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    Do You Have Heartburn?

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    How Do I Know If I Have Heartburn?

    Your description of your symptoms may be all a doctor requires to diagnose heartburn, but sometimes additional testing may be necessary. The esophagus can be viewed through an endoscope, a long, thin, flexible tube inserted through the mouth, or by X-ray.

    Sometimes, your doctor may recommend a 24-hour esophageal pH probe study, especially if you have unusual symptoms, such as throat or chest or abdominal pain, coughing, or asthma-like symptoms. In this test, a long, narrow, flexible tube is inserted through the nose down into the esophagus and a probe is left there for 24 hours. This probe detects acid levels to determine if it correlates with your symptoms. A newer technique (called Bravo) measures 24-hour acid; it is done using wireless pH sensors, which eliminates the need for a tube insertion. To detect if your heart is the cause of your symptoms, an electrocardiogram (ECG), a recording of the heart's electrical activity, may be taken.

    Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

    Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn

    Heartburn is very common -- and very unpleasant. It's triggered when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. It can make you feel as though someone has lit a small bonfire in your chest, and it's burning its way up to your neck. You're probably well aware that medications can help calm the burn, but natural heartburn remedies and lifestyle changes may be another way to get relief. One commonly used "natural" heartburn remedy is calcium. It's also the active ingredient in many over-the-counter...

    Read the Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 26, 2014
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