This occurs when the stomach contents back up into the esophagus (food pipe).

This occurs when the stomach contents back up into the esophagus (food pipe).

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the middle of the chest that can move up into the throat. It may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

  • GERD is a common health problem where stomach contents (food, liquid and stomach acid) back up into the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach (the esophagus). This can cause irritation and damage to the lining of the esophagus.
  • Normally a ring of muscle around the lower part of the esophagus stops the stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus (reflux).

Occasional episodes of heartburn or indigestion are common and usually do not that a person has GERD. The following can raise your chance of having symptoms due to reflux of stomach contents:

  • Having a hiatal hernia (when part of the stomach pushes up into the esophagus)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Overeating or eating certain foods
  • Taking certain medications
  • Being pregnant
  • Using tobacco products
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages

If your symptoms are mild, lifestyle changes can help prevent or control your symptoms.

  • Eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and limit foods that can cause heartburn (e.g., chocolate, caffeinated or carbonated drinks, mints, fried or fatty foods)
  • Eat smaller meals and eat slowly
  • Raise the head of your bed six inches and avoid reclining or lying down for a few hours after eating
  • Lose excess weight
  • Quit using tobacco products
  • Avoid tight clothing

If your heartburn appears to be related to one of your medications, check with your healthcare provider before you stop taking any medication. He or she may recommend an alternative medication or something to decrease your symptoms.

You may have acid reflux if you have persistent heartburn or indigestion. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms.

  • Bring a copy of your medical history (past illnesses, surgeries and hospitalizations).
  • Make a list of your medications (including over-the-counter).
  • Write down any questions, symptoms or concerns you want to talk about.

Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider.

  • What is my causing my symptoms and what treatment are you recommending? Are there any alternatives?
  • Are you prescribing a medication to decrease my heartburn? Is an over-the-counter or generic version available? If you are not recommending a generic version, is there a medication on the lowest available tier of my Prescription Drug List (PDL).
  • When might I start to see improvement in my symptoms?
  • What tests do I need? What is the reason for those tests? Will the test results change my treatment plan?
  • Are you recommending a procedure to look into my esophagus and stomach (known as endoscopy) or other type of surgery? If so, why and what alternatives are there? What are the possible risks and complications?
  • What are my follow-up plans and what symptoms should I report before my next appointment?

Make sure you understand your treatment plan, any possible alternatives, and what medications are recommended (including possible side effects).

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

Upset Stomach
Stomach Upset
Stomach Pain
Stomach Disorder
Stomach Ache
Sour Stomach
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Burning in Throat
Burning in Chest
Acid Reflux

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