An ulcer is a painful sore in the stomach lining or at the opening of the small intestine.
Ulcers happen because of an imbalance in digestive fluids.
Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, excessive acid production, or an infection caused by Helicobacter pylori can all be responsible for the development of ulcers.
An ulcer can cause a great deal of pain but sometimes will manifest no symptoms. When an ulcer goes untreated, the acid can eat into the stomach wall, causing perforation and bleeding.
Although many ulcers will often heal on their own, sometimes serious health issues will result if medical treatment isn’t sought when necessary. Here are ten warning signs indicative of an ulcer, including the following:
1. Abdominal Pain
Feeling bloated or experiencing pain or a burning sensation in the middle or upper part of the stomach after meals or at night.
Due to the imbalance of digestive fluids in the stomach, mild to severe nausea can occur at any time–more intensely in the morning on an empty stomach.
Someone with an ulcer can experience horrible indigestion and gastrointestinal pain, which can cause hiccups and burping after meals.
4. Flu-like Symptoms
Most people with an ulcer will have flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, exhaustion, and general malaise that don’t dissipate over the course of a few days.
5. Abdominal Heaviness
It is very common for a person with an ulcer to develop a feeling of fullness or heaviness in the stomach, similar to having consumed a great deal of fluid.
6. Unexplainable Hunger
It is normal for someone with an ulcer to feel extremely hungry only a couple of hours after consuming a full meal. The feelings are not actually hunger pangs, but rather pain from the ulcer, which is caused by an increase in digestive fluids.
7. Loss of Appetite
Many people experience appetite loss due to sudden and intense stomach pains.
8. Unexplained or Sudden Weight Loss
With appetite loss that stems from ulcers, it is common to lose weight. This becomes even more likely if the ulcer causes vomiting after meals.
9. Vomiting Blood
A perforated ulcer can lead to bloody vomit. If this happens, the ulcer has advanced and immediate medical attention is indicated.
10. Discoloration of Stool
Ulcers can cause discolored stools that appear darker, pasty, or bloody.
What happens if an ulcer remains untreated?
According to the Mayo Clinic, an untreated ulcer can lead to serious health complications. An untreated ulcer can cause internal bleeding that may become so severe it requires hospitalization or a blood transfusion. Ulcers can eat a hole through the stomach wall or small intestine, leading to a serious infection called peritonitis. Because ulcers can produce scar tissue, blockages can form that do not allow food to pass through the digestive tract easily, causing vomiting and weight loss.
Treating ulcers is often successful, allowing them to heal. If symptoms are severe and continue in spite of treatment, however, your healthcare provider may recommend testing to rule out any other underlying conditions. If you suspect you are suffering from an ulcer and the symptoms are causing you great discomfort, it is important to visit your doctor to find treatment options and lifestyle modifications to manage it.
- Are You Being Overprescribed Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are, by all means, incredibly useful drugs, and they’ve turned what used to be lethal illnesses into mere annoyances (and maybe …
- 8 Aches and Pains That May be Indicative of a Serious Health Problem
From time to time, it is completely normal to experience an ache or pain and you should not let it …
- You’re Texting All Wrong and It’s Killing Your Spine
Are you on Facebook surfing right now? Or perhaps texting your friends via cellphone? If you are then stop for a …
- How Your Blood Type Affects Your Health From Heart Disease To Fertility
Most people know what their blood type is—or at least you should. Your blood group is determined by genes that …
- Scientists Discover Taking an Anti-inflammatory Probiotic Can Stop Cancer Cells in Their Tracks
Bacteria are everywhere in the environment and inside your body. These little creatures are neither plant nor animal, they’re single-cell …
- Aspartame Is Linked To Leukemia And Lymphoma In Landmark Study On Humans
It’s time to play Kick the Can—of soda, that is. In a 22-year landmark study published in The American Journal …
- Why Garlic May Be the Best Natural Treatment Against Hair Loss Caused By Fungi
Anyone can suffer from hair loss issues. In some cases, it is a sign of aging, but men and women …
- Top 8 Ways Women Can Prevent Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection or UTI is an infection that happens in the kidneys, ureter, bladder, and/or urethra. A UTI is …
- 6 Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work
Few things can be as frustrating as listening to mosquitos when trying to drift off to sleep or being bitten …
- How To Drain Your Brain of Toxins And Instantly Improve Your Mood, Sleep, and Memory
In Ayurvedic medical practice, the lymphatic system is the first to receive attention for any health complaint. The lymphatic system …
- These 5 Habits Are Harming Your Immune System And Ruining Your Health
From everyday airborne allergens to countertop bacteria, your immune system is a complex network that is constantly battling to keep …
- A Tablespoon of This Household Ingredient Is All You Need To Remove Bacteria From Your Food
There are many tips and tricks you need to know to prepare clean, healthy food. Whether you purchase conventional or …
- 7 Conditions that are Caused by Sleeping with Wet Hair
If you find yourself frequently sleeping with wet hair, you may think twice after reading this. You won’t magically wake …
- Top 6 Reasons Why You’re Forgetful
Did you forget where you put your keys again? Maybe you can’t remember what you ate for dinner yesterday. Memory …
- This Is What Happens To Your Heart When You Sit Still For More Than 6 Hours At a Time
Have you ever thought about how many hours you actually spend sitting in a day? More and more studies are …