Heartburn is often a symptom of digestive issues, such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or acid reflux. Aptly named, heartburn feels like something is burning in your chest. It is quite unpleasant and can be confused with other health emergencies, such a heart attack.
Heartburn is a feeling of discomfort in your chest that may move up to your throat and mouth and most often occurs after eating a meal. A heartburn flareup can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours and is usually due to anatomical issues in your digestive system.
Symptoms of Heartburn
Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in your chest just behind the breastbone. You may feel it is originating from the heart, but it is actually from the stomach or esophagus. Other symptoms include:
Many people who experience heartburn complain not only of a burning sensation but also pain. This may be due to the tightness in the chest that’s a result of acid working its way up the esophagus.
As the acid makes its way from the esophagus to the throat, your throat may feel sore. Very strong stomach acid is corrosive, and it can cause your throat to get damaged.
If the gastric acid that rises up to your throat is high in volume, it can feel like a lot of liquid is rising up your esophagus and into your mouth. You may regurgitate bitter and spicy liquid as a result, which can be irritating and uncomfortable.
The stomach acid rising up your throat can irritate your voice box, which can make your voice sound a little more hoarse than usual.
If you have heartburn, you may also have an irritating cough caused by the gastric acid coming up to the throat. This symptom is most common after you eat a big or unhealthy meal. Coughing caused by heartburn typically lasts for a few hours at most and goes away without treatment. However, it is common for this type of cough to be chronic, meaning it returns frequently.
Feeling nauseous after a meal can be another symptom of heartburn. The stomach acids irritating your esophagus can make you feel nauseated – especially if you jog or become active right after eating.
Why You Should Take Heartburn Seriously
It is normal to experience heartburn from time to time, but if symptoms of heartburn are becoming a regular occurrence, you could have an undiagnosed gastrointestinal tract condition. Stomach acids should remain in the stomach and not travel up to your esophagus, throat, and mouth. The gastric juices in the stomach are very corrosive and can damage the lining of your esophagus, throat, and the soft tissue structures of your mouth as well as your teeth. As such, if you have heartburn, talk to a doctor to get a diagnosis and get it under control quickly.
Heartburn Diagnosis and Treatment in Austin, Texas
At Austin Gastroenterology, our highly skilled and experienced GI physicians are able to treat all types of GI disorders. We start out by diagnosing the cause of your heartburn symptoms and find out if it’s a functional disorder or a structural issue. We guarantee personalized care and effective treatment for your issue.
To schedule an appointment, call the Austin Gastroenterology clinic nearest you or submit a request now using our secure online form.