Heartburn, a common condition, is the telltale burning in the middle of your chest after a meal. The cause is stomach acid that washes back up into the esophagus due to a valve not working properly. This reflux irritates the lining of the esophagus and causes heartburn, which can worsen over time.
Persistent heartburn can be a sign of reflux disease, also known as GERD. Signs and symptoms can include persistent heartburn, frequent belching, feeling that there is a “lump” in your throat, irritating cough and hoarseness.
While antacids and other over-the-counter drugs can relieve heartburn symptoms temporarily, GERD, if left untreated, can lead to more serious symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, anemia, chest pain that can be mistaken for a heart attack and even esophageal cancer.
Many of the diagnostic tests needed to determine GERD are performed at the Heartburn Treatment Center located at Singing River Health System. If you are experiencing any symptoms and would like more information about diagnosis and treatment options, contact the Heartburn Treatment Center 228-818-1003.