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.