All About YOU: GERD or Stomach Ulcer?

All About YOU: GERD or Stomach Ulcer?

If you're getting a burning sensation in your gut, it could be:

  1. A case of heartburn
  2. A stomach ulcer

How do you tell the difference?

Pinpoint the Pain
The location of the pain is one of the easiest ways to tell whether stomach discomfort is more likely to be heartburn or an ulcer. Ulcer pain tends to occur in the abdominal area -- especially just above the belly button -- but people experiencing heartburn (as well as the more serious form of heartburn -- GERD) typically feel pain in the chest and throat.

Another way to distinguish between the two: Often, eating makes stomach ulcers feel better but typically makes heartburn and GERD symptoms worse.

Medically reviewed in December 2019.

More On Heartburn

4 Surprising Heartburn Facts

article

4 Surprising Heartburn Facts
Heartburn's simple, right? Eat too much (like five trips at the all-you-can-eat buffet), or eat the wrong things (like Uncle Joe's "inferno" chicken w...
How to Make Heartburn-Free Meals

article

How to Make Heartburn-Free Meals
If you have heartburn, meals can be a minefield. Careful choices may mean the difference between having a meal stay in your stomach or having it come ...
Who Is a Good Candidate for the Stretta Procedure for Heartburn and GERD?

video

Who Is a Good Candidate for the Stretta Procedure for Heartburn and GERD?
To determine if you are a good candidate for the Stretta procedure for heartburn and GERD, you need to get a full exam and rule out exclusions. In thi...
What If Alkaline Foods Are Not Helping My Acid Reflux Symptoms?

video

What If Alkaline Foods Are Not Helping My Acid Reflux Symptoms?
If alkaline foods are not helping with your acid reflux symptoms, you may have GERD and may need to seek further evaluation and treatment. In this vid...