Thomasville Medical Center

Heartburn services

You can get relief from chronic heartburn

Novant Heath Thomasville Medical Center provides medical diagnosis and minimally-invasive surgery to non-surgical treatment options for patients suffering from occasional heartburn to patients experiencing heartburn daily as part of our ongoing efforts to improve the quality of life for everyone in our region.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects nearly 1.7 million people. Described as "hot acid-like fluid coming up in the back of your throat", or chronic heartburn. Although treatment for GERD has significantly improved over the years, permanent relief is more readily available.

There are two forms of GERD. The most commonly-described symptoms include heartburn or indigestion, acid refluxing into the esophagus from the stomach, and chest pain. Another type of GERD is called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR), which refers to the backflow of stomach acid to the level of the throat. People with LPR may never have heartburn or chest pain. The main symptoms of LPR are chronic hoarseness, throat clearing, cough, lump in the throat or difficulty swallowing.

GERD can be serious and should be treated with either medications or a procedure to control symptoms.


Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest or non-specific chest pain caused by stomach contents. This occurs when the valve of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach relaxes and highly-acidic stomach contents flows back into the esophagus.

Symptoms include:

  • A burning feeling in the middle of the chest
  • The burning feeling happens after meals or at night after lying down
  • Over-the-counter antacids or acid-reducing medicines bring temporary relief
  • Frequent belching after eating
  • Bitter or sour taste in the back of the throat

Controlling heartburn

Professionals recommend the following:

  • Limit caffeine-containing beverages
  • Avoid chocolate and peppermint/spearmint
  • Stop smoking
  • Increase saliva production by sucking hard candies or chewing gum
  • Limit carbonated beverages and alcoholic beverages
  • Eat small, low-fat meals
  • Keep citrus fruits, tomatoes and other highly-acidic food to a minimum
  • Don't lie down for two or three hours after eating, and elevate the head of the bed six inches
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes