Explore a range of treatments for heartburn and swallowing disorders.
Heartburn (acid reflux) affects most of us at some point. But for many adults (and some children), the symptoms and their frequency can be more severe. If untreated, serious health problems can result. The Hancock Heartburn and Swallowing Disorders Center brings together a multidisciplinary team of specialists to diagnose and treat serious conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia, and voice disorders caused by acid reflux and other swallowing disorders
Meet our specialists and better understand your condition by attending a seminar at Hancock Regional Hospital. For more information about upcoming seminars, please call (317) 468-4664.
Knowing the symptoms of chronic heartburn and associated diseases will help you understand your risk. Symptoms in adults include:
- Painful burning in the upper chest or stomach, just below the breastbone
- Bitter or acid taste in the mouth
- Chest pain
- Difficulty sleeping after eating
- A dry cough, sore throat, or chronic hoarseness
- Asthma, wheezing, or chronic cough
- Difficulty swallowing, or feeling of something sticking in the throat
- Gingivitis, tooth decay, or bad breath
For children, symptoms may include:
- Refusing to eat or fussiness at meals
- Vomiting after eating
- Frequent coughing and/or choking, especially at night
- Frequent colds/upper respiratory infections
- Wheezing or rattling in the chest
- Waking up frequently with a sore throat
- Sour taste in the mouth
If these symptoms greatly affect sleep, diet, or ability to swallow and/or speak, the condition may be more serious. If you or someone in your family is experiencing any of these symptoms, you can use our Symptom Checker [Link: Symptom Checker] to learn more about what they mean and whether to consult a doctor.
No matter how serious your reflux or related condition may be, effective treatments are available. These can start with lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or changing your diet. Avoiding certain foods and beverages–citrus, tomato products, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, and spicy meals, to name a few—can make a big difference for mild to moderate sufferers. If symptoms persist despite lifestyle changes, over-the-counter and prescription medications are often the next resort. Severe symptoms may require a surgical procedure. In addition to more traditional antireflux surgery, Hancock Health offers the innovative no-cut TIF procedure [Link: Dr. Heise GERD blog post], which uses endoscopy to enter the digestive tract through the mouth while the patient is under general anesthesia.