What is a Peptic Ulcer?

Peptic UlcerUlcers aren’t ever a pleasant experience, as anyone who’s had one can tell you. Specifically, certain kinds of ulcers – we’ll be talking about peptic ulcers today – are notoriously difficult to deal with and diagnose. The symptoms are easy to mistake with other health problems, which means the average person likely doesn’t think of an ulcer as the cause of their health problems until the problems linger and don’t go away.

So let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of peptic ulcers and how you can more easily recognize them.

First, it’s important to know just what a peptic ulcer is and what causes it. Peptic ulcers occur when avid in your digestive system – the upper area of your intestines, to be precise – eats away at the inner surface of your stomach or in rare cases, the inner surface of your small intestine. When this happens, an ulcer appears, which is literally an open sore. In extreme cases, this sore will bleed, which presents a host of problems which we’ll get into later on in this piece.

Now that you know what a peptic ulcer is and the cause, we can talk about symptoms and what to do if you think that you’re suffering from a peptic ulcer.

Hands down, the most common symptom of a peptic ulcer is burning stomach pain. It feels a bit like acid reflux, or heartburn, but even worse. While the pain from a peptic ulcer can, at times, be alleviated by certain foods, or taking antacids, the pain will consistently come back and cause problems unless you take steps to address the root cause of the issue.

Other symptoms include, but aren’t limited to, always feeling like you’re “full” or just ate a big Thanksgiving dinner, continual bloating and belching, an intolerance for fatty foods, bad heartburn, and nausea.

Now, there are some really serious symptoms that are signs of peptic ulcers causing severe issues, such as leaking stomach acid into your intestines, which can cause sepsis. That’s literally an infection where septic materials, usually confined to your bowel, spread through your blood system and make major attacks on your vital organs.

Signs of peptic ulcers that may soon lead to sepsis include vomiting blood, blood in the stool or stool that’s black and tarry, issues with your breathing, a persistent feeling of faintness, nausea and vomiting, completely unexplained and unexpected weight loss, and drastic appetite changes.

If any of those issues arise, then you need to see your doctor immediately in order to have it treated.

Now, it’s worth noting once more that a lot of these symptoms can easily be confused with other, more serious problems. If you take antacids for the stomach pain or heartburn, or notice the pain continually returning after the medicine or eating meals, then it’s highly recommended that you go see your doctor as soon as possible. Letting a peptic ulcer linger is asking for health problems.

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