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Heartburn services offered in Wantagh, NY

About 50 million people in the United States experience heartburn every month. Heartburn is a symptom that may develop from a wide range of causes. It’s not always a serious concern, but if you have persistent heartburn, schedule a consultation at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists in North Wantagh, and  South Wantagh, New York. They team with you to find the cause of your symptoms and provide the most effective treatment. Call or schedule an appointment online today.

Heartburn Q & A

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is a painful burning sensation you feel in your chest. It may also cause an acidic or sour taste in the back of your mouth.

Your discomfort may last a few minutes or several hours, and lying down may worsen the pain.

Heartburn is a symptom that occurs when the acid from your stomach flows up into the esophagus. This is called acid reflux.

The refluxing of the stomach acid develops because of problems involving the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a ring of muscle located at the end of your esophagus above your stomach.

When food reaches the LES, it opens so the food can pass into your stomach. The LES then closes tightly shut.

If the LES can’t properly close, the acidic contents of your stomach flow up into your esophagus, causing that burning sensation. 

What causes heartburn?

You can develop heartburn from a number of causes, including lifestyle habits and medical conditions. Causes of heartburn include:

  • Eating large meals
  • Eating too close to bedtime
  • Smoking
  • Eating fried or spicy food, citrus fruits, chocolate, or mint
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Medications
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis: Allergic condition that causes inflammation of the esophagus

It’s not unusual to have heartburn once in a while. However, if you have that burning sensation in your chest more than twice a week, then you might have a more chronic condition — gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

When should I seek medical help for heartburn?

You should seek expert care for your heartburn at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists if it’s a persistent problem. You should also get medical care for your heartburn if over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medications fail to ease your symptoms. 

The gastroenterologists also recommend a consultation if you have other symptoms, such as pain when you swallow; nausea and vomiting; or a poor appetite.

What are some treatments for heartburn?

Treatment for heartburn depends on the cause. The experts at Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists recommend lifestyle changes to reduce heartburn, such as:

  • Diet changes
  • Weight loss
  • Smoking cessation
  • Not eating too close to bedtime
  • Elevating the head of the bed

If lifestyle changes fail to provide adequate relief from your heartburn, your gastroenterologist may recommend medications. This might include H-2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which decrease stomach acid production.

To get help for your heartburn, call Long Island Gastroenterology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.