It is important to note that pain is the prevalent symptom of stomach ulcer and usually described as gnawing and burning pain. This can occur in just a single location or spread all over the digestive system and can even extend to other parts of the body. In some cases, individuals can experience aching in the upper abdomen while some complain of stabbing pain that is felt all over the entire gut.
In some extent, the symptoms will depend on the location of the ulcer. The duodenal ulcers are usually experienced in the upper abdomen with pain that starts several hours after eating. Upon eating, it helps relieve the pain. As for gastric ulcers, they occur right after eating and do not improve if food is eaten. In reality, eating will only aggravate the ulcer. Gastric ulcers cause a dull, aching pain that worsens at night time. If you want to learn how to manage these symptoms, you can register for first aid training today.
The pain caused by the ulcer usually lasts from a few minutes up to a few hours. Antacids can temporarily relieve the pain but after 2-3 hours, the pain can start up again. Since ulcers can heal and eventually recur, the pain can come and go for several days or weeks, vanishes entirely and then recurs again. The individual will also notice that the ulcer pain develops a pattern in which it flares up in certain seasons or when under stress.
What are the gastrointestinal symptoms?
Aside from the pain, the individual can experience various gastrointestinal symptoms. The individual will notice the feeling of fullness. On the other hand, he/she will also feel hungry with an empty feeling in the stomach. This can occur as soon as 1-3 hours after eating. Nausea and vomiting are also possible symptoms that might occur. Take note that the vomiting often relieves the symptoms. Some will find that the ulcer can eventually lead to belching. Additionally, it can also cause regurgitation which is the sensation of acid backing up into the throat.
If the individual experiences loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss, these are symptoms of stomach ulcer. In addition, there are also changes in the stools. The possible complications of ulcer can cause the stools to appear black in color or have dark blood streaks.
What are the indications of ulcer complications?
If an ulcer is left untreated, it occasionally develops certain complications. In some, they are not even aware that they have an ulcer until these symptoms manifest. A common complication of ulcers is bleeding. The individual can vomit up blood or it can manifest in the stools.
The vomited blood appears like coffee grounds and can be reddish-brown or bright red in color. Since the risk for internal bleeding is high and the individual is not aware of it, some can develop anemia due to the chronic loss of blood. The symptoms of anemia include shortness of breath and fatigue.
Even though vomiting is one of the indications of stomach ulcer, recurrent vomiting can indicate intestinal obstruction. This is usually accompanied by appetite loss, dehydration, and weight loss and electrolyte imbalance. If intestinal obstruction is present, the individual will feel bloated even though he/she has not yet eaten.