Not all heartburn is a gastroesophageal acid reflux!

Most people associate heartburn with a burning sensation caused by acid that is accessing the esophagus in a retrograde manner from stomach to esophagus. 

The traditional evaluation for infection (H. pylori) for motor function of GI tract with Barium swallow/esophagram, acidity (with PH probe) and Upper endoscopy may not confirm the clinical suspicion of classic Gastroesophageal reflux. But the esophagus in some cases may be damaged not by acid in its traditional understanding. One have to keep in mind, that heartburn symptoms may accomplish the less known reasons for heartburn, such as:

Gastro laryngeal reflux  i.e Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), when acid is damaging to the throat.

Pill esophagitis. It happens if pills are taken with insufficient amounts of fluid and/or too close to bed time.

Eosinophilic esophagitis represents allergic damage to esophagus.

Autoimmune disease related esophagitis affects people with Sjogren’s disease.  

Functional heartburn is associated with nerve/muscle disturbance and frequently responds to medications used to treat depression and anxiety.

So if heartburn bothers a child, toddler or infant consultation with pediatric gastroenterology will be helpful. 

If you have any questions about your child's gastrointestinal/GI health, please contact Dr. Treskova's pediatric GI, hepatology and nutrition office and schedule an appointment at

Dr. Erena Treskova

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