More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux with symptoms similar to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux is caused by acidic stomach juices, or food and fluids, that are pushed back up into the esophagus. Too much reflux can cause the stomach acid to burn the esophagus and can lead to serious problems. Consult a UK gastroenterologist if you feel your symptoms indicate something more severe than occasional heartburn.
Symptoms are more common among pregnant women and the elderly. Some over-the-counter products can relieve acid reflux symptoms. However, consult a doctor if you experience:
- Trouble or pain when you swallow
- Bloody vomit
- Bloody or black stools
- Ongoing stomach pain
- Chest pain, shoulder pain or pain that spreads to your arms, neck or shoulders with shortness of breath
- Weight loss for no reason
- Nausea or vomiting
- Heartburn lasting more than three months
The experts at the UK Digestive Health Program's Heartburn Clinic can diagnose and treat acid reflux symptoms. This multidisciplinary clinic allows patients to see a gastroenterologist and a surgeon in one visit, if needed. Specialists work together to offer patients the most up-to-date information on the latest diagnosis and treatment methods. Call 859-257-1000 or toll free 800-333-8874 for an appointment.