We’ve all had it – that slow, burning feeling that moves from your chest up to your neck and throat. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the contents of your stomach come back up into your esophagus. It’s normal for that to happen occasionally, and your esophagus is designed to keep it under control. But when there’s more reflux than your esophagus can handle, it turns into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and often produces heartburn.
Health experts estimate about twenty percent of people in the U.S. have heartburn once a week.
There’s no reason to continue suffering, though. Dr. Marc Bernstein with Mercy Clinic Gastroenterology has nine tips to help you prevent heartburn.
It is important to note none of these recommendations are absolute. Recording your own experience with common heartburn triggers may allow you to cut back on the foods that bother you most without making drastic diet modifications.
If you’re having heartburn once or twice a week, a chewable or liquid antacid can help relieve your discomfort. If you’re suffering from chronic heartburn, there are several over-the-counter medications that may work for you.
Talk to your Mercy doctor about your history with heartburn so you can develop a care plan that works for you. We’ll get you back to feeling your best instead of feeling the burn.
Marc Bernstein, MD, is a gastroenterologist at Mercy Clinic Hepatology in St. Louis. Learn more.