Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - When To Call a Doctor
The main symptom of
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is an
uncomfortable feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain just behind the
breastbone, a feeling commonly referred to as heartburn. Sometimes heartburn
can feel like the chest pain of a heart attack.
Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if:
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...
Have occurred frequently over several years and are only partially
relieved with lifestyle changes and nonprescription medicines that reduce or
Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. Occasional mild heartburn can often be relieved
by making lifestyle changes and taking nonprescription medicines that reduce or
block acid. Contact a doctor if
you have any of the symptoms listed above.
Who to see
The following health professionals can evaluate
symptoms of GERD:
You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in
diseases of the digestive tract (gastroenterologist) to check severe
GERD symptoms or to get an opinion on whether surgery is needed. If you are
thinking about having surgery, you may also be referred to a general surgeon
who has experience treating stomach and esophagus problems.