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Ulcer sidelines Springsteen for September, recovery expected

The Boss is taking an unexpected breather and postponing his September shows, citing doctors’ orders.
Bruce Springsteen, left, and Steven Van Zandt perform on tour at MetLife Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

The Boss is taking an unexpected breather and postponing his September shows, citing doctors’ orders.

Bruce Springsteen announced on his website Wednesday that he was postponing shows for the remainder of the month while he is treated for symptoms of “peptic ulcer disease.”

The disease causes ulcers to form in the stomach or small intestine that can cause heartburn, nausea and stomach pain.

The postponed shows including scheduled stops in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Albany and Syracuse in New York, Pittsburgh, Washington, and shows in Connecticut and Ohio.

“Over here on E Street, we’re heartbroken to have to postpone these shows,” Springsteen said in a statement posted on his site and social media. “We’ll be back to pick up these shows and then some.”

Springsteen, renowned for his high-energy, three-hour concerts with the E Street Band, recently performed three nights of shows in his home state of New Jersey.

Springsteen and the E Street Band’s first tour in six years kicked off in Tampa, Florida, in February. He was forced to postpone shows planned for Albany, Connecticut and Columbus, Ohio, in March due to illness.

Fans who aren’t familiar with this common and potentially serious gastrointestinal problem may wonder how it could sideline The Boss, who turns 74 later this month. Here’s what to know about the disease:


It’s a condition marked by open sores that develop on the inside lining of the stomach and the small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The most common symptoms are burning stomach pain, heartburn, nausea and bloating or belching.

About 8 million people worldwide suffer from it.


The most common cause of peptic ulcers is long-term use of anti-inflammatory pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen, according to Dr. Lawrence Kosinski of the American Gastroenterological Association.

“As you get older, they’re more injurious to the lining of the stomach,” he said.

Another cause may be an infection with bacteria called Helicobacter pylori.

Contrary to common belief, stress and spicy foods don’t cause these ulcers, though they can make the symptoms worse. Alcohol use, even at moderate levels, can also exacerbate the problem, Kosinski said.


Peptic ulcer disease can be dangerous, leading to bleeding and emergency situations such as perforation of the ulcer through the stomach.

Typical treatment uses common drugs called proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, which can help heal the ulcers within four to six weeks.

People who are treated “recover completely from peptic ulcer disease,” Kosinski said.

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