Certain conditions cannot be seen and this of course makes them significantly more difficult to spot and diagnose. While your body might be telling you that something is wrong, many conditions have similar symptoms and often it’s very difficult to pinpoint the cause to the right thing.
Such is the case with stomach ulcers which cannot be seen but certainly allow themselves to be known. The difficulty is knowing whether you have a stomach ulcer or another kind of stomach upset – and then taking the necessary steps to treat the problem.
Stomach ulcers are a type of sore that will form inside the stomach lining or sometimes in the small intestine. Specifically, stomach ulcers occur when the thick mucus layer that protects the stomach from its own digestive juices is reduced. This then causes those same juices to burn away at the tissues lining the stomach and the reaction is the angry and painful ulcer.
As for what causes the mucus layer to become reduced, this can boil down to a number of causes – ranging from bacterial infections (commonly helicobacter pylori) and excess acid in the stomach. Smoking and stress make matters worse, as do some other medical conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison.
Of course, the discomfort could be caused by a number of other factors however. Perhaps you have acid reflex? Maybe it’s a stomach infection?
The good news is that stomach ulcers are easy to treat and cure. The problem is that if they go untreated, they can become more severe. For these reasons, it’s important to learn how to identify the symptoms of a stomach ulcer and to differentiate them from other potential causes of discomfort.
Here are some of the symptoms you should be on the look-out for…
The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is the pain that it causes. This tends to specifically be felt as a kind of burning sensation that will usually be located somewhere between the chest and the belly button.
This is one symptom that might appear similar to indigestion but the difference is partly that it tends to be a little lower and also that the pain is generally worse when the stomach is empty. It will often come on in waves and can last from a few minutes to several hours.