Both gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer are characterized by cramping, squeezing, dull, pinching or stabbing pains in the upper abdomen, often radiating to the left side of the body. Often the pain is directly related to food intake: the ulcers are located in the typical place: either at the small stomach curve or at the stomach exit, in the stomach gate or in the beginning part of the duodenum. When gastric ulcer, the pain disappears after a meal for a few hours.
Pain during the night
In case of ulcers, pain during the night is not uncommon:
- as a hunger pain, which occurs especially on an empty stomach, typical of the duodenal ulcer
- as a premature pain, which occurs especially immediately after the food intake, typical of ulcers in the stomach body
- as a late onset pain, which occurs most often one to three hours after eating, mainly in ulcers of the Magenpförtners and in its immediate vicinity
Pain is not necessarily a symptom
Both ulcer diseases can go undetected for a long time because the symptoms are not clear. The pain can be completely absent in many ulcer patients. Due to repeated small bleeding from a duodenal ulcer or ventricular ulcer, anemia may be present with general lethargy and pale skin color.
Greater bleeding is expressed in the form of tarry stools. This is a very black, sticky bowel movement. In addition, these bleedings can also lead to pronounced vomiting of blood (hematemesis). In such cases, a life-threatening situation for the patient may be rapidly resolved by a bleeding shock.
Bleeding as a sign of an ulcer
If the intestinal or gastric wall is broken beyond the bleeding, the stomach or intestinal contents get into the abdominal cavity, which in turn becomes inflamed. In addition to the peritonitis (peritonitis) produces an acute abdomen (acute abdomen) and a debilitating intestinal obstruction (paralytic ileus). Once this "breakthrough" has occurred, an immediate operation is necessary so that the person affected does not die. The appetite is generally undisturbed.
Compared to certain foods intolerances or dislikes can be found. This symptom is often found in "acid relaxers", ie foods that stimulate the formation of gastric juices, including "water in the mouth", such as spicy meat, bouillon, concentrated fat, concentrated wines, black wines Coffee, hot spices.
Further signs of an ulcer
The facial expression is often sore with sunken cheeks and deep wrinkles pulling from the nose to the corners of the mouth. If the patient vomits frequently, this may indicate a shift in the gastric outlet due to acute ulcers or shrinking ulcer scars. However, vomiting may also occur as a ulcer symptom without obstructing gastric emptying; the mechanism is unclear.
In many ulcers, weight loss is the result of vomiting, loss of appetite or nutritional delay (to prevent food-dependent ulcer pain). A healed duodenal ulcer may cause scar tissue to narrow through the scar tissue, obstructing gastric emptying. This can lead to repeated vomiting.