Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). Sometimes, people confuse the symptoms of heart attack with symptoms of acid reflux disease. That’s because pain in the chest can feel like heartburn. When in doubt, call your doctor. A newer procedure, the LINX procedure, works by placing a ring around the lower esophageal sphincter and is less invasive than a fundoplication. Eating smaller meals puts less pressure on the stomach, which can prevent the backflow of stomach acids. By eating smaller amounts of food more frequently, you can reduce heartburn and eat fewer calories overall.
Different people have different triggers. Your doctor may suggest you keep a food journal to find out what aggravates your acid reflux symptoms. See your healthcare provider if heartburn or indigestion recurs for more than 2 weeks. Always talk to your doctor before you begin taking antacids on a regular basis. Gastroesophageal refers to the stomach and esophagus. Reflux means to flow back or return. Therefore, gastroesophageal reflux is the return of the stomach’s contents back up into the esophagus. For patients in whom diagnosis is difficult, doctors may measure the acid levels inside the esophagus through pH testing. Testing pH monitors the acidity level of the esophagus and symptoms during meals, activity, and sleep Newer techniques of long-term pH monitoring are improving diagnostic capability in this area.
Finally, other common problems that may be causing GERD like symptoms can be diagnosed (for example ulcers, inflammation, or cancers of the stomach or duodenum) with EGD. There are a variety of over-the-counter (for example, antacids and foam barriers) and prescription medications (for example, proton pump inhibitors, histamine antagonists, and promotility drugs) for treating GERD. Stand upright or sit up straight, maintain good posture. This helps food and acid pass through the stomach instead of backing up into the esophagus.
One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia , acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease. One novel approach to the treatment of GERD is what google did to me chewing gum. Chewing gum stimulates the production of more bicarbonate-containing saliva and increases the rate of swallowing. After the saliva is swallowed, it neutralizes acid in the esophagus. In effect, chewing gum exaggerates one of the normal processes that neutralize acid in the esophagus. It is not clear, however, how effective chewing gum is in treating heartburn. Nevertheless, chewing gum after meals is certainly worth a try.
When an individual mentions that they have heartburn, they are usually referring to a burning sensation felt in the chest.3 In some cases, this may be mistaken for heart attack pain , especially when the pain is severe.4 Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, the condition brought on by a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid to travel up the esophagus. Aside from heartburn, patients who suffer from acid reflux may also get sore throats and a cough. If you’re having trouble differentiating these terms, just remember that heartburn is a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD, and GERD is the chronic form of acid reflux.