Heartburn Pain – is it Serious?

Being informed about heartburn can help you to treat it, avoid it, or be aware if it’s a sign of other, more severe health issues. Heartburn, a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is caused when the valve between your esophagus and your stomach isn’t operating properly and allows stomach acid to reflux into your esophagus. Many people suffer from it, but how do you know if it’s something worse?

When suffering from chest pains or a burning sensation in your chest or throat, ask yourself three questions.

  • Are you sweaty?
  • Do you have heart palpitations?
  • Are you short of breath?

If you can answer yes to any of these questions when you are experiencing acid reflux, you should see a physician and make sure that your problems are not heart-related. You can also consider the time that you experience the heartburn. After a large meal, with no additional symptoms, a burning in your chest is likely to be heartburn or indigestion. If you have doubts, though, always check with your physician.

Heartburn can occur after several activities, including eating a large meal, heavy lifting, exercise, or even lying flat. If you are obese, overweight, or pregnant, you are more prone to heartburn as well. You may also find that certain foods make you more sensitive to heartburn, such as chocolate, carbonated beverages, peppermint, coffee, citrus, and fried, fatty, and spicy foods. If you experience heartburn more than once a week, even after limiting your exposure to these types of foods, you should seek the advice of a physician. Prolonged acid reflux can cause damage to your esophagus, and your doctor can prescribe medical or surgical solutions that can decrease or eliminate your discomfort.

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