Heart burn with flu

The most common cause of heartburn is acid reflux. This happens when stomach acid refluxes up into the esophagus, which can cause discomfort.

Acid reflux also causes the esophagus to produce more mucus, which can also cause heartburn symptoms.

The second most common cause of heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.

GERD causes:

  • Stomach bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Bad breath
  • Sore throat

Other symptoms of GERD include:

  • Feeling full quickly
  • Feeling bloated
  • Feeling a lump in the throat
  • Having a hard time swallowing
  • Having trouble swallowing
  • Feeling a lump or a fullness in the throat
  • Having a cough
  • Feeling a cough coming on and lasting longer than usual

It’s important to tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. Your doctor will help you find the best treatment plan for you.

Diagnosing heartburn

Your doctor will likely diagnose your heartburn condition by asking you certain questions or taking a look at your symptoms.

Your doctor will likely ask you:

  • About your symptoms.
  • Whether you’ve had heartburn before.
  • Whether you have any heartburn symptoms after eating.
  • Whether you have any other symptoms.
  • Whether you’ve had any acid reflux symptoms in the past.
  • Whether you’ve taken over-the-counter (OTC) medications for heartburn.
  • Whether you’ve taken acid-reducing medications.

Your doctor may also do a physical exam. They will check your heart for abnormal activity, such as palpitations and a pounding or racing heart rate.

Your doctor may also check for acid reflux and GERD by putting a small piece of food in your mouth and then pressing on your lower esophageal sphincter.

Your doctor may also check for other possible heartburn causes. These include:

  • Sore throat.
  • Indigestion.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Laryngopharynx cancer.

Treatment options

Treatment for heartburn depends on the cause. Many people will get relief from OTC medications and lifestyle changes.

You might need to take prescription medications to treat acid reflux, GERD, or both.

Some medications can help:

  • H2 blockers. These are used to treat acid reflux and GERD.
  • Antacids. These are used to treat heartburn and to relieve the symptoms of indigestion.
  • Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These are used to treat GERD. They’re also used to prevent GERD.

Other treatments include:

  • The Belching Belly Diet. This diet will reduce your risk of acid reflux and heartburn. It also has benefits for weight loss and other health concerns.
  • Lifestyle changes. These might include quitting smoking, eating a healthful diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Medications. These can help relieve heartburn symptoms.

When to see a doctor?

There are times when heartburn might be a sign of a more serious condition.

Here are some signs that you should see your doctor for:

  • Chronic cough or shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Blood in the vomit.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Weight loss.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Fatigue.
  • Chest pain when you lie down.
  • Heart attack.

These symptoms can be signs of a heart attack. They also can be signs of a heart attack if they happen right before or after a heart attack.

Heartburn is a common symptom of heartburn. However, it’s important to see a doctor.

Preventing heartburn

There are some lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your risk of acid reflux and GERD.

You can also help prevent acid reflux by:

  • Avoiding fatty or fried foods.
  • Eating smaller meals more often.
  • Eating slowly.
  • Drinking water before a meal.
  • Going to bed at the same time each night.
  • Avoiding lying down for a long time.
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation.

If you have any of the symptoms of GERD, you should also ask your doctor about taking a PPI or taking an antacid.

If your doctor thinks that you have GERD, they will likely treat you with a PPI or antacid. They may also prescribe an H2 blocker or a low-dose proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

If your doctor is not sure if you have GERD, they may order further testing.

Heartburn after eating

If you frequently have heartburn after eating, you may have GERD.

If you do, you may also have acid reflux, which can cause a burning sensation in the chest.

Heartburn after a meal often comes on after you eat. You may also feel symptoms in your chest after you’ve eaten fatty or fried foods.

Heartburn after lying down

If you have acid reflux or GERD, taking OTC medications or having a PPI or antacid can help prevent heartburn in the morning.

However, heartburn can still occur in the morning, even if you take these medications.

Heartburn after exercise

You may notice heartburn after you exercise. This is because your esophagus has more acid reflux if you exercise.

Heartburn after drinking alcohol

You may also notice heartburn after you drink alcohol. This is because alcohol can irritate the stomach and cause heartburn.

In rare cases, alcohol can also cause esophageal varices, which is when your esophagus opens up and blood leaks into the esophagus.

How to prevent heartburn?

Here are some tips that may help prevent heartburn:

  • Avoid foods that irritate your stomach.
  • Ask your doctor about taking an H2 blocker or antacid.
  • Eat smaller meals more often.
  • Drink plenty of water before and after meals.
  • Go to bed at the same time each night.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

If you have GERD, you can also reduce your risk of heartburn and acid reflux by changing your lifestyle.

You might also benefit from taking an H2 blocker or taking an antacid. They can help prevent acid reflux.


The outlook for heartburn depends on the cause. It’s important to work with your doctor to find the best treatment for you.

You should always consult your doctor before taking any OTC medications. They can help you find the best treatment for your symptoms

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