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Very bad heartburn

By Anonymous September 11, 2013 - 7:46pm
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Lately I been getting really bad heartburn almost every day for the past month. I was wondering if I should go to the doctor to see if its Barrett's esophagus? Should I be worried about cancer?!

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anon,

Welcome to EmpowHER.  Here are some reasons why heartburn occurs. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus.

Normally when you swallow, your lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.

However, if the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. The acid backup may be worse when you're bent over or lying down.Many over-the-counter medications are available to relieve the pain of heartburn. Options include:

Antacids that neutralize stomach acid

Medications to reduce acid production

Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus.  

Rarely, would heartburn have to be due to cancer. But, if you feel concerned or the heartburn continues you might want to discuss it with your doctor.



September 12, 2013 - 3:47am
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