Chronic Heartburn

People who suffer from heartburn on a rather frequent basis, might even be suffering from chronic heartburn. That’s right, chronic heartburn! Unfortunately this is not a condition that can be cured that easily by just using some of those over-the-counter drugs like antacids.
For chronic heartburn sufferers, there are a few simple ways to improve your lifestyle to alleviate the pain. Eating smaller quantities at meal times, avoiding acidic foods and beverages, and also avoiding alcohol and smoking, can to a certain extent alleviate your heartburn. Another problem that sufferers of chronic heartburn often experience is that they wake up rather frequently in the night with the feeling that their chests are on fire. You can lessen these problems by eating at least 3 hours before you go to sleep and also by having your head a bit higher when you lie down to get some sleep.

GERD – a common disorder

In fact if you suffer from chronic heartburn, you’re probably suffering from Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD as it is more commonly referred to. If not treated properly, then GERD can lead to more serious problems. Esophageal cancer being one of the more serious cases that can occur. Therefore it is in your own interest that you go and see a doctor if you suffer from reflux problems.
Most people have the tendency of never going to their doctors with their chronic heartburn, and live with this condition for years. On the one hand this can lead to a worsening of their GERD symtoms or even to a complication which is then called ‘Barrett’s Esophagus’. In this condition the esophagus walls line themselves with new cells similar to those found in the intestines. This in turn leads the chronic heartburn sufferer open to a condition called ‘Adenocarcinoma’. In other words, Esophageal cancer.

Misdiagnosis by doctors

If you make the decision of going to the doctor be aware of the fact that the condition known as chronic hearburn is often subject to misdiagnosis. Although 40 million Americans alone suffer from heartburn, it is one of the most frequently misdiagnosed conditions, and it is quite easy to see why.
Doctors can easily miss heartburn as the correct diagnosis, and this happens on a rather frequent basis. Often heart attack is a common diagnosis. Actually it is easy to see why really. The chest pain, the burning sensation just behind your breastbone, shortness of breath, blurry vision, all these can be symptoms of either a heart attack or heartburn.
For GERD patients, the diagnosis is somewhat simpler. With the help of a simple endoscopic exam, a doctor can find out if the cause for your suffering is actually GERD. At this procedure a small camera is threaded to the end of a tube and passed down your throat. It is probably the easiest solution to diagnosing whether you suffer from chronic heartburn, GERD, or mild heartburn.

Therefore if you are suffering from heartburn and you experience heartburn attacks more than twice a week, it is highly recommended to see a doctor as your condition might be classified a chronic heartburn. Then you need to be aware that GERD might be the underlying condition, and not mild indigestion, or heartburn as you might think. Possible complications can only be avoided if you immediately go and see a doctor if you are suspecting that you have GERD. Remember that it’s always better to be safe than sorry.