Did you know that over 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least one time a month? This common issue causes uncomfortable burning in your throat or chest, but these sensations don’t have anything to do with your heart. The problem comes from your digestive system.
To find relief for your heartburn, visit us at The Bariatric Experts, led by Dr. Scott Stowers in Frisco, Abilene, or Denton, Texas. We understand the discomfort that heartburn can cause, and we know how to treat it.
Ironically, you feel heartburn in your chest or throat area, but the sensation isn’t caused by your heart. It’s caused by several issues like acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a chronic form of acid reflux.
When eating, the food goes from your mouth, to your throat, through your esophagus, and then through an opening that goes to your stomach. Typically, the opening shuts once your food passes through it. But, if it doesn’t close, then it can travel back into your esophagus and up into your throat. This process is called acid reflux, which causes heartburn.
Specific triggers of heartburn
Heartburn can be brought on by eating certain foods, drinking alcoholic beverages, and taking specific medications.
When it comes to food, if they’re acidic or high in fat, heartburn can develop easily and quickly. Those foods include:
- Citrus fruits
Spicy foods and over-proportioned meals can also cause heartburn.
Medications like aspirin and ibuprofen, plus some sedatives and blood pressure medicines, can be sources of its cause, too.
Oddly enough, smoking can be a culprit because tobacco can affect your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) function and relax the muscle that can cause heartburn.
Other triggers include pregnancy and being overweight, both of which put added pressure on your abdomen.
Symptoms of heartburn
Heartburn causes great discomfort. Typical symptoms include:
- Burning in your chest and throat area after you eat or at night
- Intensified pain when you lie down or bend over
- Acidic or bitter taste in your mouth
- Sensation of having something stuck in your throat
These symptoms might start shortly after eating and persist for hours.
How we treat heartburn
To relieve you of your symptoms, we may prescribe over-the-counter antacids, H2 blockers, or proton pump inhibitors to reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.
However, lifestyle changes can produce great results and tackle the root cause of your issue.
We may encourage you to:
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Exercise more
- Avoiding eating before bedtime
- Elevate your head 6 inches while sleeping
- Eat high protein/low-fat meals
If medications and lifestyle changes don’t help, we can give you a pH test to check the acidity in your esophagus or give you an endoscopy to look for issues inside your digestive tract.
To learn more about heartburn and how we can treat your condition, contact our team today in Frisco, Denton, or Abilene, Texas. Call or book your appointment online, or we can set up a telehealth appointment if you live over two hours from our office.