Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat
Heartburn is burning pain in the chest behind the breastbone. Heartburn is greatest when lying down or bending over. Heartburn may be temporary or chronic. It is treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.
Heartburn occurs when acid moves up from stomach to the mouth along the esophagus (food pipe). This occurs when the esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens. The acid back flow may be worse when the affected bents over or lying down.
The symptoms of heartburn include pain in the arm or jaw, difficulty in breathing, burning or severe chest pain or pressure, pain while lying or bending over.
RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS:
In general, certain spicy foods, onions, citrus products, processed tomato products, carbonated beverages and fried foods increase the risk of heartburn. The complications of heartburn are evident as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), if neglected may damage the esophagus.
TESTS & DIAGNOSIS:
The doctor looks for the symptoms of heartburn. To confirm the presence of heartburn, the doctor may advice for X-ray, Endoscopy, Ambulatory acid probe tests and Esophageal motility tests. Of significance are the X-ray, which helps to know the shape and condition of the esophagus and stomach, and endoscopy that helps to check the abnormalities in the esophagus.
Avoid all foods and drinks that may cause heartburn. Quit smoking and beverages. Over the counter medication may offer temporary relief. However, long-term treatment under the supervision of a gastroenterologist is greatly advised.