There isn’t always an explanation as to why some people develop peptic ulcers while others don’t. The simplest way to put it would be that in some, the stomach acid is doing a bit of damage. This sure doesn’t explain why others are immune to it. One possible explanation could be that stomach ulcers develop as a result of chronic stress or alcohol consumption. The ulcers might be due to a microbe called Helicobacter pylori or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug abuse.
No matter what the cause, identifying a stomach ulcer at the earliest is the only way to treat it effectively. And how can you do this? Here are a few common signs that you’re likely to experience if you have a stomach ulcer:
1. Radiating Pain
Extreme acidity can cause pain, but this will mostly be nearer your chest. The pain from a stomach ulcer, however, is a completely different bane altogether. Such a pain usually begins in a diffused manner in the upper abdomen, but it can radiate all the way through the lower abdomen and even the back. Pain due to stomach ulcer often starts a few hours after your last meal and can last an indefinite amount of time. Goodbye, sleep!1
2. Momentary Relief With Antacids
Antacids are a blessing when it comes to most issue related to the stomach. When you feel all gassy, taking an antacid feels like heaven. Now, this might work with peptic ulcers too! But this relief will only be there for a short period. With stomach ulcers, you will notice that the pain comes back as soon as the effects of the antacid wears off.2
3. Poor Appetite
This is a less-common symptom, and one that can be due to many reasons. However, a lack of appetite combined with pain is alarming and has to be investigated for a potential ulcer. Usually, along with a lack of interest in food, you might also experience poor digestion, nausea, and even vomiting.3
4. Bloating And Burping
While a little bit of gas, feeling a little bloated after eating, and a tiny satisfying burp is quite normal, these can be aggravated in stomach ulcers. These solely can’t be indicators of a peptic ulcer as bloating can be caused by multiple issues, such as gastritis problems. In case of stomach ulcers, you might feel an acidic taste in your mouth when you burp.4 If your regular gastritis and acidity tablets aren’t working over a long period, get yourself checked for ulcers.
5. Impaired Digestion
In stomach ulcers, when you don’t feel like eating, it’s because your body expects a burning sensation as soon as you eat. So, obviously, you don’t eat regularly. Better going on an empty stomach rather than face the pain, right? Wrong. Erratic eating just leads to further complications, like an impaired digestion. And once your digestion takes a hit, it’s all downhill from there!5
Feel that burning sensation in your chest? That’s a bad case of heartburn. Now, this feeling of your chest being on fire can be due to various health conditions like acid reflux, GERD, gastritis problems, and even heart attack! But combined with any of the other signs mentioned here, they indicate an ulcer that has setup a cozy home in your tummy.
Remember, an ulcer should never be left untreated. An ulcer can bleed into the surrounding organs and cause hidden blood loss. Sometimes, they can even cause an obstruction in the digestive system, or manifest into cancer. So, if you’re feeling any kind of discomfort, burn, or pain in your upper body, surrounding your stomach, you definitely should consider getting checked for a stomach ulcer. Go for a checkup and treat it with a few meds before it gets too late and you need the ER!