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Heartburn is a harsh, burning sensation in the centre of the chest or just below the neck. The feeling can last for a few minutes or a few hours. It may be associated with vomiting, difficulty in swallowing, chronic cough and wheezing.

It is usually due to the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the oesophagus. The stomach acid can irritate the oesophagus and cause heartburn.

  • Cigarette and tobacco use
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fatty food or spicy food
  • Lying down too soon after eating
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Aspirin
  1. You have trouble swallowing (Dysphagia)
  2. You have pain on swallowing (Odynophagia)
  3. You have persistent and frequent heartburn
  4. You have vomited blood
  5. You have black, tarry stools
  1. When did you first begin experiencing heartburn?
  2. What seems to make your symptoms better?
  3. What appears to make your symptoms worse?
  4. Does sour material ever come up in the back of your throat?
  5. Do you drink alcohol?
  6. Do you smoke?
  7. What medications are you taking?
  1. Barium swallow
  2. Gastroscopy
  3. Oesophageal manometry
  4. 24-hour ambulatory pH monitoring


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