What are the symptoms of stomach ulcers?


It is important for physicians to record a thorough history of the condition. Because complaining of a stomach ache is a very broad complaint, the physician must ask further questions in order to summarize all the symptoms carefully and thoroughly.

This helps the physician consider the appropriate disease which may be ailing the patient and order the appropriate diagnostic tests.

Main Symptoms

  1. Dull stomach pain, which is characterized by the following:
    • The pain is intermittent, it comes and goes periodically
    • Ulcers occur most commonly during spring or autumn
    • The pain follows a certain rhythm, in four parts: the patient eats-pain subsides- pain returns-pain subsides. Shortly after meals, the pain subsides. The pain restarts, lasting for about two hours, and it suddenly subsides.
    • The localization of the pain depends on the positioning of the ulcer in the stomach.
    • The distribution of pain. In cases of duodenal ulcer, the patient will indicate the place where he/she feels pain by pointing, since the pain is more localized.
      In cases of stomach ulcers, the pain is more widely distributed, thus felt in wider regions. If the stomach ulcer is positioned in the back face of the stomach, the patient may experience pain in their spine near the T10 vertebra.
    • There is usually burning, sharp pain.
    • Sometimes the pain is described as a feeling of hollowness, or in the form of cramps. Upon consumption of meals or antacids the pain may subside.
  2. In cases of duodenal ulcers the rhythm is different: the patient eats-the pain subsides- pain returns.
    After meals, the pain subsides for a long time lasting for up to four hours. After this, the pain returns, and only subsides when the patient consumes food once again.
  3. Vomiting, nausea
  4. Weight loss
  5. Heartburn (pyrosis), pain felt in one’s sternum, and a sour taste in the mouth
  6. Hemorrhage, which could manifest as strains of blood in the vomit (hematemesis), or it could manifest as strains of blood in the feces (melena)
  7. Hyper salivation, the patient starts producing more saliva
  8. Burping
  9. Constipation

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 23 Jan 2018
Medical Author: Dr. med. Diana Hysi