Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.
- Heartburn facts
- What is the definition of heartburn?
- What causes heartburn?
- What does acid reflux look like?
- What are the symptoms of heartburn?
- Foods and beverages to avoid
- How is heartburn diagnosed?
- What are treatments, relief, and home remedies for heartburn?
- Lifestyle changes
- OTC and prescription medications for heartburn
- Surgical procedures to treat heartburn
- Heartburn during pregnancy
- How can heartburn be prevented?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Heartburn is a feeling of burning in your chest, and is a symptom of acid reflux or GERD.
- People experience heartburn after eating specific foods or drinking certain beverages.
- Symptoms of acid reflux that may accompany heartburn include:
- Diet and other lifestyle changes can alleviate heartburn for many people.
- Heartburn is more common during pregnancy.
What is the definition of heartburn?
Heartburn is a sensation of burning in the chest caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus (food pipe). The burning is usually in the upper and central part of the chest, just behind the sternum (breast bone). The burning can worsen or can be brought on by lying flat or on the right side. Pregnancy tends to aggravate heartburn.
Many people experience heartburn and there are a large number of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies available to treat heartburn or the symptoms of heartburn.
In most cases you will not need to see a health-care professional, except if the symptoms are frequent (several times a week) or severe.
If heartburn is severe or the pain is accompanied with additional symptoms such as shortness of breath, radiation into your arms or neck, you will need to see a doctor to distinguish these symptoms from more serious medical conditions such as a heart attack.
If your heartburn symptoms occur more than twice a week you should see your health-care professional to make sure no serious problems are present.
What causes heartburn?
The esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to the stomach) has a tight band of muscles at the lower end (lower esophageal sphincter [LES]) that closes after the food enters the stomach and prevents the stomach contents to reenter the esophagus. If this sphincter weakens or relaxes at the wrong time, stomach acid can back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
What does acid reflux look like?
Acid reflux or GERD
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