The general stomach ulcer symptom is abdominal pain in the area of the stomach. This pain can be characterized as burning or aching in nature.
A stomach ulcer (peptic ulcer of the stomach) results from the chronic exposure of the stomach lining to the normal acid and enzymes secreted by the stomach, which then typically causes inflammation and development of a sore.
Usually mucus lining the stomach helps prevent the contact of the tissue with the harmful acidic secretions. Conditions which thin or interfere with the mucus lining of the stomach can lead to development of stomach ulcers.
The majority of peptic ulcers caused by damage from acid and enzymes actually occur in the duodenum. The duodenum is the first section of small intestine attached to the end of the stomach.
Stomach ulcer symptoms:
- chronic, mild to severe pain in stomach which occurs for several days or weeks then disappears and reappears frequently
- temporary pain onset or relief upon eating
- feelings below sternum of hunger, empty stomach, aching, burning and/or soreness (duodenal ulcers)
- low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting (if ulcer bleeds)
- nausea, bloating, vomiting (if swelling and blockage occurs)
Diagnosis is typically through physical examination, endoscopic imaging or x-rays. Often a person is treated for an ulcer without confirming diagnosis simply to see if the treatment alleviates the symptoms.
Treatment is typically with antibiotics if a bacterial infection is suspected to be the cause of the ulcer.
Antacids help relieve symptoms while drugs that reduce the production of stomach acid are also typically used. Surgery is less commonly used except in severe cases.