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What are the signs of heartburn?

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Quick Answer

Signs of heartburn include burning in the chest, a burning sensation in the throat, swallowing difficulties, chest pain, coughing and sore throat, according to WebMD. A person may also feel as though food is stuck in the center of the throat or chest.

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Full Answer

WebMD notes that the burning feeling from heartburn occurs behind the breastbone, and it can last anywhere from minutes to a few hours. The burning sensation may contain a salty, hot or sour taste in the back of the throat. Chronic hoarseness is another symptom that may accompany a sore throat or cough.

WebMD adds that chest pain usually happens when eating, but experts recommend visiting a doctor to make sure there are no heart complications involved. Some people go to the emergency room thinking the problem is a heart attack when they are suffering a severe case of heartburn.

WebMD reports that some symptoms of heartburn are the same as a heart attack. For example, there may be a sharp pain below the ribs or breastbone in the case of heartburn. Pain may also shift to the shoulders, arms or neck. Heartburn pain may also occur during physical activity, such as exercise, or if a person experiences anxiety. The Mayo Clinic notes that the pain may become worse if a person lies down or bends over.

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