How can you tell if the burning in your chest after a big meal is heartburn or a more serious condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)? GERD occurs when acids from the stomach flow back into the esophagus repeatedly. If left untreated, GERD can lead to problems like ulcers or damage to the esophagus. Here are 3 ways to tell if GERD may be the problem:

  1. Symptoms are persistent - Heartburn occurs 2 or more times per week.

  2. Sleeping problems - Your heartburn wakes you up consistently at night.

  3. Additional symptoms are also present - These may include stomach pain, the feeling of food stuck in your throat, trouble swallowing, chronic sore throat.

If you suspect you might be experiencing GERD, you should contact your doctor. Don’t ignore the symptoms. A gastroenterologist will be able to help you ease and manage your GERD with medication and lifestyle changes. You will learn which “trigger foods” to avoid and find out if weight loss or changes in meal size can help ease your discomfort. Make an appointment today with GI Associates if you think your heartburn could be GERD.

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