9 early symptoms of heartburn to watch out for

Heartburn is a common health condition that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach (esophagus). This condition causes a burning sensation in the chest. Besides this burning sensation, several early warning signs can signal its impending arrival. Recognizing these signs can help one take measures to prevent heartburn from worsening. Here are ten early warning signs of heartburn that one should be aware of.

  1. Pain in the chest- Heartburn is often characterized by a burning feeling in the chest, often felt behind the breastbone. This pain can vary in severity and may be mistaken for a heart attack, so it’s crucial to pay attention to its frequency and triggers.
  2. Acidic taste in the mouth- If one frequently experiences a sour or acidic taste in their mouth, it could be a sign of stomach acid backing up into their esophagus. This taste can be unpleasant and may accompany other heartburn symptoms.
  3. Regurgitation- Feeling as if food or liquid is coming back into the mouth or throat can be a warning sign of heartburn. A bitter taste and a burning sensation can accompany this.
  4. Difficulty swallowing- Heartburn can lead to esophageal irritation, making it painful or challenging to swallow. If an individual has trouble with solid or liquid food intake, it’s time for them to consider the possibility of heartburn.
  5. Chronic cough- A constant, dry cough can be an early indicator of heartburn. Stomach acid irritating the esophagus can trigger coughing, often worse at night or after meals.
  6. Sore throat- The irritation caused by stomach acid can extend to the throat and vocal cords, resulting in hoarseness or a persistent sore throat. If these symptoms persist, it’s time to take action.
  7. Wheezing- Some people with heartburn experience wheezing and asthma-like symptoms. These are triggered because the acid sometimes irritates the airway, which causes difficulty in breathing.
  8. Excessive salivation- An unusual increase in saliva production can sometimes be linked to heartburn. The body may generate more saliva in an attempt to neutralize the stomach acid that is traveling up the esophagus.
  9. Nighttime discomfort- Heartburn symptoms often worsen at night, as lying down allows stomach acid to flow more easily into the esophagus. If one frequently wakes up with discomfort, it’s a sign that they should address their heartburn.

Ignoring the early warning signs of heartburn can lead to worsening symptoms and complications, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or esophageal damage. If one experiences any of these warning signs regularly, it’s essential to consult a health expert. 

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