Signs and symptoms of a peptic ulcer can include one or more of the following:
- abdominal pain, classically epigastric strongly correlated to mealtimes. In case ofduodenal ulcers the pain appears about three hours after taking a meal
- bloating and abdominal fullness
- waterbrash (rush of saliva after an episode of regurgitation to dilute the acid in esophagus – although this is more associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- nausea, and copious vomiting
- loss of appetite and weight loss
- hematemesis (vomiting of blood); this can occur due to bleeding directly from a gastric ulcer, or from damage to the esophagus from severe/continuing vomiting.
- melena (tarry, foul-smelling feces due to presence of oxidized iron from hemoglobin)
- rarely, an ulcer can lead to a gastric or duodenal perforation, which leads to acute peritonitis, extreme, stabbing pain, and requires immediate surgery.
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