Why It’s Crucial to Spot the Symptoms Early
Before we explain the symptoms of ulcers in children, let’s first emphasize why it’s important to spot them as soon as possible.
You see, when unmanaged, peptic ulcers can lead to the following complications:
When the lining of the stomach and duodenum erode due to acid, the risk of bleeding increases.
Perforation and peritonitis
Another possible complication is perforation, where the lesion extends deep enough to form a hole in the stomach or duodenum.
Perforation is a serious concern since digested food and bacteria can spill through the supposedly sterile abdominal cavity (peritoneum), which contains other organs such as the spleen and liver. Bacteria in the abdominal cavity can lead to peritonitis, the inflammation of the peritoneum due to an infection.
Narrowing and obstruction
And finally, if an ulcer develops in the area that connects the stomach to the duodenum, swelling and scar tissues may form. This may narrow or block the duodenum. As a result, food remains trapped in the stomach and can cause symptoms, such as vomiting.
The following symptoms could indicate that a peptic ulcer complication has already set in:
- Sudden, sharp abdominal pain or persisting stomach pain.
- Bloody or black stool
- Vomiting blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
Symptoms of Ulcers in Children
To prevent potential complications, be sure to bring your child to the doctor if you observe the following symptoms: