Heartburn refers to an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest that can occur in conjunction with acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acids flow up the esophagus toward the throat. If you struggle with persistent heartburn, a gastroenterologist can help. The board-certified providers at Gastroenterology Associates of Rochester in Rochester, NY, treat heartburn, acid reflux, and other related conditions.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Acid reflux is a condition in which fluids from the stomach travel back up the esophagus and into the throat or mouth. Normally the valve between the esophagus and stomach closes after food passes through into the stomach. However, if the valve does not close properly, acid reflux can occur. Acid reflux can lead to several different symptoms, including heartburn.
Heartburn is associated with a burning sensation in the chest or throat caused by the stomach acids traveling up the esophagus. Heartburn can also be brought on by eating spicy foods, drinking alcohol, eating greasy or fried foods, or drinking coffee. In addition to a burning sensation, other symptoms of heartburn include:
- A dry cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- A persistent sore throat
- The feeling that something is stuck in the throat
- The burning sensation gets worse when lying down
Treatments for Heartburn
It is normal to experience heartburn once in a while, particularly after consuming certain types of foods or drinks. However, individuals who develop heartburn at least twice weekly should see a gastroenterologist. Left untreated, persistent heartburn caused by acid reflux could eventually lead to the lining of the esophagus becoming damaged.
The experienced providers at our gastroenterology office in Rochester, NY, treat chronic heartburn and will develop a treatment plan to help reduce symptoms. Treatment could include antacid medications to neutralize stomach acids or reduce or block acid production. Lifestyle modifications might also be part of the treatment plan and could include dietary changes, avoiding certain foods and drinks, smaller portion sizes, or losing weight. If heartburn persists despite treatment, surgery could be needed.
If you are dealing with persistent heartburn, a gastroenterologist can help. Schedule a consultation with one of our doctors to learn more about treating your heartburn by calling Gastroenterology Associates of Rochester in Rochester, NY, at (585) 720-1550.