Heartburn is a condition associated with a burning sensation in the chest or throat. Certain foods can trigger heartburn but it can also be caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is also known as acid reflux. At the Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima, OH, several heartburn treatments are available and our experienced team of gastroenterologists can develop a treatment plan specifically for you.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, occurs when fluids from the stomach flow back up into the esophagus or even the mouth. This can happen when the valve between the esophagus and stomach has not closed properly. Acid reflux often causes heartburn and other symptoms, such as a bitter taste in the mouth, belching, regurgitation, a sore throat, or a dry cough.
Heartburn tends to be one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. It is associated with a painful burning sensation in the throat or chest that often gets worse when lying down. Heartburn can be caused by other factors besides acid reflux. For example, eating spicy foods can temporarily induce heartburn. Women who are pregnant are more likely to experience heartburn even if they never had a problem with it before pregnancy. Other factors and conditions that can increase the occurrence of heartburn include smoking and being obese.
Treatments for Heartburn
Heartburn that is caused by eating certain foods is usually temporary and can often be treated with over-the-counter antacid medications. Additionally, food-related heartburn can be prevented by avoiding the foods that tend to trigger it. Spicy foods, tomato sauce, citrus foods and drinks, chocolate, peppermint, coffee, and fatty foods can all increase the risk of developing heartburn. Excessive alcohol consumption can also induce heartburn.
Heartburn that is due to chronic or severe acid reflux is best treated by a gastroenterologist. While over-the-counter antacids can be extremely effective in calming heartburn brought on by certain foods, such medications are not always able to prevent heartburn caused by chronic or severe acid reflux.
The gastroenterologists at our locations in Lima, OH, can treat heartburn by treating its primary cause, recurring acid reflux. Examples of treatment options include prescription-strength antacids or a proton pump inhibitor medication, such as Omeprazole. Proton pump inhibitor medications help by blocking the final stage of acid production in the stomach so acid reflux does not occur.
Heartburn can be extremely uncomfortable, but there are treatments that can help. You can schedule a telehealth appointment to discuss treatment options for heartburn by calling The Endoscopy Center of West Central Ohio in Lima, OH, at (419) 227-8209.