Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in the chest or throat. It happens when the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Treating heartburn is important because, over time, reflux can damage the esophagus. Heartburn is common and most people can manage the discomfort on their own with lifestyle changes. If you have heartburn more than twice a week, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and need to consult a doctor.
A burning pain in the chest that usually occurs after eating, especially at night
• Pain that worsens when lying down or bending over
If the heartburn continues or if you experience nausea and vomiting consult a doctor. If you have other symptoms such as crushing chest pain, it could be a heart attack. Get help immediately.
Typical heart attack signs and symptoms include
• Pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing sensation the chest or arms that may spread to the neck, jaw, or back
• Shortness of breath
• Cold sweat
• Sudden dizziness
Simple tips to manage heartburn
• Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight puts pressure on the abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into the esophagus.
• Avoid tight-fitting clothes, which put pressure on the abdomen.
• Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn, such as spicy foods, citrus products, tomato products such as ketchup, fried foods, alcohol, large or fatty meals.
• Avoid lying down immediately after a meal. Wait for at least two hours.
• Avoid eating late, very close to bedtime.
• Elevate the head of your bed if you regularly experience heartburn at night or while trying to sleep.