What are the Most Common Symptoms of Gastric Ulcer?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A gastric ulcer is an erosion in a person’s stomach lining. The most common symptoms of gastric ulcer are heartburn, indigestion, loss of appetite, and nausea. A person with a gastric ulcer may also experience unexplained weight loss, bloody stools or vomiting. Some people with gastric ulcers also have pain in their abdomens that is severe enough to wake them up at night.

A gastric ulcer is an erosion in the stomach lining.
A gastric ulcer is an erosion in the stomach lining.

Heartburn is among the most common symptoms of gastric ulcer. Heartburn occurs when acids from a person’s stomach back up and move up through the esophagus. This is often accompanied by a painful burning sensation in the affected person’s upper abdomen. In many cases, the pain associated with a gastric ulcer is more noticeable and severe when a person has an empty stomach. Taking antacids may help relieve the pain as well, but the pain relief a person gets this way is usually only temporary.

Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of a gastric ulcer.
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of a gastric ulcer.

Indigestion, which basically just means an upset stomach, is also among the most common symptoms of a gastric ulcer. Often, a person with this condition will feel nauseous, and he may even vomit. In many cases, a person with indigestion also feels full or has the urge to burp a good deal.

Pain from a gastric ulcer can go away for days, weeks or months.
Pain from a gastric ulcer can go away for days, weeks or months.

Weight loss is also among the most common symptoms of gastric ulcer. For example, a person with a gastric ulcer may have unexplained weight loss that is not caused by dieting. Loss of appetite, however, is also among the symptoms of gastric ulcer and may play a role in ulcer-related weight loss.

Vomiting can be common in someone with a gastric ulcer.
Vomiting can be common in someone with a gastric ulcer.

Bleeding is also among the symptoms a person may develop with a gastric ulcer. In such a case, the ulcerated portion of a person's stomach may bleed. He may not notice the bleeding at first, but eventually, he may develop symptoms that make it evident. For example, signs of a bleeding ulcer include vomiting bright red blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds. Black bowel movements may also be a sign of a bleeding gastric ulcer.

In some cases, the symptoms of gastric ulcer may come and go. For example, a person may experience pain and bleeding from an ulcer and then notice that his discomfort goes away for days, weeks, or even months. Unfortunately, however, the symptoms often return again. For this reason, a person may do well to seek medical attention for symptoms of gastric ulcer, even if they seem to go away for a time.

A gastric endoscopy can help doctors detect ulcers.
A gastric endoscopy can help doctors detect ulcers.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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