What is a stomach ulcer?
Peptic ulcers are painful sores that line the stomach – and they affect about millions people per year. Normally the stomach has a protective layer that keeps the acidic juices in the stomach from getting to sensitive tissue and causing an ulcer. However, some people are at risk of developing stomach ulcers, most often due to long-term use of NSAIDs, the class of pain reliever that includes ibuprofen or aspirin, or an infection with a type of bacteria called H. pylori. The good news is that treatment can help many ulcers to heal.
Here are the signs of an ulcer you shouldn’t ignore.
You have pain specifically in your upper abdomen
One of the most common ulcer symptoms is severe pain in the upper abdomen, according to gastroenterology specialist Dr Neil Sengupta. Ulcers can develop anywhere in the upper digestive tract, he says but we often think about those occurring in the stomach or small intestine, where we feel pain. This ulcer pain usually occurs when your stomach is empty and can come and go for as long as several months, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
You feel nauseous
One of the other tell-tale ulcer symptoms is feeling nauseous, says Dr Sengupta. Many patients report that having a little food in your stomach can help ulcer symptoms subside.