How can you tell if you have an ulcer? According to the Mayo Clinic a ulcer develops in the stomach in the lining, esophagus, or small intestine. When the ulcer develops in the stomach ii is called a gastric ulcer. A peptic ulcer starts in the small intestine but in this region it grows very slowly. A ulcer in the esophagus takes place in the lower part of your esophagus.
One of the ways you know you have an peptic ulcer is the amount of stomach pain you endure. It occurs mostly right after you eat and causes severe shots of pain in the area affected.
Doctors used to think that stressful jobs or spicy foods eaten on a regular basis could give you a ulcers. Now they know that certain bacterial infections or pharmaceutical medications cause most if not all peptic ulcers.
- 10% of the world's population is affected by peptic ulcers. But there is now a successful treatment that makes the ulcers diminish in size.
Stomach acid, used in the digestion of your food, aggravates the pain when it comes into contact with the ulcer. It can be felt from the breastbone down to the navel. It could last for several hours or just a couple minutes. The pain could flare up at night or be worse if your stomach is empty. It could completely disappear for a few days or weeks and then come back suddenly. Sometimes relief comes if you take acid reducing medication or eat certain foods that will buffer stomach acid.
- Some of the more severe symptoms include appetite changes, weight loss, vomiting of blood that may appear black or red. Stools that are dark and black and appear to be tarry is a good sign that it is time to see a doctor.
- Do not let it reach this stage though, start seeing a doctor when you are initially having pain in the first phases. Over the counter medications may take away the short term pain but will not cure the problem.
Do not try and treat an ulcer on your own. When you have developed the above symptoms it is good time to see your local doctor.
- Severe conditions that could result from none treatment are internal bleeding. This will result in a loss of blood slowly and lead to anemia. It could result in long hospitalization or you might even have to have to have a blood transfusion. Peritonitis may occur when the ulcer eats a hole through your stomach wall. This will put you at risk of serious infection in the stomach cavity. Scar tissue may occur shutting down the passage of food through the intestines that may cause you to feel like you are full when you are not. You can then have serious vomiting and have trouble keeping weight on.
Do not let it reach this stage. A simple trip to the doctor and he will be able to put you on a treatment plan that will relieve your problems. Long stays in the hospital can be very expensive and traumatic. Why take the chance of further complications, if you have any of these symptoms please see your doctor right away.