Chest Pain or Heart burn: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

When stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus — a condition called acid reflux — you may feel a burning pain in the middle of your chest. It often occurs after meals or at night.

While it’s common for people to experience acid reflux and heartburn once in a while, having symptoms that affect your daily life or occur at least twice in a week could be an indication of GERD, a chronic digestive disease that affects 20 percent of population.

When should you consult a doctor?

If you experience persistent heartburn, bad breath, tooth erosion, nausea, pain in your chest or upper part of your abdomen, or have trouble swallowing or breathing, see your doctor.

What will the doctor do?

Apart from routine blood tests, an ultrasound study and endoscopy may be ordered to examine the interiors of your food pipe and stomach.

How can I avoid these symptoms?

Most people find relief by avoiding the foods and beverages that trigger their symptoms or by taking antacids or other medications that reduce stomach acid production and inflammation of the oesophagus. However, some cases of GERD may require treatment, such as weeks long medication or even surgery if the symptoms are unrelenting.