Feeling stomach pains or heartburn? These symptoms are common signs of stomach ulcers. Often called peptic ulcers, stomach ulcers occur when a thick layer of mucus that protects the stomach from acidic digestive liquids is reduced. And every time there is a lack of mucus, the acidic juices eat away at the tissues that line the stomach, resulting in an ulcer.
Stomach ulcers are so common that over 25 million Americans will suffer from stomach ulcers in their lifetime, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Most ulcers are caused by an infection of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, as well as the prolonged use of NSAID painkillers and aspirin, not by stress or spicy foods as is commonly believed.
It is extremely important to quickly treat a stomach ulcer as soon as you feel the symptoms, as untreated ulcers can result in further stomach wall deterioration caused by acid. Here are 11 signs of stomach ulcer symptoms you should not ignore.
11. Chest or Back Pain
Stomach ulcer pain is known to travel and spread to the chest or back. When the ulcer penetrates through the bowel wall, the pain can become intense, last longer, and become difficult to relieve. Pain may continually worsen when the ulcers perforate the lining of the stomach, causing it to split open. Be sure to head to the hospital if the pain becomes unbearable.
10. Stomach Pain
One of the most common symptoms of stomach ulcers is stomach pain. The discomfort can be felt anywhere between the breastbone and belly button and can be described as a burning or aching sensation. The pain is due to the ulcer but can be aggravated by stomach acid when it comes in contact with the ulcer. It can last from a few minutes to hours, and can come and go for days or weeks. If the stomach is empty, the pain can also become worse but can lessen after eating a small meal or taking an antacid. However, stomach ulcers aren’t always painful, and at times people suffering from stomach ulcers do not experience stomach pain but do feel other symptoms.