Heartburn: A Common Complaint

Dr. Nancy Qusba Emergency Physician Downers Grove, IL

Dr. Nancy Qusba M.D. is a top Emergency Physician in Downers Grove, IL. With a passion for the field and an unwavering commitment to their specialty, Dr. Nancy Qusba M.D. is an expert in changing the lives of their patients for the better. Through their designated cause and expertise in the field, Dr. Nancy Qusba M.D.... more

GERD (Heartburn) is a condition where the lower end of the food pipe does not  function properly and allows the stomach contents, including acid and bile, back up into the food pipe (esophagus). This leads to inflammation and heart  burn. There are other factors that lead to similar pains, some of which can be extremely serious, like lung or heart related conditions.

The most prominent symptoms of heartburn are:

  • Burning sensation that usually localized to the substernal region around upper mid abdomen
  • Stomach contents may even sometimes reach the mouth, resulting in an acid taste in the mouth
  • Sore throat, hoarseness, cough  
  • Stomach contents can trickle into the lungs, causing intermittent cough and wheezing
  • Difficulty swallowing, may even have esophageal bleeding, which is usually minor but can be extremely dangerous
  • It may result in progressive narrowing at the lower end of the food pipe, making swallowing hard for solid foods, which could leave permanent damage called Barrett's esophagus. This is a serious complication

Easy Tips to Prevent Heartburn 

  1. Lose any excess weight
  2. Avoid eating fast foods
  3. Avoid drinking tomato, orange, or lemon juice
  4. Avoid drinking caffeinated coffee or tea and carbonated beverages, like soda  
  5. Avoid drinking alcohol
  6. Avoid taking Aspirin and NSAIDS, like Naproxen, Motrin, and Prednisone 
  7. Avoid chewing and smoking tobacco
  8. Eat small portions of food  
  9. Eat two to three hours before retiring to bed 
  10. Elevate the head of your bed
  11. Avoid tightening your belt 
  12. Have a low calorie intake 
  13. Avoid taking Prednisone, Antihistamines, and Tricyclic Antidepressants. Take all in moderation.