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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 18 years

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How long can heartburn last ?

When I was pregnant earlier this year I had to go to the emergency room for chest pain ...they diagnosed it as heartburn . Then about a month ago I had to go in again, and they diagnosed it as acid reflux . Anyway, my question is, how long can heartburn last, before I should go to a health clinic or even the hospital? It s been almost 8 hours with 2 quick naps I could get in. Any help/remedies is appreicated, but I can t keep anything down (tried alka-seltzer and pepcid). Thanks
Tue, 15 Dec 2009
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  User's Response
An old wives tale said that when you have heartburn when you're pregnant then your child will have a lot of hair when it's born... I don't think the two situations have anything to do with each other. Yes, acid reflux is the newer medical term for heartburn. Years ago we used to take baking soda in water (somewhat like your alkaseltzer). Try drinking something like canada dry ginger ale or upper 10 (do they still have that?). Try also eating bland foods and changing to a vegetarian diet. Also, don't eat after 6PM in the evening. And, raise the top part of your body slightly when you sleep, and sleep on your side. If you can't get rid of the heartburn, maybe now that you've been pregnant you might be alergic to something new, or, the foods you're eating have a preservative in them your body doesn't like. It could go either way, either your body has too much acid in it or not enough, both react the same in giving you heartburn. Or, try "beano" before you eat food and see if that makes it any better. If you're still getting heartburn and it's coming up on you, then get to a doctor as it may be a more serious problem. It's premature to scare you but when the body has too much acid it causes cancer (a new study says). So you need to reduce the acid. If you're drinking coffee, tea or soft drinks then switch to just water for a while and see if that changes anything.
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