People find it difficult to identify signs and symptoms of ulcers or signs that they may be suffering from ulcers until it is too late.
Ulcers are one of the common diseases that attack millions of people globally(1). It has become a big threat in the health sector. A lot of money is dumped on drugs and the treatment of ulcers.
Generally, ulcers are sores that occur along the lining of the small intestine or stomach and throat. A poor sedentary lifestyle and dietary choice can worsen ulcers.
Therefore, this article provides you with the best way to identify the signs and symptoms of ulcers.
It is good to know what causes ulcers and the type of ulcers before digging the signs of ulcers.
What causes ulcers?
However, some poor dietary choices and a sedentary lifestyle can worsen it.
In addition, medications such as anti-inflammatory medicines can as well cause ulcers and psychological problems such as stress, depression, and anxiety are linked to worsening discomfort caused by an ulcer.
ulcer is caused by Helicobacter pylori, which is a bacterium. The predisposing factors include poor dietary choice, sedentary life and certain anti-inflammatory drugs.
Types of Ulcers
Studies show that there are three common types of ulcers namely:
- Duodenal ulcers, which occur on the lining of small intestine(7)
- Gastric ulcers, which occur on the lining of stomach(8)
- Esophageal ulcers which occur on the lining of the throat(9)
The common signs and symptoms of ulcers
Here are the signs that you may be suffering from ulcers(10)
The first step that you can identify if you have ulcers is a severe stomach pain.
More so, a common symptom of ulcers is a pain in your upper abdomen.
If you have ulcers, you will experience waves of burning and stabbing pain occurring on the area between the breastbone and the belly button of your stomach(11).
In fact, at first, the pain may be light and mild but as the ulcer develops, the pain intensifies.
Therefore, you need to be very vigilant with any kind of abdominal pain for early eradication.
This is one of the signs and symptoms of stomach ulcers.
2. Feeling uncomfortable while eating or Heartburn
Actually, feeling uncomfortable while eating can be a sign that you are suffering from ulcers.
You may be having frequent heartburn no matter what you eat is a common sign of ulcers.
The heartburn often manifests as intense chest pain and causes one to burp or hiccup a lot after a meal.
Therefore, you can consult your physician for assistance.
In short, a frequent heartburn means the case is more serious and needs to be checked out not only taking over-the-counter medicines.
3. Iron deficiency anemia
On the other way round, if you are suffering from ulcers you may suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
This is because the ulcers are slowly bleeding which leads to loss of blood. Therefore, you need to ensure that you are eating foods rich in iron(18).
This will strengthen your body’s immunes system and help you eradicate ulcers and other chronic illnesses.
Discomfort at night after meals
Another common signs of ulcers is the discomfort at night, especially after meals.
When you are sleeping, there is no gravity to supports effective digestion, therefore, there is refluxing back of the acids into the stomach or esophagus results in stomach discomfort.
When there is continuous discomfort at night after meals, then probably you may be suffering from ulcers.
Therefore, you need to take action as early as possible. Eat early before bed to allow digestion to take place and to avoid acid fluxing back.
Unpredictable pain that comes and goes at a time
Experiencing unpredictable pain that comes and goes at a time, and it can last for minutes or hours may be signs of ulcers.
Therefore, if you experience such symptoms, then you need to talk to your doctor.
Taking over-the-counter drugs for such discomfort is not advisable if the unpredicted pain persists.
6. Vomiting blood if ulcer become perforated
Another signs of ulcers is vomiting blood if ulcer becomes perforated.
What happens is that, having an ulcer causes a high level of digestive juices in your stomach that will often lead to vomiting.
These signs of ulcers occurs if you have a very advanced ulcer. Therefore, it is important to seek immediate medical treatment(19).
This is one major signs and symptoms of ulcers in the stomach.
A very difficult to detect if you may be suffering from ulcers is the flu-like symptoms.
In fact, many people often mistake ulcer symptoms for the flu.
These common symptoms include fever, nausea, feeling fatigued and general malaise(20,21).
As you know that most sicknesses are characterized by these symptoms, you will find it difficult specify the kind of illness it is.
So, it is very advisable to always get a medical expert’s opinion (doctor) rather than self-diagnosis or taking over-the-counter medicines.
Taking over-the-counter drugs might lead to severe pain, cause you are not sure what you are treating.
Nausea can be signs of ulcers
Nauseous is as a result of fluxing back of stomach acid.
The digestive juice may cause you to feel nauseous, more so, in the morning when your stomach is empty.
It also occurs when you are hungry, so the best way to cope with it is by having a tiny bite of something.
This will reduce nausea and enable you feels comfortable.
Bloating is signs of ulcers
One of the mistaken signs of ulcers is stomach bloating.
Many people suffering from ulcers at an early stage dismiss a bloated stomach as gas but it might be more serious than that.
I know you may be one of the people dismissing a bloated stomach. However, bloating is one of the earliest signs of ulcers.
For instance, if your bloating comes accompanied with pain in your midsection, then it might be a sign of ulcers.
Therefore, you need to go for checkups as early as possible.
Blood in your stool
I know it may be challenging if you realize that your stool comes with coupled blood.
Diagnosing it yourself is a big nightmare, what you need to do is visiting your doctor for medical checkup.
However, the underlying issue behind blood in your stool could that you are suffering from an ulcer.
In this situation, your fierce will appear some-how black and will often be accompanied by nausea and abdominal pain that have been discussed earlier(24).
In some cases, you can at a time feels back pain, feels satisfied quickly or even stomach disorders such as dull pain.
What to do if you are suffering from Ulcers
From the above signs and symptoms of ulcers, you can follow the following tips to help you eradicate ulcers.
The tips are divides on the types of foods to eat if you have ulcers and foods to avoid if you are living with ulcers(25).
Foods to eat if you have ulcers
- Eat cabbage help fight off H. pylori the ulcer-causing bacteria infection.
- Include berries in your meals
- Eat cauliflower
- Consume broccoli as it contains sulforaphane, a compound that exhibits anti- Pyloriactivity(26,27)
- Include chili pepper as it contain capsaicin, an active ingredient that helps curb stomach acid production.
- Eat carrot, cherries and apples
- Leafy green such as kale and spinach
- Eat probiotic-rich foods
- Include healthy fats like olive, coconut, and avocado
- Include spices on your desserts
- Eat smaller and often (mindfully)
- Avoid spicy and fatty foods
- Don’t use anti-inflammatory drugs over-the-counter
- Avoid acidic foods and acidic juices like orange juice, citrus and tomatoes
- Quit alcoholic drinks
- Limit consumption of caffeine or coffee
- Avoid carbonated beverages
- Stop smoking and drug abuse
- Limit eating too much chocolate
- Also avoid excess salt
Maintain a healthy body weight is a key to prevent heartburn and ulcers as overweight may cause intra-abdominal pressure as cited in studies.
Importantly, you can raise your head with pillow when sleeping as good sleeping elevation allows gravity to keep acid in the stomach and avoid acid reflux.
You need also to stop eating at late night to allow enough gravity for effective digestion.
When to see a doctor if you have ulcers
Sometimes it can be difficult to identify the some sighs that you may be suffering from ulcers. For instance, flu-like symptoms, bloating, fever, nausea, fatigue and other signs of ulcers are very difficult to tell.
It is very advisable to always get a medical expert’s opinion (doctor, physician) rather than self-diagnosis or taking over-the-counter medicines. Remember, early stage of ulcer is easy to combat.
Precisely, you need to visit your doctor if you see blood in stool, vomiting blood, frequent bloating, abdominal pain, unpredicted stomach discomfort, discomfort at night after meals, and any other unusual health problem.