How to identify signs and symptoms of stomach ulcers

Updated July 20, 2017

An open sore that is found on the lining of the stomach, upper small intestine or oesophagus is called a peptic ulcer. The Mayo Clinic reports that as many as 10 per cent of Americans will be struck with a peptic ulcer in their lifetime. If you experience any of the signs and symptoms related to peptic ulcers, you should consult your health care provider.

Identify and describe your pain. Burning pain is the most common sign of a stomach ulcer. The pain of a peptic ulcer can be felt anywhere from your breast bone down to your belly button. The pain may last a few minutes or a few hours and can come and go. It may be worse at night or when your stomach is empty. You may gain temporary relief from eating certain foods that act to buffer the ulcer from the strong acids in the stomach or from taking medications that reduce the acid in the stomach.

Vomiting up blood and stomach acid is another sure sign of a stomach ulcer that has got to the point where you need to see a doctor immediately.

Identify nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting may be a sign of a peptic ulcer in the stomach--also termed a gastric ulcer. Vomiting will often relieve the nausea experienced by gastric ulcer sufferers.

Inspect your stool. Gastric ulcer sufferers may have black or tarry coloured stools or have the visual appearance of blood. Share this information with your health care provider. Ulcers that continue to bleed and are not treated can cause anaemia and other complications.

Consult your health care provider immediately f you are experiencing bloody stools, are throwing up blood, have unexplained weight loss and/or appetite changes. All signs and symptoms of ulcers should be shared with your health care provider, these symptoms, however, may be cause for more immediate treatment to prevent further complications.


If you are throwing up an excessive amount of blood, see your physician immediately. If you notice an excessive amount of blood in your stool, see your physician immediately. If the pain is unbearable, contact your local hospital or see your physician as soon as possible.

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