The gastrointestinal tract is a complex system. It endures a lot of strain, which makes it susceptible to various conditions, ulcers being one of them.
Ulcers – medically referred to as peptic ulcers – are sores that developing within the lining of the stomach, the small intestine, or the lower portion of the esophagus. There are two reasons why these sores can occur: erosion caused by stomach acids, or inflammation caused by H. pylori, a type of bacteria.
There are three kinds of peptic ulcers:
Esophageal. An ulcer of the esophagus
Gastric. An ulcer in the stomach
Duodenal. An ulcer in the top of the small intestine
The gastrointestinal tract is lined by a thick layer of mucus, which shields it from the highly acidic digestive fluids. If the mucus thins, digestive fluids can erode the GI tract, causing an ulcer, which can be identified by these 16 symptoms.
1. A painful, burning sensation.
Since an ulcer is caused by the digestive fluids, which are highly acidic, it’s not uncommon to experience a painful burning sensation. In fact, this is one of the first and tell-tale symptoms of an ulcer. Initially, the burning might be mild and fairly tolerable; however, as the ulcer grows, it will become more intense.
You could experience sharp, stabbing pain at the site of the ulcer. This pain will likely increase while you are eating and after eating, as the stomach acids become activated to breakdown the food. As the digestive fluids work to breakdown the food, they will also make contact with the ulcer, which can lead to intense pain.
You may also experience intense pain when your stomach is empty, as the digestive fluids tend to become more active when food isn’t present and they make direct contact with the sore.