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Heartburn/GERD Health Center

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Is It Heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

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    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:

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    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 > >

    • 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 used to be?
    • Do you wake up at night with heartburn?
    • Have you been having any 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 September 15, 2015
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