Heartburn: What Is It and Should You Be Worried?

Today, 5 to 15 percent of the adult population experiences severe cases of heartburn. Home remedies will only provide temporary or partial relief and chronic heartburn should be taken seriously as this can really have a negative effect on your life.

So, just what is heartburn and why should you be worried if you experience this condition?

For starters, you have to remember that heartburn has nothing to do with the heart as the name of the condition may suggest. Basically, heartburn is a digestive problem that occurs when the acids inside the stomach comes in contact with the lining of the esophagus. This causes irritation and this will in turn cause heartburn.

Heartburn can happen suddenly and without warning. Usually, this happens after a big meal before bedtime. You will experience a burning sensation that will begin in the upper abdomen and builds up behind the breastbone and makes your chest feels like burning.

The burning sensation and the pain may even travel from your diaphragm to your throat, which may be accompanied by a bitter and sour taste. It can even feel like as if food is reentering your mouth.

If you experience heartburn almost every single day, then you have a chronic case of heartburn. Mild cases of heartburn will mean that you experience this condition once a month.

Mild cases may be treated with simple home remedies, such as changing your diet, over the counter antacids and even by losing weight or by avoiding wearing tight clothes. On the other hand, severe cases of heartburn will require a more comprehensive treatment as home remedies will only provide temporary or partial relief.

If you have a severe case of heartburn, then you have every right to be worried. This may be a sign that you have a condition called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. If you leave it untreated, it can lead to severe complications, such as scarring of the esophagus. This will make it difficult for you to swallow food and even liquids.

Severe heartburn can also lead to Barrett’s esophagus. This condition is where cells similar to that of your stomach lining will develop in your lower esophagus. This condition will increase your risk of developing cancer in the esophagus.

There are several ways on how you can manage heartburn. For starters, you have to make a few lifestyles and diet changes. This will include eating frequent smaller meals instead of just three large meals a day. This will help in decreasing the production of stomach acids.

Eating slowly can also help manage heartburn. Also, you have to avoid going to bed on a full stomach. Stay up at least 3 hours after eating your last meal before you go to bed. This will give the acids a chance to decrease before your body is in a position where heartburn will likely occur, which is lying down.

If you are a smoker, then you should quit smoking as the nicotine content in cigars and cigarettes can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, which is basically the muscle the controls the opening between the esophagus and the stomach.

These are some of the ways on how you can manage heartburn.

Having a severe case of heartburn will lead to much worse complications. So, you have to learn how to manage heartburn and you should also visit your doctor in order for you to know exactly what to do to decrease the frequency of heartburn as well as get medications in treating heartburn.

Heartburn: The Symptoms You Should Watch Out For

Heartburn is a condition where you will feel an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest. And, you have to remember that although the pain caused by heartburn is felt in the chest, this condition is in no way related to the heart or any heart related diseases.

Basically, heartburn is a digestive condition where stomach acid refluxes and comes in contact with the esophagus.

A lot of people experiences heartburn for at least once every month. However, if you continue experiencing heartburn every day, then you are suffering from a chronic or severe type of heartburn, which can prevent you from living a normal life.

Chronic heartburn is also a sign or symptom of a more serious condition called GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Frequent heartburn will prevent you from living normally. It will limit your daily activities and it can also lead to further complications, such as ulcers in your esophagus and Barrett’s esophagus.

You need to understand heartburn in order for you to treat it properly.

Today, around 30 percent of the adult population in the country experiences occasional heartburn. Around 10 to 15 percent of the adult population experiences the condition every day.

So, what are the symptoms of heartburn that you should watch out for?

Well, you basically need to watch out for that burning feeling in the chest. The sensation may also spread up in to the throat, jaw, and even on the back. Because of the location where pain is felt, heartburn is often mistaken for chest pain caused by heart attack. However, you need to remember that you should never try and second guess yourself when you feel chest pain for any reason.

It’s also easy to mistake a heart attack with heartburn, which is why you have to seek medical attention immediately after feeling any type of chest pain. Never rule out heart attack as a cause of chest pain even if you frequently experience heartburn.

In most cases, heartburn will occur 30 to 60 minutes after meals. The pain will worsen if you lie down or when you bend forward. The pain will also get worse if you strain to pass stools. The best thing that you can do is to stand upright, swallow saliva or water, and take antacids.

If the stomach acid travels beyond the esophagus and makes its way in to your mouth, you will experience a bitter or sour taste. This is called regurgitation and is common after eating meals especially when you lie down, bend over or strain.

You need to keep in mind that frequent heartburn means exposing your esophagus to stomach acid for long periods of time. Your esophagus may get damaged and this may lead to difficulty in swallowing. In more serious cases, you may even lose weight and become frequently dehydrated.

In rare cases, you may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in your stool. However, these are uncommon but you still have to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms.

These are basically the symptoms that you have to watch out for. Heartburn is not really that serious if you only experience it once a month. But, if you experience it every day, it may be time for you to seek medical help.