Symptoms Of Peptic Ulcers
Peptic ulcers also called duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, and stomach ulcers, are most commonly caused by the infection of bacteria known as H pylori. This infection leads to the formation of sores, or ulcers, in the first layer of the protective lining of the stomach. The development of these sores, or lesions, can lead to many symptoms.
The Most Common Symptom of a Peptic UlcerThe most common symptom associated with peptic ulcers is a pain or burning in the stomach. This pain is usually located between the navel area and the breastbone and is most apparent when the stomach is empty of food. The pain can vary in intensity, and is sometimes described as a stabbing pain, a dull ache, or a burning sensation.
If the ulcer is located in the duodenum the pain will usually develop anywhere from three to five hours after a meal, or during the middle of the night when the stomach is at its most empty. The pain caused by this type of stomach ulcer is usually relieved by the consumption of food. However, the pain from a gastric ulcer will develop soon after consuming a meal and is made worse by continued eating. In both cases, the pain can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and will come and go over a period of days or weeks.
Other Possible Stomach Ulcer SymptomsAlong with the expected pain of an stomach ulcer many individuals also experience a variety of other symptoms. Other common peptic ulcer symptoms include weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and a general ill feeling of the abdomen. Weight loss and the loss of appetite can be caused by the tendency to avoid food or eating since consumption can make symptoms worse. Nausea and vomiting are attributed to the ulcer lesion and excess acid in the stomach. In some cases individuals may also experience feelings of fullness, abdominal bloating, increased belching, sensations of food regurgitation, shortness of breath, fatigue, and anaemia.
The hidden bleeding associated with some peptic ulcers causes anaemia, and the loss of blood can lead to general weakness and feelings of tiredness. If the condition is allowed to progress it can cause low blood iron levels, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness and fainting.
When To See A Doctor About Your UlcerAside from the more common symptoms of peptic ulcers, there are a few symptoms that can develop that require immediate medical attention. The development of any of these symptoms could indicate a more serious complication, such as intestinal perforation, intestinal obstruction, or haemorrhage. These symptoms include the presence of blood in vomit or stool, increased or more severe vomiting, increased or more severe abdominal pain, pain that radiates to the back, and difficulty swallowing.
Since the most common symptoms of a peptic U can be mistaken for or confused with the symptoms of other disorders, such as gallbladder disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, liver disease, and even heart attack, it is important to have any symptoms checked by a doctor. Only after a proper diagnosis about your ulcer has been made can accurate, effective treatment be started.