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Heartburn Specialist

Jan J. Shim, M.D.

Gastroenterology located in New York, NY

Heartburn is associated with acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus and causes burning in your chest. Heartburn is incredibly common and occurs in everyone on occasion, but it becomes a concern when heartburn regularly challenges your digestion. At the office of Jan J. Shim, MD, Dr. Shim helps you overcome symptoms of heartburn and other complications of acid reflux. Call the main office on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, or her other location in Fort Lee, New Jersey, or schedule an appointment online now.

Heartburn Q & A

What causes heartburn?

Heartburn is a side effect of acid reflux. Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows backward up the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Acid reflux usually occurs when the round muscle, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), fails.

This muscle connecting the esophagus to the stomach acts as a valve that opens to let food into the stomach and closes to keep contents in. If it doesn’t shut tightly, it allows stomach contents and stomach acid to flow back upward.

Heartburn is a direct result of reflux. So, if you increase pressure inside your stomach, you raise the chance of developing heartburn. Factors that can increase stomach pressure and make heartburn worse are being overweight, eating certain inflammatory foods or beverages, and wearing a tight belt.

What other symptoms are related to heartburn?

Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux, but it’s not the only symptom. Along with heartburn, you may experience:

  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bitter taste in your mouth
  • Feeling like there’s something in your throat

 

The symptoms of acid reflux, including heartburn, may worsen if you lie down after a meal.

What is GERD?

Acid reflux is often managed with over-the-counter antacids and happens only occasionally. But when you have weeks of acid reflux and heartburn and episodes more than twice per week, you may have developed gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

How do you treat acid reflux?

Dr. Shim first treats heartburn and acid reflux or GERD with medications and lifestyle changes. Avoiding certain foods and beverages that trigger reflux, such as alcohol, fried foods, tomato-based sauces, and chocolate, can help. You may also get relief by switching to small meals, not eating before bed, and losing weight.

Over-the-counter antacids help some people, but you may need a stronger prescription version, H2 blocker, or proton pump inhibitor to ease your symptoms. If your acid reflux worsens despite medical intervention or you suffer from GERD, you may be a candidate for surgical intervention to strengthen the function of the LES muscle.

If you suffer from frequent heartburn, call Jan J. Shim, MD, or book an appointment online now to find relief.

Acid reflux usually occurs when the round muscle, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), fails.

This muscle connecting the esophagus to the stomach acts as a valve that opens to let food into the stomach and closes to keep contents in. If it doesn’t shut tightly, it allows stomach contents and stomach acid to flow back upward.

Heartburn is a direct result of reflux. So, if you increase pressure inside your stomach, you raise the chance of developing heartburn. Factors that can increase stomach pressure and make heartburn worse are being overweight, eating certain inflammatory foods or beverages, and wearing a tight belt.