8 Medical Reasons You Shouldn’t Ignore Heartburn
Heartburn pain could be masking a stomach ulcer
A stomach ulcer is a sore found in the stomach lining. The pain of a stomach ulcer can be felt in the upper abdomen and up into the chest, and at times can be similar to the pain of heartburn. If not properly treated, ulcers can lead to bleeding, perforation in the wall of the stomach, and blockage between the stomach and small intestine. While some stomach ulcers heal on their own, some require antibiotics and even surgery.
Your heartburn could be due to a hiatal hernia
Your diaphragm normally has a small opening through which your esophagus passes on its way to the stomach. A hiatal hernia occurs when your stomach pushes up through this hole in your diaphragm. A large hiatal hernia can cause food and acid to back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. If you are having persistent or severe heartburn signs or symptoms, you should see a doctor. While usually medication is enough to control it, sometimes surgery may be needed to correct it.