Gastric ulcer symptoms
A stomach ulcer (Gastric ulcer) can be symptomatic, but also clinically completely normal and only then become noticeable through complications. If pain occurs in the context of a gastric ulcer, it is usually localized in the upper abdomen and usually begins immediately after eating. However, food-independent pain is also known.
The pain can also radiate into the back or behind the breastbone, causing heart attack-like pain.
The pain often comes on in flares and can last for 3 to 6 months. The pain can then appear in the form of a feeling of pressure or it can be stinging, piercing and cramping. In addition, some patients report aversion to certain foods. The aversion to specific foods varies greatly from person to person. As a result of food intolerance, vomiting and pain, many patients involuntarily lose weight, as they usually completely refrain from eating for fear of the food-related pain. In addition to these specific symptoms, unspecific clinical signs such as diarrhea, gas or bloating can occur.
If the gastric ulcer is not noticeable early on by clinical symptoms, complications can arise. These include, on the one hand, bleeding of the gastric mucosa due to the severe inflammation of the mucous membranes. This can lead to nausea and vomiting or diarrhea. The stomach acid leads to the clotting of the blood and turns it black. If the blood is vomited or passed through the stool, doctors speak of breaking coffee grounds or tarry stools.
Since the bleeding can go unnoticed for a long time, life-threatening complications are possible. Patients can lose a great deal of blood and suffer from acute anemia. Furthermore, the stomach can tear through the attacked mucous membrane (perforation of the stomach) and lead to the emptying of the stomach contents into the abdominal cavity. This leads to massive inflammation and is therefore a life-threatening situation that requires immediate surgical therapy. Clinically, gastric perforation can cause sudden, very severe pain, or the previous pain can spontaneously subside. In both cases, the cause should be clarified in any case.
Read more about: Blood in the stool - what are the causes?