Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include chest pain, burning in the throat, difficulty swallowing, the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and a burning feeling in the chest.
Causes of heartburn include dietary habits, lifestyle habits, and medical causes.
Treatments for heartburn include lifestyle changes, OTC medication,prescription medication, and surgery.Read more: Heartburn Article
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GERD Quiz: Test Your Digestive Diseases IQ
Who is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about...
Picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
The stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by...
Picture of Esophagus
The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. See a picture of the Esophagus and learn more...
Heartburn: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
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Heartburn (Acid Reflux, GERD): Causes and Remedies
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux that causes chest pain when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Heartburn symptoms...
Digestive Health: Why Am I Bloated?
Bloating is a sign and symptom of gas in the stomach or GI tract. Certain foods or health problems like constipation may cause...
Gastric (Stomach) Cancer: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
What are the common signs and symptoms of stomach cancer? Learn about gastric cancer diagnosis, treatment, and their risks, how...
Related Disease Conditions
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Signs
Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, and not all women experience the same symptoms. When women do experience pregnancy symptoms they may include symptoms include missed menstrual period, mood changes, headaches, lower back pain, fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and heartburn. Signs and symptoms in late pregnancy include leg swelling and shortness of breath. Options for relief of pregnancy symptoms include exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (vocal cords). The most common cause of acute laryngitis is infection, which inflames the vocal cords. Symptoms may vary from degree of laryngitis and age of the person (laryngitis in infants and children is more commonly caused by croup). Common symptoms include a "barky" cough, a hoarse cough, fever, cold, runny nose, dry cough, and loss of voice. Chronic laryngitis generally lasts more than three weeks. Causes other than infection include smoking, excess coughing, GERD, and more. Treatment depends on the cause of laryngitis.
Pregnancy (Week by Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but others include breast swelling and tenderness, nausea and sometimes vomiting, fatigue, and bloating. Second trimester symptoms include backache, weight gain, itching, and possible stretch marks. Third trimester symptoms are additional weight gain, heartburn, hemorrhoids, swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, breast tenderness, and trouble sleeping. Eating a healthy diet, getting a moderate amount of exercise, also are recommended for a healthy pregnancy. Information about the week by week growth of your baby in the womb are provided.
Sore throat (throat pain) usually is described as pain or discomfort in the throat area. A sore throat may be caused by bacterial infections, viral infections, toxins, irritants, trauma, or injury to the throat area. Common symptoms of a sore throat include a fever, cough, runny nose, hoarseness, earaches, sneezing, and body aches. Home remedies for a sore throat include warm soothing liquids and throat lozenges. OTC remedies for a sore throat include OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics may be necessary for some cases of sore throat.
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a thin membrane of tissue connects the esophagus with the diaphragm becomes week, and a portion of the stomach slides up into the esophagus. Causes include obesity, pregnancy, straining during a bowel movement, aging, and ascites. There are generally no symptoms of a hiatal hernia, and it is discovered during another medical procedure to test for GERD, or other swallowing problems.
Obesity is the state of being well above one's normal weight. A person has traditionally been considered to be obese if they are more than 20% over their ideal weight. That ideal weight must take into account the person's height, age, sex, and build.
Intestinal Gas (Belching, Bloating, Flatulence)
Gas (intestinal gas) means different things to different people. Everyone has gas and eliminates it by belching, burping, or farting (flatulence). Bloating or abdominal distension is a subjective feeling that the stomach is larger or fuller than normal. Belching or burping occurs when gas is expelled from the stomach out through the mouth. Flatulence or farting occurs when intestinal gas is passed from the anus. Causes of belching or burping include drinking too rapidly, anxiety, carbonated drinks, habit, and swallowing air. Learn about causes of intestinal gas, foods that cause gas and bloating, treatments that reduce excessive gas and soothe gas pain, and much more.
Esophagitis (Pain, Symptoms, Causes, Grades, and Cure)
Esophagitis is caused by an infection or irritation of the esophagus. Infections that cause esophagitis include candida yeast infection of the esophagus as well as herpes. Signs and symptoms of esophagitis include cough, mouth sores, chest pain, bad breath, sore throat, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. Treatment of esophagitis includes diet, lifestyle changes, and medication depending upon the cause.
H. pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) Infection
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that causes chronic inflammation (gastritis) of the inner lining of the stomach, and also is the most common cause of ulcers worldwide. About 50% of people in the world carries or is infected with H. pylori. Common symptoms of H. pylori infection are occasional abdominal discomfort, bloating, belching or burping, and nausea and vomiting. H. pylori infection is difficult to eradicate, and treatment is with two or more antibiotics.
Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer)
Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related to H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, use of anti-inflammatory medications, and cigarette smoking. Symptoms of peptic or stomach ulcers include abdominal burning or hunger pain, indigestion, and abdominal discomfort after meals. Treatment for stomach ulcers depends upon the cause.
Gynecomastia (Enlarged Male Breasts)
Gynecomastia, an enlargement of the gland tissue in the male breast is caused by an imbalance of hormones. Certain medical conditions may also lead to gynecomastia such as cirrhosis, malnutrition, disorders of the male sex organs, kidney failure, thyroid disorders, and medications. Gynecomastia is generally treated with medication, and if necessary, surgery.
Trichinosis Worm Infection
Trichinosis is a food-borne disease caused by ingesting parasites (roundworms) in undercooked pork or wild-game meat. Symptoms of trichinosis include diarrhea, nausea, muscle aches, itching, fever, chills, and joint pains.Trichinosis usually resolves without treatment, but more severe cases are treated with thiabendazole (Mintezol), albendazole (Abenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, sinus infection, cigarette smoking, GERD, postnasal drip, bronchitis, pneumonia, medications, and less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are: heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Effective treatment is available for most patients with GERD.
Pregnancy Planning (Tips)
Pregnancy planning is an important step in preparation for starting or expanding a family. Planning for a pregnancy includes taking prenatal vitamins, eating healthy for you and your baby, disease prevention (for both parents and baby) to prevent birth defects and infections, avoiding certain medications that may be harmful to your baby, how much weight gain is healthy exercise safety and pregnancy, travel during pregnancy.
Chest pain is a common complaint by a patient in the ER. Causes of chest pain include broken or bruised ribs, pleurisy, pneumothorax, shingles, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, angina, heart attack, costochondritis, pericarditis, aorta or aortic dissection, and reflux esophagitis. Diagnosis and treatment of chest pain depends upon the cause and clinical presentation of the patient's chest pain.
32 Causes of Chest Pain: Signs and Symptoms
Chest pain may be caused by many conditions. Learn when chest discomfort, pressure, and tightness is a medical emergency. Find out the most likely causes of left-sided chest pain and chest pain when breathing. Read about potential underlying causes of chest pain including muscle pain, coronary artery disease, coronary artery dissection, esophageal conditions, gallbladder problems, GERD, heart attack, lung problems, and more. Discover how chest pain in women differs from that in men.
Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.
Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the esophagus. Risk factors of cancer of the esophagus include smoking, heavy alcohol use, Barrett's esophagus, being male and being over age 60. Severe weight loss, vomiting, hoarseness, coughing up blood, painful swallowing, and pain in the throat or back are symptoms. Treatment depends upon the size, location and staging of the cancer and the health of the patient.
Barrett's esophagus occurs as a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), primarily in white males. GERD refers to the reflux of acidic fluid from the stomach into the esophagus (the swallowing tube), and is classically associated with heartburn. Learn the symptoms, causes, and treatments for Barrett's esophagus.
Reflux Laryngitis (Diet, Home Remedies, Medicine)
Reflux laryngitis is caused by acid refluxing back up through the esophagus and voice box. Reflux laryngitis causes irritation and inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, larynx, and throat; and can lead to symptoms, signs, and other problems like esophagitis, sinusitis, strictures, throat clearing, swallowing problems, asthma, chronic cough, and growths on the vocal cords. Typical symptoms of reflux laryngitis include heartburn, hoarseness, or a sensation of a foreign body in the throat. Reflux laryngitis can be treated with diet chanes, OTC medication, prescription medication, and lifestyle changes.
Heartburn vs. Acid Reflux (Differences and Similarities)
Heartburn and acid reflux are not the same thing. Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux. Heartburn gets its name because it feels like a burning sensation around the heart. Another symptom that occurs with heartburn is a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, usually when you eat or lye down. Heartburn affects more than 60 million people in the US at least once a month. Acid reflux, or GERD, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, which irritates it. Heartburn is just one symptom of acid reflux. Other symptoms of acid reflux include: Belching Nausea after eating A feeling of fullness during or after eating Abdominal bloating Upset stomach Belching Wheezing Reflux laryngitis A tightness in the throat Problems swallowing Indigestion In some people, vomiting Causes of acid reflux and heartburn include: Being obese Slouching (poor posture) Medications like calcium channel blockers, theophylline, nitrates, and antihistamines Foods and drinks like caffeine, citrus fruits and vegetables, alcohol, and chocolate Pregnancy Diabetes Increase in stomach acid Eating a heavy meal Eating before bed The treatment for heartburn and acid reflux is to treat the underlying cause, for example, GERD, with over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, prescription medicine, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes like a eating a healthy, less fatty, spicy diet, not eating big meals, not eating before bed, and getting regular exercise to improve your posture.Sometimes a heart attack can mimic heartburn and acid reflux because they feel very similar. If you have symptoms of chest pain, tightness in the chest, heartburn, acid reflux, jaw, tooth, or head pain; shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, discomfort in the upper middle of the abdomen, arm or upper back pain, or the general feeling of being ill, go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately because these are the symptoms of a heart attack.REFERENCES:American College of Gastroenterology. "Acid Reflux." 2017.<http://patients.gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/> familydoctor.org. "Heartburn." Updated: Mar 2014.<https://familydoctor.org/condition/heartburn/> National Library of Medicine; PubMed Health. "Heartburn and GERD: Treatment options for GERD." Updated: Nov 18, 2015.<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072436/>
Schatzki Ring (Schatzki's) Causes, Symptoms, and Natural Treatments
Schatzki (Schatzki's) ring, is a narrow ring of tissue located just above the junction of the esophagus and stomach. The cause of Schatzki ring is not clearly known, however, some doctors believe they are caused by long term acid reflux. The symptoms of a Schatzki ring is primarily poorly chewed food that stays in chunks becoming stuck in the esophagus. Diagnosis of Schatzki's ring is barium x-ray or endoscopy. Treatment is generally a procedure to stretch or fracture the rings.
Swallowing Problems (Dysphagia)
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing, swallowing problems. Dysphagia is due to problems in nerve or muscle control. It is common, for example, after a stroke. Dysphagia compromises nutrition and hydration and may lead to aspiration pneumonia and dehydration.
Heartburn during Pregnancy
Heartburn during pregnancy is quite common. During pregnancy the lower esophageal sphincter muscle becomes weakened , which likely occurs due to the effect of the high levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. Fortunately, this resolves after pregnancy. Management of heartburn during pregnancy are generally involves lifestyle changes and avoiding foods that promote heartburn, for example, don't smoke, avoid tight clothing, eat small, frequent meals, chew gum, or sip liquids. The effect of heartburn medications on the fetus is unknown, so it is best to check with your OB/GYN if you feel you need medication to treat heartburn.
Heart Attack vs. Heartburn (Differences between Symptoms and Signs)
Heartburn is a symptom of another disease or medical problem and can be described as a feeling of burning in the chest accompanied by symptoms of nausea, vomiting, or a sour taste or food stuck in the back of the throat. Heart attack occurs when an artery in the heart is completely blocked by a blood clot, which causes that portion of heart muscle to die. Heart attack also has symptoms of chest pain, nausea, and vomiting, however, other warning signs and symptoms of a heart attack are unusual weakness or fatigue, and persistent and/or increased severity of symptoms over a few minutes. Heart attack is a life threatening emergency. If you think you or someone you are with is having a heart attack, call 911 immediately for urgent medical treatment. It may save your life.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or "passive smoke" also harm family members, coworkers, and others around smokers. There are a number of techniques available to assist people who want to quit smoking.
GERD and GER (Acid Reflux) in Infants and Children
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the upward movement of stomach content, including acid, into the esophagus and sometimes into or out of the mouth. Common symptoms of GERD in children include colic, feeding problems, poor growth, frequent vomiting or coughing, heartburn, regurgitation, recurrent wheezing, pneumonia, choking, or gagging. Treatment may involve elevating the child's bed, keeping the child upright after eating, limiting foods that seem to make the reflux worse, encouraging your child to exercise, and serving several small meals a day.
Pregnancy Diet (Menu Plans)
When a woman is pregnant she needs more vitamins, minerals, and other foods in her diet to stay healthy and deliver a healthy baby. A healthy pregnancy diet menu plan should consist of lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats (unless you are vegan or vegetarian), and dairy. Examples of healthy pregnancy diet meal plans include: Holistic pregnancy diet Vegan or vegetarian diet Low-carb diets Begin your healthy eating plan around three months before you begin trying to conceive, and follow the same eating plan until after you have stopped breastfeeding. If you are overweight or obese, being pregnant is not the right time to try to lose weight. Discuss your options with your health-care professional.
Cyclospora Infection (Cyclosporiasis)
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite that causes infection when humans ingest food contaminated with feces from an infected individual. Symptoms include profuse diarrhea, abdominal pain, gas, cramping, and fatigue. A seven-day course of Bactrim or Septra is the standard treatment for cyclosporiasis.
Pregnancy Changes and Body Discomforts
Pregnancy can bring challenges like weight gain, stretch marks, varicose veins, heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoids, problems sleeping, and wondering if it is safe to have sex while pregnant. Learn how to manage and move through these challenges during pregnancy.
Smoking During Pregnancy
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth, low birth weight or premature birth, and more. Secondhand smoke also increases your baby's risk of developing: lung cancer, heart diseases, emphysema, asthma, allergies, and SIDS.
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Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
- pantoprazole (Protonix)
- famotidine (Pepcid AC)
- ranitidine, Zantac
- omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid)
- simethicone, Phazyme, Mi-Acid, Gas Relief, Mytab Gas, Gas-X, Gas-X Extra Strength
- esomeprazole (Nexium)
- loperamide (Imodium)
- cimetidine, Tagamet HB
- lansoprazole (Heartburn Relief 24 Hour, Heartburn Treatment 24 Hour, Prevacid 24)
- calcium carbonate (Caltrate 600, Os-Cal 500, Tums)
- Ondansetron (Zofran) vs. metoclopramide (Reglan)
- Carafate (sucralfate) vs. Prilosec (omeprazole)
- rabeprazole (Aciphex)
- licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Digestive enzymes vs. omeprazole (Prilosec)
- calcium salts (Cal-Citrate, Tums)
- nizatidine (Axid, Axid AR)
Prevention & Wellness
- Two More Heartburn Meds Recalled Due to Possible Carcinogen
- Zantac Recalled by Sanofi
- Surgery Helps Tough-to-Treat Acid Reflux
- 'Smartphone Slouching' More Serious Than It Sounds
- Maker Halts Distribution of Generic Zantac Due to Possible Carcinogen
- Heartburn Drug Zantac May Contain Small Amounts of Known Carcinogen, FDA Says
- Heartburn Drugs Might Bring Allergy Woes
- Heartburn Drugs Again Tied to Fatal Risks
- Is It Heartburn or Something Else?
- Health Tip: Steer Clear of Heartburn by Avoiding These Foods
- Connecting the Dots Between Heartburn Drugs and Kidney Damage
- Common Heartburn Drugs Linked to Broken Hips in Dialysis Patients
- Chronic Heartburn Tied to Higher Odds for Head, Neck Cancers
- Common Heartburn Meds Show Ties to Kidney Trouble
- Common Heartburn Meds Show Ties to Kidney Trouble
- Are Some Heartburn Meds Tied to Stomach Cancer?
- Acid Reflux? Try Going Vegetarian
- Popular Heartburn Drugs Don't Raise Risk of Alzheimer's: Study
- Health Tip: If Heartburn Doesn't Go Away
- Popular Heartburn Drugs May Boost Death Risk: Study
- Popular Heartburn Meds Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: Study
- Study Suggests Heartburn Meds-Superbug Infections Link
- Another Obesity Downside: Higher Esophageal Cancer Risk
- Health Tip: For Better Sleep, Watch What You Eat
- 1 in 3 Adults Diagnosed With Asthma May Not Have It: Study
- Are Heartburn Meds During Pregnancy Linked to Asthma in Kids?
- Heartburn Drugs May Raise Risk of Stomach Infections: Study
- Coping With Sleep Loss During Pregnancy
- High Pain Tolerance Tied to 'Silent' Heart Attack Risk
- Could Common Heartburn Drugs Up Stroke Risk?
- Health Tip: Health Risks of Childhood Obesity
- Research Points to 'Smoking Gun' for PPI Risks
- Beware of Bleeding Risks With Antacids Containing Aspirin
- Health Tip: Talk to Your Doctor About Heartburn
- Clues to How Popular Heartburn Drug Might Harm Arteries
- Common Meds and Dementia: How Strong Is the Link?
- 1 in 4 Hospitalized Newborns Gets Heartburn Drugs, Despite Risks
- Health Tip: How You Change During Early Pregnancy
- Common Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Disease in Study
- Doctors Often Overestimate Promise of Newly Approved Drugs
- Could a Low-Risk Surgery Help Your Chronic Heartburn?
- Widely Used Heartburn Drugs Linked to Dementia Risk in Study
- Heartburn Meds Linked to Chronic Kidney Disease
- Don't Let Reflux Ruin Your Thanksgiving
- Chronic Heartburn Drugs Tied to Higher Risk of Kidney Disease
- Health Tip: Taking Antacids
- Health Tip: Should I Talk to my Doctor About Gas?
- FAQ: Heartburn Meds and Health Risks
- Health Tip: Identifying Symptoms of GERD
- Popular Heartburn Meds Linked to Higher Risk of Heart Attack
- Many Aging Boomers Face Chronic Illness, But Death Rate Is Falling: CDC
- Generic Form of Nexium Approved
- Health Tip: Easing Heartburn During Pregnancy
- Pack a Travel First-Aid Kit for the Holidays
- Could Popular Heartburn Drugs Upset Your 'Good' Gut Bugs?
- Take Heartburn Medicines Before Breakfast for Best Effect
- Doctors Often Suggest Pricier, Brand-Name Meds for Reflux: Study
- New Weight-Loss Surgery May Not Ease Chronic Heartburn
- Chronic Heartburn May Raise Odds for Throat Cancer: Study
- Losing Weight May Ease Chronic Heartburn
- Health Tip: Before You Take This Heartburn Medication...
- Health Tip: Don't Let GERD Interrupt Your Sleep
- Heartburn Meds May Often Be Taken for Too Long, at Too-High Doses
- Magnetic Implant May Ease Chronic Acid Reflux
- Endoscopy Overused in Heartburn Patients
- New Guidelines Urge Limiting Endoscopy for GERD
- Insomnia May Raise Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke
- Health Tip: Treating a Chronic Cough
- Health Tip: Manage Heartburn During Pregnancy
- Untreated Heartburn May Raise Risk for Esophageal Cancer, Study Says
- Chronic Heartburn May Boost Risk for Esophageal Cancer
- Many Primary Care Docs Don't Know Long-Term Effects of Chemo: Survey
- Less-Invasive Surgery for Esophageal Cancer Might Be Safer
- Health Tip: Avoid Asthma Triggers
- Esophageal Cancer Surgery Can Leave Lingering Health Problems, Study Says
- New Device Approved for Lingering GERD
- Health Tip: Spot the Symptoms of GERD
- Acid Reflux From Chronic Heartburn May Damage Teeth
- Health Tip: Keep Heartburn Under Control
- Heartburn Drugs Linked to Hip Fractures in Women
- Heartburn Meds Won't Help, May Harm Kids With Asthma
- FDA Panel Backs New Device for Chronic Heartburn
- Chronic Heartburn a Growing Problem in U.S.
- Health Tip: Physical Problems May Cause Insomnia
- Are Acid Reflux Drugs Overused?
- Health Tip: Sleep Soundly During Pregnancy
- Men, Women May Experience Acid Reflux Differently
- Barrett's Esophagus May Be Less Risky Than Thought
- Ginger May Have Cancer-Fighting Qualities
- Some Acid Reflux Drugs Linked to C. diff
- Study: Americans Confused on Drug Benefits vs. Risks
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