Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, a common ailment facing many people today. The gastroenterologists at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates, located in the city of Patchogue in Suffolk County, NY, can help you with the pain and discomfort of heartburn.
When you have heartburn, the contents of your stomach are traveling back up your esophagus, causing a burning pain in your lower chest. When your heartburn becomes consistent, meaning you are experiencing symptoms more than twice a week, it means you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If your GERD is left untreated, it can lead to a more severe condition or be a sign of another underlying health issue. Otherwise, GERD is commonly caused by obesity, smoking, Hiatal hernias, and some medications that can even cause heartburn.
What are the symptoms of heartburn?
A good indicator of heartburn is the feeling of warmth or burning in the chest or throat. You could also feel indigestion or a foul, acid taste in your mouth.
If you experience additional symptoms, such as nausea, lightheadedness, and arm discomfort, this could be a sign of a heart attack, and you should immediately seek medical care.
How is heartburn treated?
For mild heartburn, you may be able to adjust your lifestyle or behavior for symptom relief. Simple changes include:
- Limiting fat intake
- Elevating the head of the bed
- Avoid heavy lifting and straining
- Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
- Avoid alcohol, spicy foods, and acidic foods
- Weight management
- Quitting smoking
- Eat a small meal more frequently instead of a large meal.
When these remedies don't do the trick for your heartburn, the gastroenterologists at Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in Patchogue, Suffolk County, can help. When you come in for a consultation, you may be prescribed medications to help relieve your heartburn symptoms. These medications include:
- H2 blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPI)
Proton pump inhibitors are the most effective medication and cause fewer side effects than H2 blockers. You and your physician will determine which treatment is best for you.
Occasional heartburn is common, but frequent and regular heartburn is not and should be checked out by a healthcare professional. If you are ready to do something about your heartburn, call Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates in Patchogue, Suffolk County, today for an appointment at (631) 289-0300.