Heartburn is one of the easiest conditions to diagnose due to its easily detectable symptoms. The initial stages of heartburn can be treated with basic home care solutions like taking mild drinks and making a whole lifestyle change.
Even though it is treatable at home, it is important to get it checked. Getting tested increases the chances of you being treated for the correct condition and reduces the chances of you having underlying disorders.
A visit to the doctor is important and should go something like this; The doctor will seek to understand your medical background. This is because there are some medicines that increase the chances of developing hyper acidity. Frequently taking prescription medicines and other drugs decreases the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter causing heartburn.
The doctor will also seek to find out three major things, when you first felt the heartburn, how long it lasts and how often you get the bouts. This is mainly to establish how long you have had the disorder and to determine the probable extent of the damage caused.
The next probable question would be what kind of foods you take that cause heartburn. Were they fatty, salty or spicy foods? And in what quantities did you consume these foods? With this information, the doctor seeks to understand your dieting habits and what it is you are doing wrong. Fatty, spicy foods are known to increase chances of hyperacidity and acid flow into the esophagus.
Eating a lot of food at once is also a factor that raises the chances of developing this disorder. Too much food increases the pressure in the stomach and pushes acidic food out into the throat. It also keeps the stomach acid at work for longer therefore causing the acid to react with the stomach wall.
The doctor might also inquire about your drinking and smoking habits. Consumption of alcohol is known to corrode the throat and stomach walls. This is made worse by the presence of acid in the stomach and the bacteria that feeds on these linings. Cigarette smoke also corrodes the upper esophagus leading to painful swallowing and consequent heartburn.
This may sound a little bit off topic but the doctor might proceed to inquire about your dressing mode during meal times. This is because the way we dress can lead to problems with stomach acid. Wearing tight clothing and heavy belts around the waist and stomach areas increases the pressure exerted on the stomach as it digests the food causing discomfort and acid reflux.
The final set of questions will depend on the state in which you went to hospital. They are usually asked during emergency situations some questions like; whether they had vomited in recent past, existence of any blood in the vomit, presence of blood in the stool, any black particles, either in the vomit or the stool, among other questions. Usually, people with chronic heartburn and ulcers have the above mentioned symptoms. They require urgent treatment and could even be admitted for the same.
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