Dr. Todd Eisner answers some questions readers have posted in the last few weeks. Find new information on natural remedies for heartburn, common reactions to GERD drugs and what coughing up blood could really mean.
1. Hi, I'm 25 years old & have recently been diagnosed with acid reflux . I've been put on omeprazole , which in my opinion has done nothing to help my symptoms , which are a tightness in my throat, pressure like swallowing a lump. Also in the past week I've begun to have severe pain in my abdomen right below the breast bone. Now the newest problem is a phlegmy cough I can't seem to get rid of. Any suggestions on what I'm doing wrong?
Acid reflux can be very difficult to treat and can cause many symptoms outside of the esophagus such as cough and throat pain, but the first thing you need to do is make sure that you have the correct diagnosis. The fact that you no longer have heartburn while taking omeprazole is a good indication that the heartburn was actual...
What is Heartburn?
When someone experiences heartburn, he or she usually experiences it as a burning sensation in the chest or in the upper abdomen. The pain is a common complaint of many and affects approximately 7 to 10 percent of the U.S. population every day (Kern et al., 2004). Heartburn is usually associated with regurgitation of gastric acid from the stomach and is usually a chief complaint of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Unfortunately, the simplicity of the definition stops there. Because while everyone has regurgitation of gastric acid from the stomach, not everyone has heartburn — and not everyone who does have heartburn has acid reflux disease.
The difference between heartburn and GERD is that GERD is a condition that develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications (Vakil et al., 2006). What muddies the waters even more, is that less than half of the naturally occurring reflux events is repo...
Back pain - nonspecific
Low back pain
Pain in any part of the back
Pain may radiate to the buttocks or upper leg(s)
Signs and tests
A physical examination focused on the back, the abdomen, and the extremities may confirm back pain or muscle spasm , but the examination does not reveal a specific cause (such as a herniated disk) or any neurological problem (such as weakness or change in sensation).
X-rays of the spine are usually normal. Further work-up may include a CT scan or MRI of the spine .
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