Q: I usually have this pain at the middle of my chest. Sometimes, it’s like fire. It makes me so uncomfortable. I am confused. I am worried. Some of my friends say it’s ulcer. Please, doctor, what is it? [Edited]

A: Sorry for what you are going through.

Let me try to be very simple here:

If you experience pain…

>>> in the upper part of your abdomen (—your “stomach”) or behind your chest-bone (in the middle),
>>> that is usually burning, or biting, or like hunger-pain,
>>> that sometimes goes right to the back (at the middle),
>>> that sometimes wakes you up at night,
>>> that is reduced when you eat and comes back after some time (say, 3 hours later); OR increase when you are eating (or just immediately after eating),
>>> that worsens with certain foods, especially spicy and peppery ones…

…you most likely have what we, medical doctors, call Peptic Ulcer Disease (PUD), and what you call “ulcer“!

Note, however, that it mustn’t be exactly as I just described for it to be “ulcer”.

There’s a must-read article I wrote on this topic. Read “DO I HAVE “ULCER”, OR IS IT SOMETHING ELSE?” to get a more complete understanding.

Call me if you have questions.


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Dr. ‘Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!