Perforated stomach ulcer symptoms

Updated November 21, 2016

An untreated ulcer tends to eat a hole in the wall of the stomach or duodenum, leading some bacteria and partially digested food to cause inflammation in the sterile abdominal cavity. Once the ulcer causes bleeding, the ulcer becomes a perforated ulcer. The signs and symptoms of perforated ulcer are simply described as the body's reaction to its worsening ulcer condition. As the ulcer burns the walls of the stomach, it leaves the body vulnerable to the effects of food and digestive juices leeching into the abdominal lining and cavity.


An untreated ulcer causes stomach lining and muscles to erode the blood vessels and become damaged. This often results in bleeding. Because of this, a perforated ulcer sufferer may develop anaemia. The condition may cause symptoms such as tarry and black blood in the stool, weakness, dizziness, vomiting blood and fainting. Depending on the severity of the blood vessel damage, an endoscopic treatment or surgery may be required. Hematemesis, or vomiting of blood, is commonly associated with a perforated ulcer. Since the condition usually causes frequent or continuing vomiting, it tends to damage the oesophagus, which also leads to bleeding.

Narrowed Passages

A narrowed digestive passage, resulting from perforated ulcer, obstructs the way in which food passes through. Constrictions on the flow of food cause a person to vomit the contents of his stomach.

Epigastric Pain

An abdominal pain, medically termed as epigastric pain, results from perforated duodenal ulcers. This symptom is usually remedied by food. On the other hand, epigastric pain caused by a worsening gastric ulcer is exacerbated by the passage of food.


Waterbrush is described as the rush of saliva after an episode or regurgitation. This is your body's way of diluting the acid in the oesophagus.


Melena is the symptoms referring to tarry and foul-smelling faeces. The foul odour is brought by the oxidised iron and oxidised haemoglobin in the faeces.

Loss of Appetite and Weight loss

Due to the discomforts experienced with perforated ulcers, sufferers tend to lose interest in food. In addition, continued vomiting robs the body of its needed food and nutrients, often leading to weakness and tiredness.

Possible Complications

Familiarising yourself with the common symptoms of perforated ulcer should make you understand the importance of seeking immediate treatment. Failure to do so may lead to life-threatening complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding, acute peritonitis, pancreatitis and pyloric stenosis. Perforated ulcers can easily be managed with the right treatment, healthy lifestyle changes and medicines such as antibiotics, H2-blockers, acid pump inhibitors and mucosal protective agents.

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