Skip to content

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Select An Article

Is It Heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

    Font Size

    Occasional heartburn is often treatable with over-the-counter medication and/or lifestyle modification.

    Ask yourself these questions to see if your heartburn may be caused by a more serious condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also called GERD:

    Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

    Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist About Heartburn Relief

    One in 10 Americans has heartburn or acid reflux at least once a week, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Whether you're one of the lucky few who generally has an iron stomach -- or you need heartburn relief nearly every day -- rest assured: You can soothe the burn. Start by getting to know your local pharmacist. Uniquely trained in drug interactions and side effects, pharmacists can help you look at the medications you're already taking, uncover any potential side effects...

    Read the Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist About Heartburn Relief article > >

    • Have you been having symptoms of GERD and treating with over-the-counter medicines for more than 2 weeks?
    • Has the pattern of your heartburn changed? Is it worse than it use to be?
    • Do you wake up at night with heartburn?
    • Have you been having occasional heartburn that is associated with difficulty swallowing?
    • Do you continue to have heartburn symptoms even after taking non-prescription medication?
    • Do you experience hoarseness or worsening of asthma after meals, lying down, or exercise, or asthma that occurs mainly at night?
    • Are you experiencing unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite?
    • Do your heartburn symptoms interfere with your lifestyle or daily activity?
    • Are you in need of increasing doses of nonprescription medicine to control heartburn?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, your heartburn warrants attention from a medical professional. People with long-standing chronic heartburn are at greater risk for serious complications including stricture (narrowing) of the esophagus or a potentially precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus.

     

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on June 21, 2013
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Woman eating pizza
    How it starts, and how to stop it.
    man with indigestion
    Get lifestyle and diet tips.
     
    woman shopping for heartburn relief
    Medication options.
    man with heartburn
    Symptoms of both.
     
    digestive health
    Slideshow
    Heartburn or Heart Attack
    Article
     
    heartburn
    Article
    Top 10 Heartburn Foods
    Video
     
    Is it Heartburn or Gerd
    Video
    digestive myths
    Slideshow
     
    Extreme Eats
    Slideshow
    graphic of esophageal area
    Article