What is it?

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone, which typically worsens after eating, in the evening, or when lying down. Heartburn occurs when the acid in the stomach flows back up to the esophagus due to abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Triggers and risk factors for heartburn include some foods such as spicy, fatty meals, citrus products, drinking alcohol, obesity, or pregnancy.

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Signs & symptoms

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone, which typically worsens after eating, in the evening or when lying down. Also,sour or bitter taste at the back of the mouth may be felt.

Diagnosis


Diagnosis of GERD is made through questioning and investigating medical history, list of prescribed and over-the-counter medications. Physical examination of the oral cavity, chest, stomach, and maybe other systems will provide additional information and exclude other diseases. Another possible test includes:
- Endoscopy – a procedure that allows looking at the esophagus and taking a biopsy, using a special camera inserted through the mouth.
- X-ray – possibly with contrast drinking liquid (Barium swallow), to emphasize the esophagus.
- Esophageal manometry – a procedure that allows measuring the esophagus's muscle strength by a unique tube inserted through the nose.
- Esophageal pH monitoring – a monitor inserted into the esophagus through the nose and measures whether acid is entering the esophagus.

Treatment

Treatment includes life changes may also be advisable, such as avoiding spicy or acidic food, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, eating smaller portions, and avoiding eating right before going to sleep and medications such as PPI's.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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