Heartburn Treatment Specialist in Oak Park IL
Heartburn can bring many symptoms such as chest pain, sour or bitter taste, and completely ruin your plans. If you notice your heartburn is not getting better, and you are looking for treatment options to help, look no further! Our heartburn treatment specialists at Diamond Gastroenterology are available to help. For more information, contact us or visit us online to book an appointment. We serve patients from Oak Park, IL and surrounding areas.
Table of Contents:
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that is often accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in the mouth. It is a common symptom of acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. While occasional heartburn is not a cause for concern, frequent or persistent heartburn could indicate an underlying health problem. In this essay, we will explore the underlying causes of heartburn and how they can be identified.
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, which occurs when stomach acid enters the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. When we swallow, the muscles in the esophagus contract and push food down into the stomach. However, if the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus don’t close properly, stomach acid can flow back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. This can lead to the burning sensation of heartburn. In addition to acid reflux, heartburn can also be caused by a hiatal hernia, which occurs when the upper part of the stomach protrudes into the chest through the diaphragm.
Heartburn symptoms include:
– Chest pain usually after eating but may also occur at night
– Pain that gets worse when you lie down or bend over
– A bitter or sour taste in your mouth
Chest pain may be a symptom of a heart attack. Get help right away if you experience severe chest pain or pressure, especially if accompanied by arm or jaw pain or difficulty breathing.
Make an appointment with your doctor if:
– Heartburn occurs more than twice a week
– Symptoms persist despite over-the-counter medication
– Difficulty swallowing
– Persistent nausea or vomiting
Certain foods can trigger heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Spicy or fatty foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onions, chocolate, and peppermint are among the foods that can cause heartburn. Drinking alcohol, coffee, and carbonated beverages can also contribute to heartburn. In addition to dietary factors, obesity, pregnancy, and certain medications can increase the risk of heartburn. Obesity puts pressure on the stomach, which can force acid into the esophagus. Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes that relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and muscle relaxants can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause heartburn.
Identifying the underlying causes of heartburn is important for effective treatment. Keeping a food diary can help identify trigger foods and beverages. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding tight-fitting clothing can reduce pressure on the stomach. Elevating the head of the bed can also help prevent acid reflux. If heartburn persists despite lifestyle changes, over-the-counter antacids or acid reducers such as ranitidine or omeprazole may provide relief. In some cases, surgery may be needed to repair a hiatal hernia or strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter.
Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux, which can be caused by a variety of factors including certain foods, obesity, pregnancy, and medications. Identifying the underlying causes of heartburn is important for effective treatment. Lifestyle changes such as keeping a food diary and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of heartburn. Over-the-counter medications or surgery may be necessary in more severe cases. By understanding the underlying causes of heartburn, individuals can take steps to manage their symptoms and improve their overall health.
Various types of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines can help relieve heartburn. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you find the right medicine for you.
Relieve occasional mild heartburn with antacids containing calcium carbonate or magnesium. They help eliminate stomach acid. Some prevent acid reflux. Those foods that contain magnesium may also help heal stomach ulcers. They come in liquid and pill form and work quickly.
– H2 blockers
H2 blockers help relieve and prevent occasional heartburn by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
– Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
PPIs are used to prevent frequent heartburn that occurs more than twice a week. They work by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
Prokinetics help your stomach empty faster, leaving less acid behind.
– Heartburn Medications
If your heartburn doesn’t get better, your medications have side effects that you can’t handle, or you have other complications, you may need surgery. Heartburn rarely requires surgery.
Several procedures can strengthen the valve between the esophagus and stomach to prevent stomach acid from rising up again. The most commonly used is called fundoplication. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus to increase the pressure on the muscles that open and close the esophagus. There is also a modified version.
The surgery is usually performed as a laparoscopy, requiring only a small incision in the abdomen and a short hospital stay. For more information, call us. We serve patients from Oak Park, IL River Forest IL, Cicero IL, River Grove IL, Forest Park IL, Berwyn IL, Melrose Park IL and Broadview IL.