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When to Call the Doctor About Heartburn or Reflux

If you have any of the following heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called acid reflux or GERD) symptoms or conditions, contact your doctor.

  • Your heartburn symptoms have become more severe or frequent
  • You are having difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing, especially with solid foods or pills
  • Your heartburn is causing you to have nausea or vomiting (especially if you are vomiting blood or black material)
  • You've experienced a drastic weight loss accompanied by heartburn
  • You have been using over-the-counter antacid medications for more than two weeks (or for a longer period than recommended on the label), and you still have heartburn symptoms
  • You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription or nonprescription medications
  • You have chronic hoarseness or wheezing, or your asthma has worsened
  • Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities
  • You are having chest pain accompanied by pain in the neck, jaw, arms, or legs; shortness of breath, weakness, irregular pulse, or sweating
  • You have extreme stomach pain
  • You are experiencing diarrhea or black or bloody bowel movements

 

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Top 10 Heartburn Foods

You know it all too well. Heartburn. That fiery sensation that grabs hold of your lower chest after you eat something you know you shouldn't have. What often follows is that sour or bitter taste of acid reflux in your throat and mouth that can last minutes (if you are lucky) or hours (if you are not). Yes, millions of us are familiar with the discomfort of heartburn, a condition in which stomach acids back up into the esophagus. The good news is that heartburn is largely avoidable if you steer...

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kimball Johnson, MD on July 25, 2012
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