Heartburn (Acid Reflux)

  • Medical Author:
    Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP

    Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

View the Heartburn Foods to Avoid Slideshow

Quick GuideHeartburn Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, and Treatments

Heartburn Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, and Treatments

What are the symptoms of heartburn?

The usual symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest. It can be accompanied by:

  • a sour taste at the back of the throat, or
  • a feeling of food being stuck in the throat.

A person needs to be evaluated by a health-care professional as soon as possible if he or she has heartburn symptoms that are accompanied with:

  • shortness of breath,
  • radiation to the arms or neck,
  • dizziness or cold sweat.

Foods and beverages to avoid

  • Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Coffee and orange or other acidic juices are some of the beverages that can worse or trigger heartburn.
  • Fatty foods, fried foods, and some acidic foods (oranges, grapefruits, tomatoes) as well as spicy foods can cause heartburn.

Every person reacts somewhat differently to specific food groups. To track what foods worsen your symptoms, keep a food journal. In this journal, you should keep track of what you eat, the time you ate, any activity that worsened or made the heartburn better, and indicate which days you have heartburn symptoms. Over time, you will be able to correlate the offending foods with heartburn events. Print this and take this with you to your next doctor's appointment to discuss possible causes of heartburn you may be experiencing.

Heartburn Journal - Week of________________
Day Foods Eaten Heartburn Trigger
(Yes or No)
Activities
Sunday
Monday    
Tuesday      
Wednesday      
Thursday      
Friday      
Saturday      
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/8/2015

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