At the UNC REX Heartburn Center, we understand that suffering with heartburn associated with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is frustrating and uncomfortable. Whether you have heartburn, regurgitation, swallowing difficulties or symptoms in your throat such as cough and hoarseness, GERD can make your life miserable. We are here to help and improve your overall quality of life.
What is Heartburn or GERD
This disease is defined as a condition caused by the reflux (or back up) of stomach contents into the esophagus, causing troublesome symptoms and complications. GERD is often also referred to as acid reflux. In fact, these terms can be used interchangeably. What causes GERD is a malfunction of a muscular structure called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) located at the end of the swallowing
Causes of Heartburn or GERD
You, like many people, want to know what causes heartburn. Heartburn symptoms, such as a burning feeling in the upper abdomen and chest (often accompanied by a pressure sensation), indigestion and some types of chest pain are actually caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD.
There are some lifestyle habits that can cause GERD:
- Eating foods such as fatty foods, spicy foods, chocolate caffeine, onions, tomato sauce, carbonated beverages and mint.
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating large meals
- Lying down soon after eating
- Cigarette smoking
Symptoms of Heartburn or GERD
You may experience a burning sensation in your chest, which sometimes spreads to the throat, along with a sour taste in your mouth. Some people refer to this as acid indigestion.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- Chest pain, especially at night while lying down
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Constantly clearing the throat
- Frequent burping or hiccups
- Feeling food get stuck in the throat
- Regurgitating food and/or liquids
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call the Rex Heartburn Center at 919-784-BURN (2876) to make an appointment and learn more about heartburn and treatment options.
When to Ask for Help
- Do you get a burning feeling in the middle of your chest?
- Do you often have this feeling after a meal or at night?
- Does this burning feeling gets worse when I lie down or bend over?
- Do over-the-counter medicines such as acid reducers or antacids help the burning go away?
- Do you frequently regurgitate (burp up) my food?
- Is there a bitter or sour taste in the back of your throat?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, there is a good chance you have GERD and you could be at risk. For more information, call the Rex Heartburn Center at 919-784-BURN (2876) to make an appointment and learn more about heartburn and treatment options.
Why Choose Rex
At Rex Heartburn Center, we offer you the expertise of highly qualified clinical professionals who use an integrated approach and focus on providing relief for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), acid reflux and heartburn. We have customized programs and treatment options to serve you and your loved ones in obtaining the relief they have always desired, allowing them to live longer, happier lives.
The National Heartburn Alliance
American College of Gastroenterology