- Appetite changes that doesn’t respond with lifestyle measures.
- Severe, persistent nausea and vomiting.
- You have increasing pain in your abdomen, especially if the pain lasts longer than what you expect.
- Severe, persistent abdominal distension.
- Mental confusion and feeling faint.
Other ulcer emergencies are as follows:
- Perforated ulcer. In rare cases, severe ulcer may eat a hole through the wall of stomach or intestine, making the lining split open. This is called perforation, a very serious condition that can put you at high risk of developing dangerous infection. The infection may also spread to the blood, causing sepsis and multiple organ failure. And this can occur very quickly and could be very fatal if not immediately treated (hospital admission is required)! If you have a sudden pain in the abdomen that gets steadily worse, seek immediate medical help!
- Digestive tract obstruction! The ulcer may cause swelling that become large enough to block the normal passage of food through the digestive system. Symptoms include persistent abdominal bloating, repeated vomiting undigested food, unintentional weight loss, and feeling fullness (even after eating smaller meal than usual).
Ulcer complications are preventable. With prompt treatment, the disease can be cured – especially if it hasn’t become advanced. But if serious complications of the disease occur, such as a perforation or acute-heavily bleeding, surgeries may be required.
The good news, surgical treatment is required far less often than before, because many effective non-surgical treatments are now available!
Furthermore, there is a chance for the disease to not heal after treatment. An ulcer that fails to heal is also known as a ‘refractory ulcer’. This may occur with the following factors:
- If you don’t take the full course of your antibiotics. It’s important to completely take your antibiotics (even though when the symptoms have relieved) to make sure the infection is completely cured.
- If you continue taking certain pain medications (NSAIDs) that can worsen the problem or trigger the recurrence.
- If you don’t stop smoking or practice other bad behaviors that inhibit your healing process – see also what to avoid with peptic ulcers in here!