Peptic ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your esophagus, stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine.
Burning pain is the most common peptic ulcer symptom. The pain is caused by the ulcer and is aggravated by stomach acid coming in contact with the ulcerated area. The pain typically may:
- Be felt anywhere from your navel up to your breastbone
- Be worse when your stomach is empty
- Flare at night
- Often be temporarily relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication
- Disappear and then return for a few days or weeks
Less often, ulcers may cause severe signs or symptoms such as:
- The vomiting of blood — which may appear red or black
- Dark blood in stools or stools that are black or tarry
- Nausea or vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Appetite changes
Over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers may temporarily relieve the gnawing pain, but the relief is short-lived. If your pain or symptoms persist, see your doctor.
Source: Mayo Clinic