Most people with wind and bloating don’t have an underlying health problem. But flatulence can sometimes be caused by a condition such as constipation, irritable bowel lactose or syndrome intolerance.

Heartburn or acid indigestion is the most common symptom of GERD. Always check with your baby’s provider before raising the head of the crib if he or she has been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux.

Your symptoms may be triggered by acid irritating your sensitive stomach lining. If you have heartburn (acid reflux), stomach acid rises and reaches your throat through your oesophagus up. This may be caused by gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) – see our FAQ on What can I do if my indigestion is caused by GORD?

Do most people get heartburn?

Heartburn is a pain in the middle of your chest. The pain from heartburn can be very strong.

I was concerned about my tongue and looked up on a web site for tongue infections, which linked with ‘gastroesophageal reflux’. I then researched the symptoms, and found they all matched my own symptoms. I have suffered from what I thought was heartburn, indigestion for more than 38 years.

But you can’t tell the difference, so seek immediate medical help if any chest is had by you pain. Some doctors believe a hiatal hernia may weaken the LES and increase the risk for gastroesophageal reflux. Hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves up into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm (diaphragmatic hiatus). The diaphragm is the muscle separating the abdomen from the chest. Recent studies show that the opening in the diaphragm helps support the lower end of the esophagus.

Some people need to take PPIs on a long-term basis. If your symptoms don’t get better despite trying self-help measures and over-the-counter medicines, your GP may prescribe a PPI.

But if the pain is unfamiliar, and the cause is uncertain, call 9-1-1 immediately. Again, if there is any confusion about whether your symptoms are related to heartburn or are the warning signs of a heart attack, you should seek immediate medical attention. If you’re suffering from acid reflux, talk to your doctor about your options or find a doctor near you. A little bit of reflux is normal.

One of the doctors saw me popping antacids after lunch and asked if I had ever talked to my doctor about my heartburn. He was shocked that I had even mentioned it never! I consider myself an educated person but that was the first time I heard that long term heartburn can be a sign of GERD, and that going too long untreated, GERD can lead to esophageal cancer.

For the less-intense side effects, like hoarseness and coughing, which can get worse at nighttime, Katz recommends keeping your head elevated when you go to bed and avoiding meals three to four hours before bedtime to help minimize discomfort. As stomach acid inches up your food pipe, there’s a possibility that some of it can sneak into your lungs too, causing respiratory issues ranging from no big deal.

You may want to visit an internist, a doctor who specializes in internal medicine, or a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the intestines and stomach. Depending on how severe your GERD is, treatment may involve one or more of the following lifestyle changes and medications or surgery. No one knows why people get GERD.

What Causes GERD?

With an understanding of the causes and proper treatment, most people will find relief. For patients in whom diagnosis is difficult, doctors may measure the acid levels inside the esophagus through pH testing. Testing pH monitors the acidity level of the symptoms and esophagus during meals, activity, and sleep.

I was eventually sent for a barium swallow which confirmed that I had a large reflux that was originally treated with Prevacid. Over time that medication was changed to Nexium. Just recently I returned to the doctor as an increase was being experienced by me in heartburn. I was sent for another barium swallow. I went to a different lab than the first test.

A weekly food journal might be useful in identifying what types of food trigger your heartburn. By keeping a daily record of what you eat, the right time that you eat, and any activities that made your symptoms worse you should be able to correlate specific foods with episodes of heartburn. The stomach acid that leaks into the oesophagus in people with GORD can damage the lining of the oesophagus (oesophagitis), which can cause ulcers to form. You’ll usually be given enough medication to last a month. Go back to your GP if they don’t help or your symptoms return after treatment finishes.

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