Stomach ulcers, also medically termed as peptic ulcers are holes or breaks in the lining of the upper part of the small intestine (also known as the duodenum) or the areas of the stomach (parts that come in contact with acids and enzymes of the stomach).
Ulcers in the duodenum are more common than stomach ulcers. Rarely, a peptic ulcer may develop right above the stomach, inside the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach). These ulcers are medically termed as Esophageal Ulcers.
Common types of Stomach Ulcers are-
- Gastric ulcers: Ulcers that are developed inside the stomach.
- Esophageal ulcers: Ulcers which are developed inside the esophagus.
- Duodenal ulcers: Ulcers which are developed inside the upper section of the small intestine, known as the duodenum.
Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers
These discomforts due to symptoms of stomach ulcers usually happen when the stomach is empty and is mostly relieved after eating food or antacids.
A common symptom of stomach ulcers are-
- Burning sensation (Also Read: Stomach Problems Can Be Devastating)
- Abdominal discomfort ( generally in the upper abdomen or lower chest)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Low or reduced appetite
Some patients suffer from only mild symptoms. Some patients do not feel any symptoms at all! However, some patients may have emergency symptoms, like the ones mentioned below:
- Sharp, severe and persistent pain in the lower abdomen and stomach
- Blood in stool or black coloured stool
- Blood in vomit or brown colored vomit (resembling coffee grounds)
Get immediate medical help in case you have the above-mentioned symptoms or unbearable pain or discomfort.
These symptoms could be signs of a serious problem, such as:
- Bleeding – In case the acid or the peptic ulcer breaks a blood vessel
- Perforation – In case the peptic ulcer digs completely across the stomach or wall of the duodenal
- Obstruction – In case the peptic ulcer blocks the way of food leaving the stomach
How poisonous can they be for your future health?
If left untreated, stomach ulcers can be very dangerous for your health. Make sure you get proper treatment for the condition. Untreated stomach ulcers can lead to:
- Perforation: A hole develops inside the inner lining of the stomach or the small intestine. This can be the cause of infections. A symptom of a perforation is ulcers, causing sudden and severe abdominal pain.
- Internal bleeding: If the ulcers start bleeding, it can result in significant blood loss. The patient may require hospitalization. Symptoms that the patient has a bleeding ulcer are feeling lightheaded, dizzy, black stools or blood in the stool.
- Scar tissue: Scar tissue is a thick tissue that mostly develops after an injury. It makes it difficult for the patient to pass food through the digestive tract. Symptoms that the patient has a scar tissue include vomiting and sudden weight loss.
All the above-mentioned complications are serious and may even require surgery for a permanent cure. Get urgent medical help in case the patient experiences the following symptoms:
- sudden, sharp pain in the abdomen
- Feeling dizzy or fainting
- Excessive sweating
- Blood in vomit or stool
- Abdomen which is hard to touch
- Abdominal pain that increases if the patient moves but the pain decreases or goes away if the patient lies down.
Also Read: Gas and bloating troubling you?
Stomach ulcers may seem like a minor condition but have serious risks and health hazards if left untreated. A patient with stomach ulcers should be very careful with his condition and contact a specialist in case he feels a lot of discomfort or the above mentioned serious symptoms. Get in touch with the doctors at Pristyn Care for a good road to recovery.