10 early signs of a stomach ulcer
A stomach ulcer develops when the layer of mucus that protects the stomach from acidic digestive juices becomes thinner and progressively damaged. It can also occur in the esophagus and duodenum. According to doctors, one in ten adults suffers from stomach ulcers. Common causes of this disease are: infection from H. pylori bacteria, side effects from certain medications, frequent stress, excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption. For the successful healing of an ulcer, it is important to quickly pay attention to the primary symptoms of the disease and start treating it in a timely manner.
1. Stomach pain
Ulcers occur on the stomach lining, and for this reason the most common symptom of their development is abdominal pain . It is usually felt between the lower chest and the navel. It can be both dull and sharp. When gastric juice enters the damaged areas of the stomach, the pain feels stronger. Depending on the severity of the disease, the pain syndrome can last from several minutes to several hours. As a rule, it worsens at night or on an empty stomach. However, an ulcer does not always cause pain, especially in the early stages of its development.
2. Vomiting blood
The formation of ulcers on the stomach lining is often accompanied by vomiting. If during it a person feels acute pain in the abdomen and notices blood particles in the vomit, then this may be a sure sign of the active development of a stomach ulcer. Such a symptom should not be overlooked. Sometimes with an ulcer, vomit looks like a viscous, brown-brown thick. This is a sign that the integrity of the blood vessels in the stomach is compromised and urgent treatment is needed. Vomiting with blood indicates wounds on the mucous membrane.
3. Dark color of feces
Blood from ulcers in the stomach also affects the color of the stool. The onset of peptic ulcer disease can be indicated by a darkish shade of feces and its unusual viscous consistency. In such cases, it is important to seek medical attention in a timely manner. If there is bleeding in the stomach, then the feces will gradually turn from light yellow, brown to black shades. Changes in the color and consistency of feces occurs due to the chemical reaction of gastric juice and hemoglobin in the intestine. Sometimes there may be blood clots in the stool.
4. Frequent bouts of flatulence
Bloating is another early sign that a person is starting a stomach ulcer. People with this disease are more likely to be bothered by flatulence, especially in the middle of the abdomen. This process is accompanied by pain and a feeling of excessive stomach fullness. If such sensations are more frequent than usual and last a long time, you should pay close attention to them and go to the doctor as soon as possible – it is possible that an ulcer has opened in the stomach.
Nausea and vomiting may indicate various body problems, including peptic ulcer disease. The larger the ulcer becomes, the lower the level of digestive juices in the stomach, which makes digestion difficult. As a result, nausea and vomiting are more common . An imbalance in digestive fluids causes intense gag reflexes. This gives the patient severe discomfort, so it is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible and be examined.
Heartburn is nothing more than a symptom of acid reflux, and it could very well be associated with a stomach ulcer. If the burning sensation in the esophagus disappears immediately after drinking water, then this should not cause much concern. But constant discomfort in the stomach may well indicate a peptic ulcer. In this case, heartburn appears immediately after eating and is often accompanied by hiccups. If it causes great discomfort, then it is important to seek medical attention.
7. Fast weight loss with an ulcer
Many people with stomach ulcers experience unexplained weight loss. This is due to a sharp loss of appetite, abdominal pain, gag reflexes – frequent companions of this disease. Even with the use of the usual amount of food, patients will still lose weight. Unexplained and dramatic weight loss can be indicative of many other health problems. In any case, this phenomenon cannot be ignored.
8. Intolerance to fatty foods
Most often, this symptom is associated with gallstones. But difficulties with the assimilation of fatty foods can be a sign of peptic ulcer disease. It is caused by visceral sensitization – an increased sensitivity of the damaged mucosa. In such cases, there is often an ulcer of the pyloric canal. Intolerance to food saturated with fat is often accompanied by nausea and bloating.
People suffering from peptic ulcer disease need to avoid consuming foods with a high level of fat. After all, they increase the production of gastric juices and negatively affect the tissues of the stomach. In addition, it is advisable to avoid drinks containing caffeine, alcohol and gases. It is best to switch to a completely healthy diet and proper drinking regimen, which will have a positive effect on the healing of the stomach.
9. Stomach upset
In addition to severe pain, stomach ulcers very often cause dyspepsia (disruption of the normal functioning of the stomach). Peptic ulcer disease negatively affects the entire gastrointestinal tract and becomes the culprit for the malfunctioning of the small intestine. Severe indigestion with symptoms similar to poisoning is observed. Dyspepsia can fluctuate in frequency and intensity.
10. Loss of appetite
At the initial stage of peptic ulcer disease, there is often a sharp cooling of interest in food. This is often associated with sudden and severe pain in the stomach. Typically, pain after eating causes fear and dislike for food. Therefore, people prefer not to eat anything in order to avoid subsequent discomfort. Decreased appetite can lead to weakness and fatigue, which can negatively affect your overall health. If you lose your appetite for no apparent reason, you should quickly consult a doctor for advice.
If at least one of the symptoms described above appears, you need to make an appointment with your doctor. It is very important to respond to the problem in a timely manner, otherwise the disease will be difficult to respond to treatment and will cause a lot of unpleasant consequences.