It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of ulcers so you can take appropriate treatment measures. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about ulcers with a search online right now.
The most common type of ulcer – which forms in the lining of the stomach or small intestine – is a peptic ulcer, which is caused by the H. pylori bacterium or the prolonged use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Abdominal pain is a common symptom of an ulcer. It can feel like a dull ache, burning pain, or a gnawing sensation. The pain is usually felt in the upper abdomen, but it can also occur in the chest or lower abdomen. The pain may come and go or be constant. It may be relieved by eating or taking antacids, but it can also worsen after eating.
Indigestion is a feeling of discomfort or fullness after eating. It can be a sign of an ulcer, particularly a duodenal ulcer. The discomfort may be accompanied by bloating, belching, or nausea.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting can occur if the ulcer is located in the stomach. The vomit may contain blood or have a ground coffee-like appearance.
Loss of Appetite
An ulcer can cause a loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss. This symptom may be more pronounced if the pain associated with the ulcer is severe.
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest or throat. It can occur if stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but it can also be a sign of an ulcer.
Bloating and Belching
Bloating or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen can occur due to the buildup of gas. Belching may also occur. These symptoms can be mistaken for indigestion, but they can also be a sign of an ulcer.
An ulcer can cause bleeding in the stomach or small intestine, which can result in dark, tarry stools. The blood in the stool may not be visible to the naked eye, but it can be detected through a fecal occult blood test.
Fatigue and weakness may occur if an ulcer causes blood loss. Anemia can develop if the ulcer bleeds frequently or heavily. Anemia can cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.
Anxiety or a feeling of unease may occur if an ulcer causes chronic pain or discomfort. The pain may be unpredictable, which can cause anxiety and stress.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
An ulcer can cause chronic blood loss, which can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and pale skin.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. These symptoms can also be signs of other health conditions. Treatment for an ulcer may include antibiotics to kill the H. pylori bacterium, acid-reducing medications, and avoiding NSAIDs. In some cases, surgery may be necessary.