Just about everyone feels that searing pain in their chest from time to time — heartburn.
And while over-the-counter treatments, like antacids, provide occasional relief, those who regularly experience heartburn should talk to their doctor about the possibility of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux, or Barrett’s esophagus.
Heartburn is a common symptom in each of these conditions:
- Acid reflux, the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
- GERD, a digestive disorder affecting the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Barrett’s esophagus, a long-term consequence of GERD and a precancerous condition of the esophagus.
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Heartburn Warning Signs
Those who experience any of the following symptoms should talk to their doctor about heartburn:
- Frequent heartburn
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Dry cough
- Upper abdominal pain
RELATED: The Right Diet for GERD
Learn more in this blog post by Dr. David Schaefer, MD, a gastroenterologist at UPMC Susquehanna.