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Questions About Heartburn and Heartburn-Related Conditions

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Updated January 31, 2012

Finding answers to questions concerning heartburn such as "how do I stop my nighttime heartburn?" or "are there foods I should avoid to prevent heartburn?" may be difficult. You have to sift through information that may be fact or mere personal opinion. And even if all the information you read is fact, many times one website will answer a few questions, and then you have to go to another site to find answers to some of your other questions. Here you will find answers to most of the common questions about heartburn and heartburn-related conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heartburn

Have you asked what are the symptoms of heartburn, what causes heartburn, why do I get heartburn, and is there a cure for heartburn? You can find some answers below.

  • How Common Is Heartburn?
    We see on TV a lot of commercials about people suffering from heartburn after eating spicy foods or who can't sleep at night because of their heartburn, but exactly how common is heartburn?

  • What Are the Symptoms of Heartburn?
    Heartburn (reflux) is a symptom of various other digestive disorders, and is not a disorder by itself. There are several signs and symptoms that may mean you are suffering from an episode of heartburn.

  • What Causes Heartburn?
    You may suffer from heartburn because you ate a spicy meal, ate too much at a family gathering, or went to bed too soon after eating, but there is a physical reason why the heartburn is occurring.

  • What Increases the Risk of Having Heartburn?
    A risk factor is something that increases your chances of getting a disease or condition. As with any other condition, there are things that can increase your chances of suffering from a bout of heartburn.

  • Is There a Way to Prevent Heartburn?
    You can relieve, and in many cases prevent, heartburn with a few modifications in your lifestyle and by making a few changes in what you eat.

  • Is There a Cure for Heartburn?
    When talking about a disease or other health condition, people most often think of a cure as the putting a permanent end to that disease or condition and making a person healthy again. With that in mind, can anything cure heartburn?

Frequently Asked Questions About GERD

GERD, short for gastroesophageal reflux disease (also referred to as acid reflux disease), affects millions of people. Whether you are newly diagnosed, was diagnosed years ago, or want more information about GERD, the questions below will help answer many of your questions.

  • What is GERD?
    GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn't function properly. Learn what happens then.

  • What Are the Symptoms of GERD?
    The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn. Another symptom can be chest pain. While chest pain can be caused by acid reflux, it can also indicate serious cardiac disease. Anytime you experience chest pain, it should always be evaluated by a physician.

  • What Causes GERD?
    While most people diagnosed with GERD suffer from acid reflux because the lower esophageal sphincter doesn't function properly, there can be other cause of acid reflux.

  • How is GERD Treated?
    Depending on what symptoms you have, and the severity of those symptoms, treatment can include lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, or medication. Lifestyle modifications and dietary changes are usually the first choice in treatment before any medication is used.

  • Can Antacids and 0ther Over-the-Counter Remedies Help Ease Heartburn?
    Antacids can be effective for fast, short-term relief. If you find you are using an antacid frequently, or for longer than two weeks, you should contact your doctor.

  • What Are the Most Common Prescription Medications Used to Treat GERD?
    The most common prescription medications are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They are all similar in how they work. Your doctor can help you decide which one is best for you.

  • Are There Complications with GERD?
    Some patients may develop a complication. Complications usually occur with long-term GERD, especially in cases where the GERD is under-treated or not treated at all. Two of these complication are Barrett's esophagus and erosive esophagitis.

  • Can Children Develop GERD?
    GERD isn't just an adult's disease. Anyone can develop GERD, even infants. For more information, you can check out these resources for infants, children, and teens with GERD.

  • Is There a Cure for GERD?
    There are plenty of ads that promise a cure for GERD, but can it really be cured? As mentioned above, people most often think of a cure as the putting a permanent end to that disease or condition and making a person healthy again. Some people have surgery, and while their symptoms may diminish or go away entirely, it may not cure the underlying cause of GERD.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hiatal Hernias

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm, and up into the chest. There are two categories of hiatal hernias, sliding or para-esophageal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gallstones

When the gallbladder isn't functioning as it should, one of the causes of this could be gallstones. You are most likely to have problems with your gallbladder if something blocks the flow of bile through the bile ducts. The cause of this is usually a gallstone. The type of gallbladder disease that results from gallstones is called cholelithiasis.

  • What Are Gallstones?
    Learn about the two types of gallstones and how they form depends on which type they are.

  • What Causes Gallstones?
    There are several factors that can contribute to the development of gallstones, including gender and ethnicity. It is important to know all the known causes of gallstones.

  • What Are the Symptoms of Gallstones?
    Symptoms of gallstones are often called a gallstone "attack" because they occur suddenly. Learn what the symptoms of a typical attack are, and the symptoms that require immediate medical attention.

  • How Are Gallstones Diagnosed?
    Many gallstones are discovered by accident during tests for other problems. But when gallstones are suspected to be the cause of symptoms, the doctor is able one of several tests to determine if gallstones are present.

  • What is the Treatment for Gallstones?
    Surgical treatment may be the most common treatment for gallstones, but there are non-surgical treatment for gallstones too.

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