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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 or unexplained weight loss accompanied by heartburn
    • You have a chronic cough, choking sensation or sense of a lump in your throat.
    • 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

    Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

    Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    Your doctor may be able to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, from your description of symptoms. The doctor may also suggest tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms, to monitor the degree of damage, or to determine the best treatment for you. The three main tests used when GERD is suspected or known are esophageal pH monitoring, endoscopy, and manometry. With pH monitoring, the doctor measures the amount of acid in the esophagus over a 24-48 hour period. This test...

    Read the Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on August 24, 2014
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    How do you reduce heartburn?