An ulcer is a break in the tissue that lines the stomach and mucosal erosion. A stomach or peptic ulcer is basically a small hole in the area of the gastrointestinal tract, which is acidic and causes a lot of pain to the sufferer.
The most common type of stomach ulcer is duodenal, which occurs in the intestine. Stomach ulcers are quite common and may become severe and progress towards a worse condition. The size of a stomach ulcer can vary between the ranges of 1/8 to 3/4 inches.
Some evident signs and symptoms of stomach ulcers include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite that leads to weight loss, blood occurring in vomit and stool and swelling of the abdominal area. At times the person suffering from peptic ulcers may have foul smelling feces also. Another major symptom of an ulcer is a burning sensation in the stomach which may last during 30 minutes to 3 hours.
Pain is one of the most disturbing symptoms of an ulcer. The person who is suffering may experience it either in the upper abdomen or below the breastbone and it may be such that it would make the person wake up at nights due to the extreme discomfort.
The pain usually takes place a few hours after meals are taken. In order to get rid of it, at least for a while, one should eat something. This may also be one reason why people suffering from ulcers gain too much weight at times, as they eat more food to get rid of the severe pain.
There are a number of causes that lead to ulcers. If present in family history, there is a likelihood of it taking place ahead. Other causes include behavioral factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption, skipping meals and chronic disorders such as emphysema and rheumatoid arthritis.