Heartburn is a rather frequent pathology that does not cause great worries. However, if you start the disease, various complications may develop. With what are the symptoms of heartburn, it is important to go to a doctor.
Reflux esophagitis - Inflammation of the mucous membrane of the esophagus, caused by neglect of gastric contents in the esophagus (gastro-esophageal reflux).
What are the common symptoms of acid reflux?
Heartburn, blistering, dyspepsia are some of the most common symptoms of reflux.
Appears when throwing acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Heartburn is manifested by burning pain or discomfort, which can spread from the stomach to the middle of the abdomen and chest. The pain may also spread to the throat.
Another common symptom of reflux is regurgitation. In this case, the acid enters the person in the throat or even in the mouth. Littering can cause a sense of sour or bitter taste in the mouth. With pronounced reflux, there may be a loss of gastric contents in the mouth.
Many people with reflux disease have syndrome of dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is a common term for discomfort in the stomach. Symptoms of dyspepsia include:
- Nausea after eating;
- Stomach ache or swelling of the abdomen;
- Pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen.
Prolonged acid action can cause damage to the esophagus, up to the onset of bleeding.
When there are symptoms of heartburn
Heartburn often occurs:
- After taking heavy greasy food;
- At the tilt of the body;
- When a person is lying, especially on the back.
People who are suffering from reflux disease often have symptoms at night. As a rule, nightly attacks of heartburn cause the greatest discomfort. Do not forget that the level of pain does not always reflect the degree of damage to the esophagus.
More than half of all pregnant women experience heartburn during pregnancy. Increasing the level of hormones and pressure from the growing fetus explain the emergence of heartburn during pregnancy. In most cases, heartburn occurs after childbirth.
Some foods may worsen the symptoms of heartburn. To reduce symptoms, avoid:
- Drinks containing caffeine or alcohol;
- Spicy, oily or roasted food;
- Garlic and onion;
Are there any complications of heartburn?
As a rule, symptoms of reflux do not cause complications. But in some cases, prolonged damage to the esophagus can lead to scarring, which may lead to narrowing of the esophagus lumen.
If there are strictures of the esophagus that narrow the lumen, there may be problems with swallowing food. This is a so-called dysphagia - a feeling that food is stuck in the esophagus.
In some cases, the ongoing current reflux disease can cause the formation of atypical cells in the mucous membrane of the esophagus. These cells have abnormal shape and color. This condition is called Barrett's esophagus, which can develop into cancer.
When should I turn to a doctor with symptoms of heartburn
Be sure to consult a doctor if there is no relief after taking medication or if heartburn occurs more than 2 times a week for more than 2 weeks.
You should also contact a doctor if:
- Weight loss;
- The appearance of blood in vomiting;
- The appearance of a black, gritty chair;
- The appearance of difficulty or swallowing pain;
- The emergence of asthma-like symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dry cough;
- Appearance of fever, especially in the morning;
- Appearance of chronic throat pain;
- Appearance of hiccups;
- A nausea that lasts a few weeks or months.
Sometimes people are confused with symptoms of a heart attack with symptoms of reflux disease, since chest pain may simulate heartburn. If you have any doubt about the cause of the pain, you should immediately contact your doctor.
It is urgent to call an ambulance immediately in the event of any of these symptoms of a heart attack:
- Chest pain or a feeling of compression that lasts for a few minutes;
- Pain or discomfort in the neck, shoulders and jaw;
- Dizziness or nausea;
- Sweating along with chest pain.