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What Are the Most Common Symptoms of Bleeding Ulcers?

A gastric ulcer is an erosion in the stomach lining.
Nausea is one common symptom of a bleeding ulcer.
Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Bleeding ulcers are bleeding holes in a person’s digestive tract. These ulcers may develop in a person’s stomach lining, but may also affect his esophagus or small intestine. The most common symptoms of a bleeding ulcer are visible blood in vomit, visible blood in stools, or stools that appear black and tarry. An individual with a bleeding ulcer may also notice pain or tenderness in his abdominal region and feel more fatigued than usual. Sometimes appetite loss, weight loss, and nausea develop as well.

When a person initially develops a bleeding ulcer, he may not immediately recognize that anything is wrong. After a time, however, he may start to notice symptoms. For example, when he vomits, he may see bright red blood or notice a substance that looks like coffee grounds in his vomit. He may also see blood in his bowel movements or note that his bowel movements seem to be black.

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Often, symptoms of bleeding ulcers also include pain or discomfort in a person’s abdominal area. In some cases, the discomfort isn’t so severe that a person would describe it as outright pain. Instead, it may be a minor discomfort that is described as tenderness. Often, a person with a bleeding ulcer will find that the pain or discomfort he feels is more noticeable at night or when he has an empty stomach. In some cases, the pain or discomfort is frequent; in others, discomfort caused by a bleeding ulcer seems to go away for a time, only to return again.

Also among the symptoms of bleeding ulcers are things such as fatigue and weakness. An affected person may feel unable to participate in activities with his normal level of strength and energy. Often, people mistake these symptoms of bleeding ulcers for signs of something else. For example, they may think they aren’t sleeping well enough or getting adequate nutrition. When fatigue or weakness is present with bloody vomit, bloody stools, or pain in the abdomen, however, it may be a symptom of a bleeding ulcer.

Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss are also among the most common symptoms of bleeding ulcers. Sometimes a person also experiences nausea when he has an ulcer that has begun to bleed. Unfortunately, symptoms such as nausea, weight loss, and appetite changes are easy to mistake for other conditions. As such, an individual who notices these symptoms for a significant period of time may do well to see a doctor to rule out bleeding ulcers.

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