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Health.com: 9 Serious Conditions That Mimic Heartburn

Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of the upper stomach pokes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity, rather than staying in the abdominal cavity where it belongs.

This can push food and stomach acid up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Other signs of hiatal hernia include chest pain, belching, and nausea. If you have heartburn due to hiatal hernia, your doctor will typically prescribe acid-suppressing drugs, and recommend lifestyle changes like eating smaller meals, avoiding alcohol, and not eating right before bed. In rare cases, surgical repair may be warranted.

(Photo: Phototakeusa)
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