particularly in the area between the belly button and breastbone -- as well as bloating, nausea and vomiting and feeling full after eating, according to the NIDDK.

In many cases, a person may not experience any symptoms of a peptic ulcer until there is a complication, like dizziness or fainting, blood in the stool, a rapid pulse or very severe abdominal pain.

"They can cause internal bleeding. They can cause a lot of pain. They can then affect how you're able to eat, obviously, because of where they're located," Ashton said of ulcers. "So, when you put all of those things together, you can appreciate, on the spectrum of severity, how it can become severe."

Ashton said that people who are experiencing symptoms should seek out a medical professional.

Doctors diagnose ulcers through physical examinations as well as testing including blood, breath and stool tests, according to the NIDDK.

Treatment for peptic ulcers depends on the severity of the condition but can include medications such as antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers, according to the NIDDK.

Depending on the severity, treatment for peptic ulcers can take as long as several months.