Almost everyone gets a bit of heartburn or indigestion after a particularly large or late dinner. For about 20% of Americans, recurrent heartburn is a symptom of a more serious condition called gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Mustafa Ahmed, MD, and the team of bariatric specialists at Southern Nevada Bariatrics can assess your heartburn symptoms and help you make changes to your lifestyle to alleviate it. If severe heartburn plagues you several times per week, don’t hesitate to call the Las Vegas office or book your appointment online today.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a common issue characterized by a burning pain in your chest that occurs shortly after you finish a meal. It often occurs in conjunction with obesity or a general lack of exercise. In some cases, heartburn comes with several other symptoms, such as:
- A bitter taste in your mouth
- Worsened pain while bending over or laying down
- Stomach pain similar to indigestion
Heartburn is typically a symptom of another condition called acid reflux that happens when your stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus after you eat.
Many people get acid reflux every once in a while, but acid reflux more than twice per week is called gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD).
Treating heartburn is usually as simple as making a few changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. To reduce your instances of heartburn, you can:
- Lose weight
- Exercise more often
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes
- Eat small meals
- Eat dinner early
- Wait three hours to lay down after eating
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking alcohol
At Southern Nevada Bariatrics, the team helps you lose weight and learn healthy habits to avoid heartburn. They may also suggest over-the-counter medications, like antacids, to alleviate your heartburn. For the best outcome, take your medications exactly as instructed by your physician.
When should I seek treatment for heartburn?
Getting heartburn doesn’t always call for professional treatment. Many people get it with no other symptoms, and it goes away promptly without intervention.
Some cases, however, are more serious. You should contact Southern Nevada Bariatrics to make an appointment for your heartburn if you:
- Get heartburn more than twice per week
- Have trouble swallowing
- Feel nauseous or vomit often
- Have trouble eating enough because of your heartburn
- Have no success with over-the-counter antacids
If you have severe chest pain along with pain in your arms or trouble breathing, you should seek emergency care as soon as possible. These are symptoms of a heart attack and aren’t the same as heartburn.
If you’re concerned about burning pain in your chest or if it occurs often, call Southern Nevada Bariatrics or go online to book your heartburn evaluation today.