Heartburn and Reflux

Heartburn Center in New Mexico

If you experience frequent heartburn, you are not alone. More than one-third of adults experience heartburn at least once a month, and as many as 25 million adults experience heartburn daily in the United States.

Lovelace Medical Group's (LMG) Heartburn Center is here to help. Our Heartburn Center is the only clinic of its kind serving the greater Albuquerque area. Our team of multidisciplinary specialists, which includes gastroenterologists, general surgeons, and nurses, is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

We offer patients streamlined access to care, with minimal delays in diagnosis and heartburn treatment. With state-of-the-art diagnostic and imaging capabilities only offered at Lovelace, we can provide timely results so you can receive the next step of care without having to wait months for treatment options.

Schedule an appointment

You don’t have to suffer from the constant, chronic discomfort of heartburn. When over-the-counter heartburn and indigestion medicine has failed, we can help you get the relief you deserve. We offer both non-surgical and surgical options to treat your heartburn and reflux symptoms.

Call us at 505.727.0000 to schedule an appointment. We can see most patients within one week, and you do not need a referral from your doctor.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that occurs when stomach acids travel back up the esophagus. Some patients may also experience a bitter or sour taste in the throat and mouth, sore throat, dry cough or hoarseness. Symptoms of heartburn may get worse after eating or when lying down. Frequent heartburn can make it difficult to eat or swallow and may be a sign of a more serious condition.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (called acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus. This can cause a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms, like heartburn. If not detected and treated early, GERD can lead to more serious conditions, such as Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.

Barrett’s esophagus is a pre-cancerous condition that affects the lining of the esophagus, the swallowing tube that carries foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. Barrett’s esophagus is caused by GERD because regular exposure of your esophagus to stomach acid can cause inflammation and narrowing over time, and even change its cell composition. With Barrett’s esophagus, the normal cells in your esophagus will change into cells that resemble those found in your small intestine, which can increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Heartburn can have many causes, from lifestyle choices to a dysfunctional digestive system. Risk factors for developing heartburn include:

  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications
  • Diet

Foods that cause heartburn can include:

  • Fried food
  • Fast food
  • Pizza
  • Potato chips and other processed snacks
  • Chili powder and pepper
  • Fatty meats, such as bacon and sausage
  • Cheese

A hiatal hernia is caused when part of the stomach protrudes up into the chest through a sheet of muscle called the diaphragm, causing symptoms such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing

Hiatal hernias are more common in older adults (over 50) and can be caused many factors, including:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic coughing

Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications or, in some cases, surgery.

When over-the-counter medications (such as antacids or indigestion medicine) aren’t working, it may be time to seek treatment. You may also want to see a doctor if you:

  • Don’t want to keep taking medication to control heartburn
  • Have persistent or chronic heartburn that doesn’t go away
  • Have a chronic cough
  • Experience regurgitation, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, acid reflux, or a bitter or sour taste

To schedule an appointment with one of our heartburn and GERD specialists, call 505.727.0000.

Conditions and treatments

Our highly skilled team of gastroenterologists and general surgeons are trained in a variety of minimally invasive techniques and approaches to treat the following conditions:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPRD)
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Paraoesophageal hernia
  • Dysphagia
  • Esophageal diverticulum

We treat these conditions through:

  • Minimally invasive diagnostic testing
  • Medical treatment options
  • Diet counseling
  • Minimally invasive surgical solutions including endoscopic therapy and robotic surgery

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