What's Going Around: Heartburn - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

What's Going Around: Heartburn

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MONROE (WKOW) -- Maybe you just finished that delicious Thanksgiving meal and suddenly.... heartburn.

You may notice you have GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease,after a big meal like Thursday's. Dr. Adam Schiro with Monroe Clinic says it's a common condition where stomach acid rises into your esophagus, which can cause burning pain in your chest or throat. The pain can be worse if you lie down or bend over. 

You may have it if you burp a lot, have a sour taste in the back of your mouth or have trouble swallowing. Also look out for a dry, chronic cough, upset stomach and nausea or vomiting. 

Here's how to treat it: try eating small, frequent meals instead of three large meals; reduce fatty, greasy or spicy foods; eliminate or reduce tomatoes, alcohol, coffee and peppermint. Dr. Schiro says you can also try over-the-counter medications like antacids or proton pump inhibitors. He also says try losing weight because extra pounds can put you at risk. And avoid tight clothing, don't lay down after meals and don't smoke.

Dr. Schiro says this can really damage your esophagus if you don't treat it. So, if you get it more than twice a week, your medications aren't working or you have persistent nausea and vomiting, you may want to see a doctor. 

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