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Peptic Ulcer : Symptoms
Western Medicine Chinese Medicine

The location of gastrointestinal (GI) ulcer can be implied by the symptoms. People with stomach ulcers usually complain of pain being caused or worsened by food. They also describe the pain as being widespread over the lower abdomen. When someone has a duodenal ulcer the pain is typically described as sharp and burning in nature with a specific point of tenderness. In contrast to stomach ulcers, people with duodenal ulcers usually experience relief of pain with food.

Other symptoms of a duodenal ulcer include a feeling of abdominal pressure, fullness or hunger. People with duodenal ulcers may also be awakened at night due to the normal nighttime peak in acid secretion. It is important to be aware of "alarm symptoms" which can be present in people who have serious complications from peptic ulcer disease (PUD) such as bleeding or people with stomach cancer. These "alarm symptoms" include weight loss, vomiting, back pain, vomit that has the appearance of "coffee grounds" and dark tarry stools.

Gastric pain, a major manifestation of peptic ulcer, usually occurs in the epigastric region or upper abdomen. Episodes of pain may be periodic, rhythmic or chronic. If seasonal, the pain usually occurs in late autumn, and the nature of pain is manifested as a dull, stabbing, distending, burning or hunger pain. Among the different types of pain, intermittent mild dull pain is most frequent. This usually lasts one or two hours but, in rare cases, it can last several days. The pain can be relieved by alkaline drugs or food. Along with pain, associated symptoms are belching, sour regurgitation, excessive saliva, nausea or vomiting.

Upper abdominal pain is the major complain of peptic ulcer.