What do bleeding ulcers feel like? How can I tell if my ulcer is bleeding?

The crater that is the ulcer can cause bleeding by irritating the surrounding tissues or by actually eroding the wall of a nearby small or even of a large blood vessel. It is like a hole in the sidewall of a rotting water hose. The amount of blood seepage will depend on the size of the pipe (blood vessel) and the size of the leak. This is the most serious complication of ulcer disease because it is a type of internal hemorrhage.

How can I tell if my ulcer is bleeding? 

One may be completely unaware of the bleeding. The only symptoms may be rapidly developing weakness, dizziness and sometimes fainting. If blood is vomited, then it is obvious. The vomited blood may be bright red or have the appearance of old coffee grounds. A black or tarry stool may indicate bleeding. Not all tarry stools contain blood; a stool may be this color from certain medications, especially those containing iron. There is an immediate way your physician can determine whether the black is blood this can be resolved in a few seconds. Intestinal bleeding is always a serious symptom and is ideally managed in the hospital.


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