own Blood can
become a dangerous Painkiller..
When an ulcer starts bleeding, your blood neutralizes
the stomach acid around the area of the ulcer, when this
happens the neutralized stomach acid will not 'burn' the
raw areas around the ulcer. Basically this means that you
will not feel any pain. And this can present some major problems.
you do not experience stomach pain, then this may lead you
to think that your ulcer may have healed. In reality, the
opposite may be true. Your ulcer may have got worse, and
it could be bleeding so badly that you are not experiencing
any pain, due to the reason explained above.
This is why it is so important for you to recognise
and look for the symptoms of a bleeding ulcer, as discussed
further down on this page.
You may experience occasional
painless bleeding episodes and anemia, and these are signs
that are easily written off to other possible causes. You
may also suffer from dizzy spells caused by loss of blood,
but you could blame the dizziness on stress or maybe even
lack of sleep - look out for these signs, because they could
About 1 in every 10 people with bleeding ulcers don't
have any associated pain. If you happen to be that
1 person then you need to take extra careful note of other
the signs that are much easier to notice.
The symptoms of a bleeding
If any of the following
symptoms of a bleeding ulcer present themselves, we urge
you to move swiftly towards getting treatment, and make sure
you tell your doctor about all the symptoms you have.
- The passing of foul smelling black, tarry stools could
be one of the first symptoms of a gastric
ulcer or a duodenal ulcer that has started
- dark red blood in your stools
- If your ulcer is already at an advanced stage then repeated
and different signs of bleeding can be identified.
- Vomiting of new blood which is bright red in color -
this indicates that a gastric ulcer has started bleeding.
This will be accompanied by repeated episodes of nausea.
- Vomiting dark and grainy blood that looks like instant
coffee granules. The dark color indicates that this is old
- unplanned weight loss
- intense and more localized pain in people with penetrating
ulcers - the pain may also radiate to your back
- faintness and dizziness when standing up - this is due
to loss of blood. Over a long period of time, you may become
anemic and feel weak, dizzy, or tired all the time. This
is typical of a slow bleed left untreated.
REMEMBER if you have been diagnosed with a bleeding ulcer
or even if you have the slightest suspicion that you are bleeding
from an ulcer, please do not hesitate to get emergency
medical treatment right away!
What causes an ulcer to start bleeding?
As an ulcer grows it can start eroding into the muscles
of the stomach or duodenal wall. On its path of destruction,
blood vessels can be damaged with the result that they start
If the damaged blood vessels are small, then the flow of
blood is slow and it will usually find its way into your digestive
tract. However, if the damaged blood vessel is large, bleeding
is fast and very dangerous.
If an ulcer happens to wear all the way through your stomach's
lining, and then into a large blood vessel, you will probably
require blood transfusions and emergency surgery.
The risk of re-bleeding with active spurting is around 95%.
There is a 40% risk if a blood vessel is oozing blood slowly,
and about a 25% risk if there is a nearby blood clot. The
risk of re-bleeding is less than 5% if the base of the ulcer
Tobacco and cocaine abuse can increase the risk of bleeding
Getting the right Treatment
Acid blockers are commonly prescribed to relieve
pain but be warned - the relief is very temporary!
About 3 in every 10 people showing the symptoms
of a bleeding ulcer will need surgery to stop the bleeding.
If the bleeding is severe, then endoscopy is the most common
surgical procedure used to stop the bleeding.
A doctor uses an endoscope to cauterize or seal
the bleeding vessel using a heated electrical probe. Or he
may close it off by injecting solutions into the bleeding
Doctors can also easily see the signs of all
the different types of bleeding when using an endoscope. Blood
clots, active spurting, slow oozing of blood from arteries,
as well as swollen blood vessels that are not bleeding yet,
can all be detected with the use of an endoscope.
Endoscopy is currently the gold standard for
treating bleeding ulcers.
Sources and references
All our information
is sourced from various digestive health experts,
a world renowned immunologist, and from these trusted websites;