10 Signs You May Have an Ulcer from 10 Signs You May Have an Ulcer
10 Signs You May Have an Ulcer
Stomach ulcers are painful sores, commonly found in your stomach lining or small intestine. According to Healthine, “they occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced, thus enabling the digestive acids to eat away at the lining tissues of the stomach.”
Ulcers can also cause severe symptoms such as vomiting blood, change in stool appearance – dark blood – and appetite changes, which usually result in weight loss.
Burning retrosternal or epigastric pain
Burning retrosternal or epigastric pain – top middle part of your abdomen – is a sign you may have an ulcer. “Increasing levels of acid (hydrochloric acid and pepsin) causes inflammation of the lining of the stomach or small intestine, due to degradation of the protective factors within the gastric mucosal barrier,” Dr. Michelle Groves , FRACGP, says. “Food often makes the pain worse as this stimulates more acid production.”
“Abdomen can feel bloated with increase in burping or flatus (from back passage),” Groves says. This is “due to increased levels of acid causing gas production.” Dr. Ryan Harvey, Deputy Clinical Director at House Call Doctors says that “stomach growling and in some instances sharp pain or cramping can also accompany bloating.”
“Nausea can be experienced when there is irritation or inflammation of the stomach lining. It can occur in the presence of peptic ulcers and when the stomach is empty first thing in the morning,” Dr. Harvey says. These symptoms, usually occurring with weight loss, are caused by “increased levels of acid causing reduced appetite due to pain on eating,” Groves says.
Another common sign is “reflux of acid into mouth especially when lying flat,” Groves says. This is “caused by a weakened gastro-esophageal junction.”
If you’re experiencing a dry, tickly cough, especially at night, you may have an ulcer. This is due to “aspiration of refluxed stomach contents,” Groves says.
Feeling of fullness (satiety)
If you’re skipping meals because you constantly feel full you may experiencing a symptom of an ulcer. This happens because increased gas production causes bloating, Groves says.
Vomiting of blood
Vomiting of blood and dark tar like stools mixed with a burning pain in your stomach are major signs of an ulcer. This may occur due to bleeding from an ulcer within the stomach or intestine, Groves says.
Iron deficiency anemia
Iron is a very important mineral found in every cell of the body. People with ulcers may suffer from this deficiency due to loss of blood from a slowly bleeding small ulcer, Groves says. Tip: If you suffer from iron deficiency and find it difficult to consume the recommended amount in the foods that you eat, consider the iron supplement from Sundown Naturals.
Ulcers can cause a burning sensation, usually felt in the upper abdomen, but may gradually make its way up to the chest. Heartburn related to ulcers may wake you up in the middle of the night or early in the morning when your stomach is empty.
Change in stool appearance
“Individuals suffering from a peptic ulcer may experience darker or even bloody stools,” Dr. Harvey says. “Black dark sticky and foul smelling faeces is termed Melena. It is a result of blood being digested and mixed with the normal stool. Melena is considered a more severe symptom of peptic ulcers.” This can be a frightening experience for many and usually indicates that the ulcer is growing or becoming more severe, he adds.