The symptoms of ulcers are the same for men and women. The more severe the ulcer, the more discomfort the ulcer causes. Most frequently, the symptoms include burning or pain between the belly button and the chest, according to Healthline. Ulcer pain is most intense on an empty stomach.
Other signs of ulcers include weight loss, a reduction of appetite because of discomfort, bloating, vomiting and nausea. Burping and heartburn are also common symptoms. When the patient takes antacid tablets or drinks or eats, the pain often improves temporarily, as stated by Healthline.
When patients visit a doctor with symptoms of a potential ulcer, the doctor looks at the medical history as well as any current prescriptions. The signs of H. pylori infection mimic those of an ulcer, so a breath, stool or blood test for this is common. Other tests include a barium X-ray, in which the patient drinks a viscous white liquid to highlight the small intestine and stomach in X-ray imaging. Endoscopy involves sliding a lighted tube through the mouth and into the stomach, searching for an ulcer. A mild painkiller or sedative eases any discomfort that the procedure causes. Treatments generally include several different types of medicines, reports Healthline.