Is Heartburn a Sign of Something More Serious?

If you’ve ever had heartburn, you know how uncomfortable it can be.  But did you know it could also be a sign of a more serious medical condition?

 

Many people think nothing of it.  Pop a Tums in your mouth and go on with your day.  But frequent heartburn can lead to more serious medical conditions.

 

Heartburn is generally associated with a burning pain in the chest or throat.  Some people have acid reflux, a condition where the liquid content of the stomach refluxes up into the esophagus- the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

 

Two out of five individuals have heartburn at least once a month. One out of five has it on a weekly basis.  And one in ten suffers from it daily.

 

Heartburn can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Barrett’s Esophagus and, in a very small number of individuals, esophageal cancer.

 

A person has GERD if he or she has reflux more than twice a week. In addition to the symptoms described above, coughing, asthma and laryngitis can also be symptoms of GERD.  Some people show no symptoms at all.

 

When GERD occurs frequently, it can damage the lining of the esophagus.  In more serious cases, the esophageal lining begins to look like the lining of the intestine, a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

 

Only a small percentage of those who have GERD develop Barrett’s Esophagus and a much smaller percentage of those with Barrett’s develop esophageal cancer.  According to the Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, only one out of every two hundred individuals with Barrett’s develops cancer per year.

 

Still esophageal cancer is on the rise.  In the past few decades, the incidents of esophageal adenocaricinoma, a cancer associated with Barrett’s Esophagus, has risen by 600%, although the numbers are still low.

 

What you eat, your weight, the medications you take, whether you use tobacco or consume alcohol, caffeine or carbonated drinks can all be causes of heartburn.

 

GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus are chronic conditions.  You can not cure them but you can control them.

 

When changes in lifestyle (elimination of tobacco, for example) and modification to your diet don’t work by themselves, medications, either over-the-counter or through prescription, may be recommended.  Exercise is important if you are overweight.

 

A person is most likely to have reflux when they are lying down.  Avoid eating two or three hours before bed.

 

An endoscopy is use to confirm GERD.  In the case of Barrett’s Esophagus, a biopsy is also necessary.

 

Most everyone has heartburn once in a while.  But when it becomes more frequent, it is time to discuss your symptoms with your physician.  Early detection and treatment can help alleviate unpleasant symptoms and prevent a condition from becoming more serious.

33 Responses to Is Heartburn a Sign of Something More Serious?

  1. Signs and symptoms of GERD include acid reflux and heartburn. Both are common digestive conditions that many people experience from time to time. When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with your daily life, doctors call this GERD. .*,.

    My current online site
    http://healthmedicine101.comzc

  2. Pingback: Heartburn Vegetarian | Treat Gerd & Heartburn

  3. Pingback: Modern Herbals Heartburn Away | Treat Gerd & Heartburn

  4. Pingback: Herbal Remedies For Gerd And Gerd | Cures 4 Heartburn

  5. Pingback: Toddler With Gerd | Cures 4 Heartburn

  6. Pingback: Can Gerd Affect The Voice | Cures 4 Heartburn

  7. Pingback: Acid Burn And Breast Cancer | Gerd & Acid Reflux

  8. Pingback: Acid Burn And Breathing Difficulty | Gerd & Acid Reflux

  9. Pingback: Acid Burn Acid Burn Natural Remedies | Stomach Acid & Gerd

  10. Pingback: Acid Burn Acid Burn In Pregnancy | Stomach Acid & Gerd

  11. Pingback: Acid Burn And Breathing | Stomach Acid & Gerd

  12. Pingback: Acid Reflux Nbc | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  13. Pingback: Acid Reflux Mp3 Alicia Download | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  14. Pingback: Can Acid Reflux Cause Bad Breath 2 | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  15. Pingback: Acid Stomach Foods | My life with acid reflux

  16. Pingback: Acid Reflux Outline | My life with acid reflux

  17. Pingback: Best Stomach Acid Medicine Pregnancy | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  18. Pingback: Acid Burn Magnetic Band | My life with acid reflux

  19. Pingback: Abdomen Acid Zu Jeddeloh | Gerd & Acid Reflux

  20. Pingback: Constipatiion Gerd Numb Toes | Stomach Acid & Gerd

  21. Pingback: Bile Reflux And Stomach Acid | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  22. Pingback: How Do You Inform The Distinction Between Low Abdomen Acid And High Abdomen Acid | Cures For Heartburn

  23. Pingback: Heartburn Relief Little Pink Spots On Face After Vomiting That Scab Over | Gerd or Heartburn?

  24. Pingback: 6 Stunning Acid Burn Triggers | Cures For Heartburn

  25. Pingback: Extreme Acid Reflux During Pregnancy Dwelling Cures | Cures For Heartburn

  26. Pingback: Heartburn Relief Aloe Up Suncare Products | Gerd or Heartburn?

  27. Pingback: Codeine And Heartburn | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  28. Pingback: Curing Acid Reflux Without Medication | Stomach Acid Heartburn

  29. Pingback: Gas And Stomach Acid Sign Of Labor | Stomach Acid & Gerd

  30. Pingback: Heartburn Left | Gerd & Acid Reflux

  31. Pingback: Acid Reflux Cartoon | My life with acid reflux

  32. Pingback: Best Meals Cure Heartburn | Cures For Heartburn

  33. Pingback: Stomach Acid Upset | Stomach Acid Heartburn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

60 + = 68