Peptic ulcers do not always cause symptoms. Symptoms may come and go. Food may increase gastric ulcer pain. Food will often relieve duodenal ulcer pain.
- May awaken you from sleep
- May change when you eat
- May last for a few minutes or several hours
- Feels like unusually strong hunger pangs
- Loss of appetite
Ulcers can cause serious problems and severe abdominal pain. Problems include:
- Black, tarry stools
- Vomiting what looks like coffee grounds
Perforated ulcer—a breaking through the wall of the stomach or duodenum that will cause:
- Sudden and severe pain
Scar tissue that narrows and eventually closes off the outlet of the stomach to the intestines and can cause:
- Weight loss
- Intense pain
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tell your doctor about all medication you are taking.
Tests may include:
- Rectal exam and stool guaiac test —to test for hidden blood
Blood test or breath test—to check for
- A blood test can also check for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Upper GI series —a series of x-rays of the upper digestive system taken after drinking a barium solution
Endoscopy—a thin, lighted tube inserted down the throat to look inside the digestive tract
- Obtain tissue samples to test for H pylori infection or for cancer
- Eliminate other serious causes of gastrointestinal symptoms
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.