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Acid reflux

Burning pain in the breastbone area

Acid reflux (heartburn or GERD) is caused when acid from the stomach backs up in the esophagus. In severe cases, the acid may damage the lining of the throat.

Symptoms

Burning pain in the breastbone area, and pain that may worsen when lying down or bending over. Over the counter medications are often helpful in controlling occasional heartburn, but more frequent or serious attack may require a doctor’s attention.

Diagnosis

If a more complete diagnostic evaluation is needed, a procedure called an endoscopy may be done. During this procedure, a thin flexible tube with a camera and a light at the end is placed into the esophagus so the physician can view the tissue lining for damage.

Treatment

Heartburn can be controlled by avoiding foods that irritate the condition, including fried or fatty foods, coffee, carbonated beverages, and acidic food.