Symptoms of Peptic Ulcer

Peptic ulcer happens when stomach acid etches away the digestive tract’s protective layer of mucus, causing open sores in the lining of the stomach or the upper part of the small intestine. Nearly three-quarters of people with peptic ulcers don’t have symptoms. For those who do have symptoms of peptic ulcer, the symptoms may differ between individuals depending on the severity of the ulcer.

  • Burning sensation/pain between the chest and navel (belly button) – the most common symptom. The pain usually comes and goes and it can last from a few minutes to a few hours. The pain may be worsened between meals and may wake you up at night. The pain can usually be relieved for a while by having certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an antacid or acid reducer.
  • Intermittent back pain lasting a few minutes to a few hours. May worsen between meals and disrupt sleep
  • Dull pain in the stomach
  • Poor appetite (due to pain) and weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Indigestion or bloating after a meal
  • Feeling of “fullness” after a meal
  • Fatty food intolerance
  • Burping or acid reflux. Read more about the causes of acid reflux and the treatment available for it.

See a doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • You have been diagnosed with an ulcer and start showing symptoms of anaemia, such as fatigue or tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness and a pale complexion. This could mean your ulcer may be bleeding.
  • You have symptoms of an ulcer and develop serious back pain. This could mean your ulcer may be perforating the stomach
  • You have symptoms of an ulcer and vomit blood or substance that looks like coffee grounds, or you pass dark red, bloody or black stools that look like tar. This could mean you may be bleeding internally. Please see a doctor immediately.
  • You have an ulcer and become cold or feel faint, you could be in shock from massive blood loss. Please see a doctor immediately.