Signs of Persistent Heartburn

In this article, I will be going over the signs of heartburn as well as those of persistent heartburn. Heartburn in and of itself is a common experience amongst all humans and when experienced irregularly is not a problem. It is only when it becomes persistent heartburn could it signify a more serious health issue.

Signs of Heartburn

The most common sign of heartburn is a burning sensation behind the breastbone, hence the name. This is the sensation of stomach acid exiting the stomach, moving up the esophagus, and irritating the sensitive lining. A few more symptoms of heartburn include:

  • Burping up the taste of food especially when accompanied by a bitter or sour taste.
  • Symptoms are minimal while standing and peak while lying down or bending over.
  • Feeling of an upset stomach.

These are all signs of heartburn which can often be relieved with these heartburn remedies. Heartburn generally peaks when laying down or bending over as these body positions prevent gravity from pulling down on stomach acid. It is much easier for the stomach’s contents to escape when someone is bending forward or lying down.

Heartburn may not always culminate in the sensation of heartburn but instead could just be experienced as burping up a sour taste of food and a general stomach ache. For this reason, doctors refer to heartburn as “acid reflux” to indicate that the problem is reflux of the stomach, not necessarily the burning sensation that may or accompany heartburn.

Signs of Persistent Heartburn

Persistent heartburn, if it occurs several times per week or more, is now commonly called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short. This distinction was created given the fairly recent realization that persistent heartburn can lead to a higher risk for esophageal cancer and other disease states in the esophagus.

Signs of persistent heartburn include all the signs of heartburn but can culminate in difficulty swallowing, narrowing of the esophagus, and esophageal strictures. In layman’s terms, one sign of persistent heartburn is the feeling that something is always “stuck” in the throat and it cannot be dislodged.

Dealing with Persistent Heartburn

The signs of heartburn can significantly be reduced and typically eliminated without the use of medication. You can stop persistent heartburn simply by making a few lifestyle changes:

  • Losing weight (if you are overweight)
  • Avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, and caffeine
  • Avoid large meals
  • Avoid eating a few hours before bed

Those three things alone will drastically improve the signs of heartburn. Even implementing just one of those bullet points can significantly reduce heartburn. For example:

If you are overweight, drink a lot of coffee, and have a few drinks several times per week, then you not only are likely to get heartburn but probably experience it several times per week. If you lose weight, keep the coffee, and limit alcohol to one time per week, odds are you will significantly reduce your run-ins with heartburn, all without medication.

In short, persistent heartburn is not a prison sentence barring you from all of your vices, but it is an indicator that you are not living a completely healthy lifestyle. Small changes can make a big difference in the long run.

However, if you experience persistent heartburn, characterized by experiencing the signs of heartburn two or more times per week, then you should mention this to your doctor as you may be diagnosed with GERD.

Related posts:

  1. The Hidden Signs of Acid Reflux
  2. Heartburn and Jaw Pain: Signs of Heart Problems?
  3. What to Do About Heartburn that Won’t Go Away
  4. Gastric Reflux Disease: Symptoms, Diet, and Treatment
  5. Heartburn at Night – Causes and Remedies of Nighttime Acid Reflux