260 Patchogue Yaphank Rd # C
East Patchogue, NY 11772


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By Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates
September 04, 2014
Category: Gastroenterology
Heartburn is common and, in many cases, occasional to rare. While a mild case of heartburn should not raise any red flags, it is still uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are various ways to combat the discomfort.

Recognize the Symptoms and Causes of Heartburn

The first step of fighting heartburn is to be able to recognize it. Symptoms include:
  • A burning pain in the chest and abdominal area.
  • Pain that gets worse when you lay down or bend over.
  • Burning that rises from your chest and could be felt as high as the neck.
  • Acidic taste at the back of the throat.
Heartburn is caused by stomach acid coming up the esophagus. The band-like muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter, relaxes when you swallow to let food or drink pass. Sometimes, the muscle can weaken or misfire, allowing stomach acid to come up the esophagus, causing acid reflux, which, in turn, causes heartburn. This is this reason that the burning sensation can be made worse by lying down or bending over. Heartburn can also be triggered by certain foods, such as onions, spicy foods or even chocolate. Being overweight and smoking are also common triggers.

Treating Heartburn

Heartburn can be treated in many ways, from herbal remedies to prescription medications.
  • Antacids. One of the most common treatments, which works to take the pain and burning away, but can not repair an already damaged esophagus.
  • Proton-pump Inhibitors. This drug slows down the actual production of stomach acid. While proton-pump inhibitors are longer lasting than antacids, they do not work as fast.
  • Prescription medication. These medications can only be prescribed by a doctor, but are the most powerful option for more serious cases.
  • Herbal remedies. Calcium is the active ingredient in most antacids, and can be taken to prevent heartburn. Milk thistle, lemon balm and even licorice have been known to help heartburn sufferers.
If you experience heartburn three or more times a week, it is time to seek medical help. The gastroenterologists located in Suffolk County, can help you diagnose, treat and manage the heartburn pain that plagues you. He and his team will work closely with you to determine the best plan of action to ensure you leave their office both healthy and happy, with your heartburn under control. Call Brookhaven Gastroenterology Associates at (631) 289-0300 today to make an appointment, or schedule one online.