If you suffer from heartburn symptoms, you are not alone. It is estimated that 110 million people experience heartburn at some point in time and 25 million of those experience it on a daily basis as reported by Heartburn.com. It is not uncommon for people to question their symptoms and deciphering if it is truly heartburn or something more serious.
Heartburn deals strictly with the upper digestive system. It normally occurs when acid from the stomach comes back up to the esophagus, causing a feeling of burning in the chest area. Be aware that the burning can worsen when lying down. Medicinenet.com describes the most common symptoms as having a sour taste or a feeling of food being stuck in the back of the throat, burping, bloating, a burning or sensation of pressure in the chest just behind the breastbone.
There are more symptoms that are a little more uncommon, but possible with heartburn as described by Heartburn.com which include persistent hiccups, pain that radiates to the neck and shoulders, difficulty or pain with swallowing, and rarely a cold sweat and shortness of breath. It is imperative to seek medical attention, recommended by the Mayo Clinic, if you suffer from severe chest pain when combined with difficulty breathing and jaw and arm pain. Those could be signs of a heart attack and should not be ignored.
If you suffer from heartburn, you may want to consider your diet. There are certain food and drinks that can trigger heartburn, and if you can avoid these items, you may find the relief you have been needing. One of the beverages is alcohol, as well as followed by coffee, orange juice, tomato juice, lemon juice and other acidic drinks. Foods that are high in fat and/or fried can also trigger heartburn. It would be wise to also avoid such fruits as grapefruit, oranges and tomatoes. This may seem obvious, but spicy foods are strong culprits to heartburn. You may not have to eliminate all of these from your diet, but if you cut back you may find your symptoms lesson, and eventually go away. It would be wise to keep a log of the foods you eat and when you seem to experience the heartburn.
There are medications that can help with heartburn, both over-the-counter and prescription medications. However, Mayo Clinic recommends anyone who experiences heartburn more than twice a week to see a physician, this would also include if there is persistent difficulty in swallowing and if non-prescribed medications fail to help relieve the heartburn.