Do Not Take Severe Heartburn Lightly
December 31, 2012 | By Tom Dixon

Chest pain is one of the most common reasons people go to emergency rooms. Severe heartburn can be similar to symptoms of a heart attack. The victims of both conditions tend to have similar characteristics and lifestyles. Often, medical professionals need diagnostic equipment to tell the difference. Older people and obese people are more likely to have a heart attack or severe heartburn. If pain lasts more than a few minutes or is accompanied by numbness or pain in other areas, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Severe heartburn symptoms can include a burning sensation in the chest, right behind the breastbone. It can last for a few minutes or many hours. Chest pain related to severe heartburn can be worse when a person is lying down or eating. The esophagus gets irritated and the person will experience a hot or acidic fluid at the back of the throat. They may also experience difficulty swallowing, a chronic cough or sore throat. Often right after a meal, the person will get a gurgling sensation in the stomach. This is quickly followed by the urge to vomit and/or the acid burning taste in the esophagus.

Severe heartburn can be a symptom of acid reflux or Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease. Acid reflux is caused by gastric acids being pushed up from the stomach into the esophagus. GERD is similar, except food is being pushed up instead of acids. Both can lead to a severely irritated esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation in the throat. The pressure from the acids and food being pushed up contribute to pain. Recurrent heartburn or GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.

Occasional heartburn is usually normal, severe heartburn is not. Please consult a doctor if you feel you may be suffering from severe heartburn. It may be a warning sign of other health problems.

Antacids are typically used as quick relief for heartburn. However, these over-the-counter medicines rarely resolve the root issue, so heartburn usually returns. Experiment with your diet and keep track of how certain foods or eating habits cause your body to react. This may help determine which foods or patterns trigger your heartburn. For simple, natural relief, eliminate these triggers from your diet.

The content material of this article or webpage is for educational and consumer information purposes only, under section 5 of DSHEA.

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