What are the Symptoms of a Stomach Ulcer?

Updated July 19, 2017

Have you ever had that gnawing pain in your stomach or throat and thought, gee, I must have an ulcer? Maybe you thought it was caused from all that spicy food or that new stressful job. Well, doctors are now saying that most stomach ulcers are caused from an infection of some sort. So how do you know you have a stomach ulcer?

Burning Pain

The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning pain. The burning pain can be felt anywhere between the stomach and the oesophagus. It can come on suddenly, such as after a spicy meal, for example. It also may be more noticeable at nighttime. It may be relieved by eating certain foods or by taking an antacid. Just when you feel like you have taken care of the situation, however, it typically comes back. That is the key difference between a simple solitary case of heartburn and a stomach ulcer. With a stomach ulcer it will return a few days or weeks later.

More Common Symptoms

Other common symptoms include feeling bloated or a feeling of fullness. You also may feel as though you are hungry at times. Another common symptom is mild nausea. Another symptom that you may find troubling is the regurgitation of food.

Emergency Symptoms

There are some symptoms that appear in more advanced cases of stomach ulcers. Some symptoms that are considered to be urgent include vomiting blood, changes in stool colour or blood in stool. Others include severe abdominal pain and extreme nausea and vomiting. Some other symptoms to be watchful of are unexplained weight loss and appetite changes.

When to See a Doctor

You should contact your primary care physician whenever you are having symptoms of a stomach ulcer. If you are having emergency symptoms you should go to your nearest emergency centre for evaluation and treatment.


Stomach ulcers are no laughing matter. Approximately 10 per cent of the population will experience this painful condition at least once in their lifetime, according to the Mayo Clinic. You should be mindful of this condition and its symptoms so the next time you experience that gnawing burning pain, you will know what to do.

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About the Author

Michele A. Clarke has been a writer for over 30 years. She enjoys writing articles on health care. She has a bachelors degree from the University of Albany in Biology and Sociology. She has worked for many years as a grant writer and health care consultant. Michele has written a wide variety of e-books and is working on her first novel.