Heartburn Diagnosis

Get quick, streamlined diagnosis of heartburn at Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.

What is Heartburn?

Rest assured heartburn is not a problem with your heart. Although sometimes your serious heartburn symptoms can feel similar to heart attack symptoms. For many people, heartburn is a temporary inconvenience easily treated with an antacid. If you consistently alter your life to manage or relieve your heartburn symptoms, it’s a chronic condition.

When to Seek Care for Heartburn Symptoms

Your doctor may recommend testing at Nash UNC if your current gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) medication no longer works or you regularly experience symptoms such as:

  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic hoarseness, cough, and/or sore throat
  • Difficulty sleeping after eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Painful burning sensation in the upper chest or abdomen
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Unexplained chest pain
  • Worsening asthma or frequent bronchitis with no explanation

Conditions Causing Heartburn

Trust the experienced team at Nash UNC to do more than just reduce your symptoms. Partner with us to find the cause of your discomfort. Common conditions that cause heartburn include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – A digestive disorder that can cause intense heartburn, chest pain, or hoarseness. You experience GERD because the muscles between your throat and stomach aren’t working properly and allow stomach acid to come back up into the esophagus or throat. If GERD is not treated, over time it can cause inflammation, ulcers, narrowing of your esophagus, and esophageal cancer.
    • Barrett’s esophagus – Occurs when you have damage to the lining of your esophagus from chronic GERD. A biopsy—a small tissue sample—can confirm the diagnosis. If you have Barrett’s esophagus, you have a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer.
  • Hiatal hernia – Happens when your stomach pushes up through the opening of your diaphragm (the muscle that separates your belly from your chest) and into your chest cavity. A hiatal hernia may lead to heartburn symptoms.
  • Esophageal motility disorders – Conditions that cause difficulty swallowing, chest pain, or reflux. If the muscles of your esophagus spasm or are weak, food or liquid may not move easily down your esophagus.
  • Esophagitis – Inflammation, swelling, or irritation of your esophagus, making it hard to swallow.
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LDR) – Develops when stomach acid backs up into your throat. It’s also called “silent reflux.” LDR may damage the airway to your lungs if left untreated.

Heartburn Diagnosis

Rely on your doctor to order digestive tests and endoscopic procedures, if needed, to accurately diagnosis your symptoms. At your follow–up visit, your doctor will review your test results and suggest treatment options for your best outcome.

If your gastroenterologist schedules you for a test at Nash UNC, you’ll follow-up with him or her once the test(s) is complete

Insurance Coverage

Check with your health insurance company to find out about your coverage for digestive health and heartburn care.