Stomach Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms, Complications and Diagnosis

Stomach ulcers which are also known as gastric ulcers, are open painful sores developed on the lining of the stomach. Ulcers can also develop in small intestine just beyond the stomach which are known as duodenal ulcers. Both stomach and du

Updated: August 17, 2020

Stomach ulcers which are also known as gastric ulcers, are open painful sores developed on the lining of the stomach. Ulcers can also develop in small intestine just beyond the stomach which are known as duodenal ulcers. Both stomach and duodenal ulcers are sometimes referred to as peptic ulcers.

Causes of Stomach Ulcers:

When the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced, digestive acids destroys the tissues that line the stomach causing ulcer.
Stomach lining can be damaged either by

  • An infection due to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria
  • Long term use or high dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or aspirin.


Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers:

The most common symptom of stomach ulcer is a burning sensation or pain in the center of the abdomen.  The pain will be more severe when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.
Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • Burping or acid reflux
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Light pain in the stomach
  • Weight loss
  • Pain that increase when you eat, drink, or take antacids
  • Anemia
  • Bloody vomit or looks like coffee grounds
  • Dark, sticky and tarry stools


Complications of Stomach Ulcers:

Complications of stomach ulcers can be very serious and if left untreated can be life threatening. These can be


Penetration :

Penetration can occurs when the ulcer goes through the wall of the digestive tract and into another organ, such as the pancreas.


Perforation :

Perforation occurs when the ulcer creates a hole in the wall of the digestive tract.


Bleeding :

Bleeding from the ulcer can be life threatening.


Obstruction :

Blockage in the digestive tract due to swelling of inflamed tissues .


Stomach Cancer:

Untreated ulcer can lead to stomach cancer.
When you have these complications, you can have symptoms such as

  • Trouble breathing
  • Red or black vomit or stools
  • Weakness
  • Sudden, sharp pain in your abdomen that does not go away

If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to call you doctor right away.


Diagnosis of Stomach Ulcers :

Based on your symptoms and the severity of the ulcer, diagnosis can be done by many test. Your doctor will review your medical history along with your symptoms and any prescription or over the counter medications you are taking to diagnose stomach ulcer.


Testing for H. pylori infection:

If your symptoms are caused by an H. pylori infection, the following tests are recommended:


Urea breath test:

In breath test you will be given a clear liquid to drink and breathe into a bag, which is then sealed. The breath sample will contain higher than normal levels of carbon dioxide if H. pylori is present.


Stool Antigen test:

A small stool sample is tested for the H.pylori bacteria.


Blood test :

A sample of your blood is tested for antibodies to the H. pylori bacteria.
If you have H. pylori infection, you will need treatment to eliminate the infection, which can heal the ulcer and prevent it from returning. 


Gastroscopy:

In some cases, you may be referred for a gastroscopy to look inside your stomach directly and see whether you have a stomach ulcer. This include test such as:


Endoscopy:

This test can be conducted to look for ulcers, bleeding, and any tissue that looks abnormal in your stomach by inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera down your throat.


Biopsy:

In this test a samples of tissue is taken during endoscopy to check for infection or abnormalities under a microscope.


Barium swallow:

A thick white liquid (barium) will be given you to drink that coats your upper gastrointestinal tract and helps your doctor see your stomach and small intestine on X-rays.
  


Related Articles

Erythema: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Prognosis

Erythema: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Prognosis

Erythema is a skin condition causing skin redness or rash

Hepatitis: What are the types of hepatitis?

Hepatitis: What are the types of hepatitis?

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver tissue with yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes, poor appetite, vomiting, tiredness, abdominal pain, or diarrhea.

13 Home Remedies For Throat Pain

13 Home Remedies For Throat Pain

For throat pain home remedy, mix lukewarm water with half teaspoon of salt and gargle it for 3 times a day. It relieves you from throat pain or sore throat.

9th Month Pregnancy Diet - What To Eat & What Not To Eat

9th Month Pregnancy Diet - What To Eat & What Not To Eat

Its difficult to digest food at this stage due to increase in weight gain. That's the reason you must follow a diet which is beneficial for you and baby.

Vaccines to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease: PCV13 and PPSV23

Vaccines to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease: PCV13 and PPSV23

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae or pneumococcus that can spread from person to person through close contact. PCV13 is pneumococcal conjugate vaccine for all infants and child

Heavy periods or Menorrhagia: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Heavy periods or Menorrhagia: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

When a women lose an excessive amount of blood during their period that is known as heavy periods. It can sometimes happen along with other symptoms, such as period pain.

Vaccines to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease: PPSV23

Vaccines to Prevent Pneumococcal Disease: PPSV23

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine or PPSV23 is for all adults 65 years or older. This is also for those children of age 2 years or older who are at increased risk for the disease.

Stomach Infection: Cause, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Risk Factor

Stomach Infection: Cause, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Risk Factor

Stomach infection also known as bacterial gastroenteritis or stomach flu happens due to infection in your stomach by bacteria resulting in inflammation in your stomach and intestines. Stomach infection or food poisoning can be caused by vir

Suppliers Across World


Browse suppliers across the globe including Togo, France, Eritrea, Cuba, Netherlands Antilles, Canada, Wallis and Futuna, Suriname, Yugoslavia, Peru, Seychelles, Paraguay, Gibraltar, England, Ivory Coast, Grenada, Finland, Tokelau, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Northern Mariana Islands, Singapore, Marshall Islands, Poland, Jamaica, Kiribati, Ecuador, Brunei, Mozambique, Iceland, Jordan, Guatemala, China, Cook Islands, Russian Federation, South Sudan, Bahrain, Nepal, Namibia, Myanmar, Anguilla, Bermuda, Nicaragua, Honduras, Maldives, Latvia, Morocco, Palestine, Saint Kitts and Nevis and other localities of World as well..