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HEARTBURN

Heartburn is a term used to describe a burning sensation that usually follows a large meal or after lying down after a meal. Symptoms can be treated at home but if frequent heartburn makes it difficult to eat or swallow, it may be a sign of a more serious condition.

Symptoms of heartburn include:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Chronic cough
  • Stomach pain in the upper abdomen
  • Frequent sore throat
  • Acid taste in mouth
  • Persistent hoarseness

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis of heartburn usually requires a thorough history and physical examination. This is to evaluate if there is any damage in the upper gastrointestinal tract. The physician may suggest the following tests:

  • Endoscopy
  • Upper GI Series
  • Ambulatory pH testing

 

TREATMENT

Treatment for heartburn can be done at home through lifestyle and diet changes and medications. In rare cases, surgical procedures may be needed to treat a severe or chronic case of heartburn (also known as GERD). Other forms of treatment are the following:

  • Weight loss/keeping ideal weight
  • Smoking cessation
  • Food intake control
  • Head elevation

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