Some of the most common symptoms of ulcers are burning pain that worsens at night or on an empty stomach, unexplained weight loss and changes in appetite, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms of ulcers include dark or bloody stools, nausea and vomiting blood.
The pain of a peptic ulcer is caused by the stomach acid coming into contact with the ulcer, which is why the pain is often worse on an empty stomach or at night when there is less food in the stomach to absorb the acid. Pain in the upper and middle parts of the stomach is common as is heartburn and bloating, according to WebMD.
Peptic ulcers can be very serious if left untreated and should always be evaluated by a physician to prevent stomach bleeding and perforation or a gastric obstruction. Some of these ulcers will health on their own, but others require treatment with medications and/or surgery. While over-the-counter acid relievers can help temporarily, these are not recommended as they can mask the symptoms of a larger problem.
Those who are age 50 and older may be at an increased risk of developing these ulcers. Drinking regularly, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or having another illness can increase the risk of developing peptic ulcers.