For most people, heartburn is a treatable symptom. Frequent heartburn may indicate acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. When treatment doesn't work and heartburn is severe despite lifestyle changes, surgery may be an option. It may also be an option if GERD causes other medical problems. Minimally invasive procedures using endoscopy are also available to treat acid reflux.
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.