Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. While you may be able to live without some organs, the heart is definitely not one of them. It’s responsible for delivering oxygen to every living cell in your body, without which, they would die.
Stockton Cardiology Medical Group offers a whole host of cardiology services, including treatment for heart disease, chest pain, congenital heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and so much more. We have offices in Manteca, San Andreas, Stockton, and Tracy in order to better serve you. Below, we’ll take a look at a common complaint we see here in our offices — heartburn. Contact our heart doctors today!
WHAT IS HEARTBURN?
Heartburn, like the name implies, is a burning sensation in your chest just behind your breastbone where your heart lies. It is often painful and uncomfortable. It can be the worst after certain activities, such as eating, or when you are lying down or bending over.
CAUSES OF HEARTBURN
Heartburn is actually a symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is when acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus. There is a valve that is supposed to prevent this backup known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that sits at the entrance to the stomach from your esophagus. If this valve is weakened or doesn’t close properly, this is when stomach acid can back up, which is where the burning feeling comes from.
There are certain kinds of food that can trigger heartburn:
- Foods high in acid, such as citrus fruits
- Spicy foods
- Large meals
- Naproxen (Aleve)
- And more
Other lifestyle conditions can trigger heartburn as well:
- A diet high in fat
Occasional heartburn is nothing to be too concerned about. However, if you experience heartburn on a regular basis, you should most definitely see your doctor, especially if heartburn is accompanied by other symptoms, such as severe chest pain, pressure, pain in the arm or jaw, or trouble breathing.
Heartburn treatments include:
- Eating smaller meals
- Eating more frequently so you don’t need to eat large meals
- Give up smoking
- Don’t eat late at night
- Minimize alcohol consumption, as well as the taking of aspirin, ibuprofen, and caffeine
- Sleep in an elevated position so the acid from your stomach won’t flow into your esophagus
If the above lifestyle treatments don’t help with heartburn, then there are other heartburn treatments that may help. Antacid tablets can be helpful if you experience heartburn after eating. These tablets coat the esophagus so you won’t experience the burning sensation. They also help to neutralize the acid in the stomach. Antihistamines can be helpful since they block histamines, which contributes to acid production in the stomach. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) also block the production of stomach acids. Most of these are prescription medications.
For those with severe cases of heartburn, surgery may be an option. This, however, is for those with very severe cases of heartburn and nothing else has helped, those with Barrett’s esophagus (a serious form of GERD), or very severe acid reflux.
HOW STOCKTON CARDIOLOGY CAN HELP RELIEVE HEARTBURN
After speaking with your general practitioner and you still notice your heartburn has shown little improvement, you may want to consider a consultation with one of our heart specialists. Our heart doctors at Stockton Cardiology Medical Group have helped thousands of patients with their heart health issues, including heartburn.
At your heart consultation, we’ll review your medical records from your doctor and do our own diagnosis and testing. Heartburn is usually preventable with the right treatment based on your individual conditions.
The heart doctors at Stockton Cardiology Medical Group can advise you on what treatment to try next so that you can be on your way to health. We have four offices to serve you in Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, and San Andreas. Our heart specialists have years of experience in diagnosing and treating heart conditions, from congenital heart disease and coronary heart disease to ankle brachial index. You should not have to go one more day not feeling your best. If heartburn is causing you worry, or it’s happening enough to impact your life, then contact us today!