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When your stomach pain could be something serious – signs of a stomach ulcer explained

Stomach ulcers are a type of open wound that develop on the lining of the stomach. Left untreated, they can cause a number of serious complications, including internal bleeding and even perforation.

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Ulcers on the stomach are sometimes known as peptic or gastric ulcers, according to the NHS.

They’re caused by an open wound on the lining of the stomach, and they may require medical treatment.

The ulcer tends to develop when stomach acid begins to break down the stomach lining.

This may be a result of certain bacterial infections, or even some common medications, including ibuprofen or aspirin.

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Stomach ulcer symptoms: Signs include tummy aches and stomach pain – when to get treatment (Image: GETTY Images)

The most common sign of a stomach ulcer is persistent stomach pain.

The pain tends to develop soon after eating, and may last up to a few hours.

While some antacid medications may temporarily relieve the problem, it’ll keep coming back without proper treatment.

On some occasions, the stomach pain can actually seem to travel up toward the neck, and through the back.

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“The most common symptom of a stomach ulcer is a burning or gnawing pain that develops in your abdomen [tummy],” said the NHS.

“But some stomach ulcers aren’t painful and are only noticed when a complication of a stomach ulcer develops, such as bleeding from the ulcer.

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“The pain caused by a stomach ulcer can travel out from the middle of your tummy up to your neck, down to your belly button, or through to your back.

“It can last from a few minutes to a few hours, and often starts within a few hours of eating. You may also wake up in pain during the night.”

Stomach ulcer symptoms: Speak to a doctor if your stomach pain won’t go away (Image: GETTY Images)

But just because you develop stomach pain, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a stomach ulcer.

Stomach aches aren’t usually caused by anything serious, and tend to go away by themselves after a few days.

Your stomach ache is more likely to be caused by bloating, constipation, or even indigestion.

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But you should speak to a doctor if your pain gets significantly worse, or if it simply won’t go away.

If your doctor diagnoses you with a stomach ulcer, there are a number of readily available treatments.

If it’s caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics should help to treat your ulcer.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) may be prescribed if your stomach ulcer is caused by other medications, however.

If you think that you may have a stomach ulcer, you should speak to a doctor straight away.

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