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Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County -  - Gastroenterologist

Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County

Gastroenterologists located in Irvine, CA & Other Orange County Locations

If you’re living with heartburn, you’re not alone. This condition regularly affects millions of Americans, causing discomfort and many other unpleasant symptoms, but it doesn’t have to be a recurring part of your life. To get relief from your heartburn, call the team at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County. The practice helps patients find long-lasting heartburn relief at their offices in Irvine, Huntington Beach, Tustin, Foothill Ranch, and Mission Viejo, California. To learn more, call one of the offices or book an appointment online today.


What is heartburn?

The name “heartburn” is appropriate. People tend to experience this symptom as a burning sensation often felt near their heart, just below their breastbone. Many people report that heartburn starts in the lower portions of their chest and moves up toward their throat. 

On top of the typical burning sensation, heartburn can be marked by chest pain that worsens when you lie down or bend forward. It’s also common to get a bitter or sour taste in your mouth while you’re experiencing heartburn. 

What causes heartburn?

When you eat, food travels down your esophagus into your stomach. Right before it enters your stomach, it passes through a valve made of muscles that’s called your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Your LES opens to allow food to enter your stomach but is supposed to seal shut the rest of the time. This keeps the corrosive acid safely contained in your stomach so it can break down your food, preventing it from moving up into your esophagus and causing problems in other parts of your body. 

When you experience heartburn, it’s because your LES isn’t functioning properly. The burning sensation behind your breastbone is caused by acid reflux — stomach acid washing up your esophagus. If you taste something bitter or sour, it’s because the stomach acid has moved so far up your esophagus that your taste buds have been able to pick it up. 

Obesity and pregnancy both increase your risk for heartburn, as do certain foods and drinks, including:

  • Onions
  • Citrus
  • Fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • High-fat foods
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Tomatoes and tomato products

If you know that certain foods, drinks, and behaviors are contributing to your heartburn, you should try your best to avoid them.

Can heartburn be treated?

Absolutely. If you’re one of the 60 million Americans who experience heartburn at least once a month, you’ll be glad to know that Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County offers a range of treatments for heartburn.

Some are seemingly simple, such as changes to your lifestyle, but they can significantly reduce your heartburn symptoms. Some lifestyle modifications include:

  • Not eating for at least two hours before bed
  • Elevating the head of your bed
  • Avoiding clothes that fit tightly across your abdomen

Additionally, medication is available to reduce your acid reflux and the resulting heartburn. 

Heartburn doesn’t have to be a normal part of your life. Call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County or request your appointment online to learn more about your treatment options.