ABC Medical Center > Heartburn

What is Heartburn?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition that manifests with painful periods, in which you feel irritation and tightness in the chest, near the sternum, which usually increases after eating or at night when lying down, because stomach acid returns through the esophagus due to a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter Occasional heartburn can be easily treated with medication and by modifying your eating and daily habits. But if it is recurrent, it may be due to a serious condition that requires specialized treatment to discover the cause and avoid possible complications There are a number of foods and beverages that can contribute to the onset of heartburn, including:

  • Fats and fried food.
  • Alcohol.
  • Sodas.
  • Coffee.
  • Onion and garlic.
  • Peppers.
  • Highly seasoned foods.
  • Excess food.
  • Chocolate.
  • Mint.
  • Tomato sauce.
  • Citrus fruits.

Your risk of having heartburn is high if you’re overweight, obese, or pregnant.

Signs and symptoms Heartburn

  • Burning sensation in the chest, especially after eating.
  • Chest pain that intensifies when lying down.
  • Bitter taste in the mouth.
  • Tightness in the chest.

If heartburn episodes appear more than three times a week, you feel tightness in your chest, you have recurrent nausea or vomiting, difficulty swallowing and weight loss, it is important that you see a specialist to be evaluated and rule out a serious health problem, such as gastroesophageal reflux, which can cause considerable damage to the esophagus or degenerate into cancer.

Diagnosis and treatment Heartburn

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, he or she will perform a physical examination and various tests to determine the origin of your heartburn, including:

  • Endoscopy: in order to corroborate the presence of irregularities in the esophagus and take a tissue sample to be analyzed.
  • Esophagogram: to check the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine, as well as to assess a possible disorder.
  • Esophageal manometry: which measures the muscular contractions of the esophagus and if the esophageal sphincter works properly.
  • Acid probe: to identify how long stomach acid accumulates in the esophagus.

The treatment consists of relieving heartburn based on the severity of your symptoms, age, and health. Your doctor will usually prescribe a variety of medications, such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and H-2 receptor antagonists. Prevention: You can prevent heartburn by adjusting your diet and lifestyle, such as:

  • Quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption.
  • Discarding foods that cause heartburn.
  • Using bulky pillows to raise the level of your head when lying down.
  • Refraining from large meals, as well as lying down after lunch or dinner.
  • Exercising regularly and keeping a healthy weight.
  • Eating a light dinner as early as possible.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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