Early symptoms (May or may not present)
The major ulcer symptom is a burning / gnawing feeling in the stomach area lasting from about 30 minutes up to 3 hours.
• Pain is often interpreted as heartburn, indigestion or hunger.
• Pain usually occurs in the upper abdomen. But sometimes it may occur below the breastbone.
• For some, the pain occurs immediately after eating. For others, the pain may not occur until hours after eating.
• Pain frequently awakens the person at night (typically around 2:00 am).
• Weeks of pain may be followed by weeks of not having pain.
• Pain can be relieved by drinking milk, eating, resting, or taking antacids.
In addition to HCl, the stomach's mucosal gland parietal cells also secrete intrinsic factor, a polypeptide needed for intestinal absorption of vitamin B12. SInce B12 is required for the production of red blood cells, parietal cell damage can reduce intrinsic factor causing a type of anemia (low red blood cell count), called pernicious anemia
Other early symptoms:
• Recurrent vomiting;
• Blood in the stool. Bleeding ulcers can result in significant blood loss requiring hospitalization. Indicators include black stools, light headedness, dizziness
• Scar tissue. Thick tissue can develop after ulcer injury to stomach lining making it harder for food to pass through GI tract. Indicators include vomiting and weight loss.
the following symptoms may potentially indicate serious damage to the stomach
lining, which may lead to tissue rupture and thus require hospitalization.
Seek urgent attention if you experience:
• A sudden, sharp, stinging pain in the stomach that will not go away.
• Suddenly vomiting fresh blood, or blood of a dark brown color
• Stools contain blood, or are of a dark brown/black color without explanation. Feeling dizzy or light-headed can be a symptom of internal bleeding from an ulcer. Blood loss can be significant;
• Signs of shock: fainting, excessive sweating, confusion
• Abdomen feels hard to the touch
• Abdominal pain worsens with movement, but eases if
you lie still
Possible Consequences of a Stomach Ulcer
• Agitates nerves around ulcer causing great pain
• Can cause hemorrhages from the erosion of a major blood vessel
• Perforation of the stomach lining or small intestine (i.e. a hole) causing an infection. Consequences include peritonitis (inflammation) or obstruction of the GI tract because of spasm or swelling in the area of the ulcer. A sign of a perforated ulcer is sudden, severe abdominal pain.
Chronic low-level inflammation (CLII) involved in almost all health problems
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