Heartburn (Reflux) (cont.)
In this Article
- Heartburn facts
- What are the symptoms of heartburn?
- What causes heartburn?
- Dietary causes of heartburn
- Lifestyle causes of heartburn
- Medical causes of heartburn
- What is the treatment for heartburn?
- Tips to alleviate heartburn symptoms
- OTC heartburn treatments
- Prescription heartburn treatments
- When is heartburn surgery necessary?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Heartburn has several symptoms, including:
- A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after
eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours.
- Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down, or eating.
- Burning in the throat -- or hot, sour, acidic, or salty-tasting fluid at the
back of the throat.
- Feeling of food "sticking" in the middle of the chest or throat.
Reporting these symptoms to your doctor is usually all that is needed for your doctor to diagnose heartburn. However, your doctor may perform special tests such as endoscopy or pH monitoring to determine the severity of your problem or to monitor your treatment.
Various lifestyle and dietary factors can contribute to heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter and allowing it to open, increasing the amount of acid in the stomach, increasing stomach pressure, or by making the esophagus more sensitive to harsh acids. These factors include:
- Eating large portions.
- Eating certain foods, including onions, chocolate,
peppermint, high-fat or
spicy foods, citrus fruits, garlic, and tomatoes or tomato-based products.
- Drinking certain beverages, including citrus juices, alcohol, caffeinated
drinks, and carbonated drinks.
- Eating before bedtime.
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