Signs of a stomach ulcer can include nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain just beneath the ribcage, indigestion, vomiting, symptoms of anemia, weight loss, and blood present in vomit or bowel movements.
If you experience these symptoms for any length of time, it is important to seek medical attention. These are not symptoms to be ignored.
Stomach ulcers occur when there is a break in the tissue lining of the stomach. These ulcers normally occur in the stomach or the first part of the small intestine that leads out of the stomach, called the duodenum.
Commonly stomach ulcers are related to extreme stress, smoking and diet. Any of which are factors over which we have control, making it possible to heal a ulcer; if you work to eliminate some of the contributing factors that can lead to the development.
If you begin noticing the signs of a stomach ulcer, these signs should not be ignored. In fact, an appointment with your doctor should be your course of action if these symptoms persist.
In order for your doctor to make a specific diagnosis, several tests may be ordered to help determine the exact cause of your stomach pain.
One of the first tests your physician may order is the barium swallow or upper GI series of X-rays. This test allows your doctor to identify and locate any ulcers and determine its type and severity.
The barium swallow test requires you to drink a “barium milkshake.” This thick “shake” contains a liquid that will light up on an x-ray. The barium will light up on the x-ray making it easier for your physician to see exactly what is going on and causing your pain.
You are normally asked to eat only bland, easily digestible foods for two or three days before the test. After drinking the chalky liquid, you will be asked to lie down on a tilting examining table, which as it tilts, evenly distributes the barium around your upper digestive tract and allows the x-ray to capture images at different angles.
Treatment options for stomach ulcers can consist of over the counter medications, prescription medications, modifying your diet, perhaps a lifestyle change that includes the addition of exercise and reduction of stress, and as a last result, surgery.
In summary, any signs of stomach ulcers should not be ignored as the delay in diagnosis and treatment could lead to further complications. It is important to understand, however, that in many cases you have control over the factors that contribute to stomach ulcers.