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Heartburn

 

Heartburn is a burning pain in the chest or throat, below the breast bone.

Causes

  • Reflux of gastric acids in the esophagus or the food pipe
  • Obesity
  • Certain foods
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated drinks
  •  Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Large meals
  • Lying down too soon after eating
  • Certain health conditions like diabetes, GERD and hiatal hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Delayed stomach emptying

Symptoms

  • Burning pain in the chest or throat
  • Worsening pain on bending, lying and during night
  • Sour or bitter taste in the throat or the mouth
  • Belching

Treatment

Mild heartburn can be treated by life style changes and over the counter medication. Severe cases may require surgery.

Prevention

  • Avoid large meals
  • Avoid lying down immediately after meals
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods