It’s not unusual to experience heartburn after eating a spicy meal. However, if you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have a more chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The experienced team at Gotham Gastroenterology, with locations throughout New York City in the Midtown East and Financial District neighborhoods of Manhattan, New York, and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, provides advanced diagnostic testing for GERD/heartburn as well as treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. To schedule an evaluation, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Heartburn is a burning sensation you feel in your chest or upper abdominal area. It develops when acid from your stomach flows back up into your esophagus. This condition is also called acid reflux or acid indigestion.
Heartburn is very common. However, if you experience the burning sensation in your chest more than twice a week, you may have GERD, which is a chronic reflux condition that can damage your esophagus.
When you swallow food, a small band of muscular tissue at the very bottom of your esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), opens to allow food to pass into your stomach, and then it quickly closes.
You may experience heartburn or develop GERD if your LES is weak, overly relaxed, or unable to close properly. You may notice that certain foods trigger your heartburn, such as chocolate, fried or spicy food, or garlic.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and being overweight are also risk factors for GERD and heartburn. You may also develop heartburn or GERD during pregnancy.
Although heartburn is a common symptom of GERD, you can have the chronic condition without feeling the burning sensation in your chest.
Other common GERD symptoms include:
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, whether regularly or occasionally, the skilled team at Gotham Gastroenterology can help.
The experts at Gotham Gastroenterology conduct a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose GERD. During your exam, they review your symptoms, medical history, and usual diet, and they perform a physical exam.
Based on the information gathered, the team may request diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out a diagnosis.
Testing may include any of the following:
Your provider uses the diagnostic data to develop the most effective treatment plan for your GERD.
The team at Gotham Gastroenterology develops individualized treatment plans to help you manage your heartburn or GERD. Some of the treatments offered include:
If your GERD is severe and conservative measures fail to alleviate your symptoms, your provider may recommend esophageal surgery to reduce acid reflux.
If you have heartburn and want to find out if you have GERD, contact Gotham Gastroenterology by phone or book an appointment online today.