Stomach ulcers are painful sores, commonly found in your stomach lining or small intestine. According to Healthine, “they occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced, thus enabling the digestive acids to eat away at the lining tissues of the stomach.”
Slideshow: 10 Signs You May Have an Ulcer
“One of the first signs of an ulcer may be pain in your stomach,” Dr. Ryan Harvey, Deputy Clinical Director at House Call Doctors says. “This pain typically sits between the breastbone and belly button. It often comes and goes in waves of burning and stabbing pain, usually after a meal when the stomach empties.”
Nausea is also another common sign. Dr. Harvey says that it “can range from mild to severe and is a result of imbalance of digestive juices.” If you’re experiencing nausea as a result of an ulcer it tends to come on when the stomach is empty, typically first thing in the morning, he adds.
Ulcers can also cause severe symptoms such as vomiting blood, change in stool appearance – dark blood – and appetite changes, which usually result in weight loss.