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Unveiling Peptic Ulcers: Essential Symptoms and Effective Management

Symptoms of Peptic Ulcers. The most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is a dull or burning pain in the stomach. This pain can be felt anywhere from the belly button to the breastbone and typically:

  • Occurs when the stomach is empty, such as between meals or during the night.

Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inner lining of the stomach and the upper portion of the small intestine. Stomach pain is the predominant symptom of a peptic ulcer.

Types of Peptic Ulcers

  • Gastric ulcers: occur inside the stomach.
  • Duodenal ulcers: occur in the upper part of the small intestine, known as the duodenum.

Common Symptoms

  • Burning stomach pain
  • Feeling of fullness, bloating, or frequent burping
  • Intolerance to fatty foods
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea

Burning stomach pain is a key indicator of a peptic ulcer. The discomfort intensifies with heartburn and when the stomach is empty. Often, the pain is temporarily relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking medication to reduce the acid, although the pain can recur. It is usually worse between meals and at night.

Symptoms of Peptic Ulcers

Some people with peptic ulcers exhibit no symptoms. Less frequently, ulcers can cause severe symptoms such as:

  • Vomiting blood, which may appear red or black
  • Dark blood in stools, or stools that are black or tarry
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness
  • Constant nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Changes in appetite

Differences Between Gastritis and Ulcers

While the pain from an ulcer typically eases when eating, the pain from gastritis tends to worsen after meals. Other symptoms of gastritis include nausea, vomiting, a heavy feeling in the abdomen, and slow digestions.

It is crucial to consult a doctor if persistent or severe symptoms occur, such as difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, the presence of blood in vomit or stools, or sudden and intense abdominal pain. These symptoms could indicate serious medical conditions in addition to peptic ulcers.

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