Peptic ulcers do not always cause symptoms. Symptoms may come and go. Food or fluids sometimes make symptoms better. Having an empty stomach may make symptoms worse. However, symptoms can occur at any time.
Symptoms may include:
May awaken you from sleepMay change when you eatMay last for a few minutes or several hoursFeels like unusually strong hunger pangsMay be relieved by taking antacidsNauseaVomitingLoss of appetiteBloatingBurpingWeight loss
Ulcers can cause serious problems (like bleeding) and severe abdominal pain. Bleeding symptoms may include: Bloody or black, tarry stoolsVomiting that looks like coffee grounds or bloodWeaknessLightheadedness
A perforated ulcer is a break through the wall of the stomach or duodenum. It causes sudden and severe pain. If you suspect this, call for emergency medical services right away.
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Peptic ulcer disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/gastritis-and-peptic-ulcer-disease/peptic-ulcer-disease. Updated May 2014. Accessed January 12, 2017.
Peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/peptic-ulcers-stomach-ulcers/all-content. Updated November 2014. Accessed January 12, 2017.
Last reviewed December 2016 by Daus Mahnke, MD
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.
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