Symptoms of Heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest caused by acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus, causing an uncomfortable burning sensation that can last for several minutes or hours. Heartburn can be triggered by eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages, including coffee, tea, alcohol, chocolate, and citrus fruits. It can also be caused by stress or anxiety.
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans get heartburn at least once a month. Most people can manage their heartburn symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.
Symptoms of Heartburn
What does heartburn feel like? Common symptoms of heartburn include:
- Burning sensation in the chest behind the breastbone that may travel up to the neck, throat, or jaw that usually happens after eating or while lying down or bending over
- Bitter or sour taste in the back of your throat
- An acidic taste in your mouth.
- Chest pain that can be severe and spread to other parts of the body.
- Pain in the throat or back of the neck.
- A feeling of food coming back up with a burning sensation in the throat or chest.
- Difficulty swallowing or feeling like food is stuck in your throat.
- Excess saliva production or “water brash.”
- Bad breath.
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting.
- A cough or wheezing.
- Sore throat.
- Bloating and belching.
What to do
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor and get checked out as soon as possible. Heartburn can be a symptom of other more serious conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or even heart problems. Your doctor can help diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your heartburn.
If left untreated, persistent or frequent heartburn can damage the lining of your esophagus, leading to other complications such as Barrett’s esophagus, which increases your risk for esophageal cancer. It is important to take steps to reduce the frequency and intensity of your heartburn, such as avoiding trigger foods and/or taking medications to reduce stomach acid production.
Also read: Home Remedies For Heartburn
- Heartburn: What you need to know. National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus Magazine. https://magazine.medlineplus.gov/article/heartburn-what-you-need-to-know
- Acid Reflux. American College of Gastroenterology. https://gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/