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How Long Does Heartburn Last?

How Long Does Heartburn Last?


Most people experience heartburn at some point. Common symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux are burning in the throat or chest. If you’re one of the 60 million Americans that has acid reflux, you might be wondering “how long does acid reflux last”?

So keep reading to understand how long can GERD last — as well as related heartburn symptoms —  and what factors go into that time timeline.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

One of the most important steps in answering “how long can acid reflux last” is knowing the causes.

Acid reflux, heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), are related and common conditions.

Regurgitation, hoarse voice, heartburn, pain, and trouble swallowing food are all symptoms. It’s caused because of a valve malfunction where your stomach meets your esophagus.

Many times, GERD or acid reflux is caused because of a high hiatal hernia. Around 10% of bariatric patients have some kind of reflux symptoms that were overlooked during their initial bariatric surgery.

Sometimes it can even develop after weight loss. This is because of the displacement of your stomach.

Some foods can also cause heartburn if they are high in acid, like nightshades and coffee.

Read More: What Foods to Eat to Help Heartburn

How Long Does Acid Reflux Last?

Because of the similarities of these conditions, the title of this section may as well include the following as well:

  • How long does heartburn last?
  • How long does GERD last?

So without further ado, let’s answer all of them right now:

Heartburn symptoms can last around 2-4 hours until the food leaves your stomach and goes into your small intestine. Even after that point, you can have symptoms return later on. This could go on and repeat for days or weeks if left untreated.

In short, how long can heartburn last? — Forever unless you have quality guidance from doctors who specialize in GERD Reflux in Baltimore.

How To Reduce GERD And Heartburn Symptoms

The first thing you can do is avoid foods that trigger GERD, acid reflux, or heartburn. This includes chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, carbonated soda, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and other acid foods.


Your doctor can prescribe you medications that reduce GERD or heartburn symptoms. There are several antacids that can help alleviate symptoms.

See A Doctor

A bariatric surgeon can help you treat your GERD or heartburn with medical procedures.

Surgical Treatment of GERD

  1. If you have not had previous bariatric surgery, your BMI is <35, and your GERD is severe, the gold standard treatment is laparoscopic fundoplication with hiatal hernia repair. This procedure can also be done laparoscopically or endoscopically with the Esophyx procedure. A hybrid approach, using both laparoscopic and endoscopic techniques, may also be an option.
  2. If you have severe GERD and your BMI is >35, the best surgery is gastric bypass with simultaneous hiatal hernia repair. This procedure can help to reduce your weight and improve your GERD symptoms.
  3. Severe GERD after sleeve gastrectomy can be treated by converting the sleeve to a gastric bypass. This procedure can help to improve your GERD symptoms and may also help you to lose more weight.

How Long Can Acid Reflux Last? – Conclusion

With the right treatment, surgery, or medication, acid reflux can be treated. Instead of it lasting for hours, you can keep it at bay. So avoid having to ask “how long can GERD last” ever again.

The expert bariatric surgeons at Ascension Saint Agnes Hospital can help you understand your options for relief. That way, you can continue your weight loss journey while maximizing your quality of life without heartburn.

Ready to take the first step to weight loss?

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