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FAQ > Esophagus > When is heartburn significant?

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When is heartburn significant?

Some people have occasional bouts of heartburn after eating a spicy meal or while drinking alcohol. Burning or pressure under the breastbone which occurs at least twice a week, occurs regularly after meals, or which occurs while you are lying down at night is indicative of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and should be evaluated. If unrecognized and not properly treated, GERD could lead to structuring of the esophagus, cancer in the esophagus, or lung problems. GERD is the most common reason people consult gastroenterologists. If the symptom is pressure, it may be confused with angina which is a symptom of coronary artery disease.