The Causes of Heartburn and Why You Should Take It Seriously

Have you ever experienced feeling a burning sensation that starts in your upper abdomen and builds up just behind your breastbone and that the pain and burning sensation is often accompanied by a sour taste in your mouth? If you have, then you are suffering from a condition called heartburn.

Although most people do experience heartburn once in a while, you have to remember that this condition is something that you shouldn’t take lightly, especially if you have a chronic case of this condition.

Chronic heartburn is when you experience this condition every single day or almost every day. If this is the case, then you may want to go to your doctor and have it checked. Leaving chronic heartburn untreated can lead to more severe complications that will significantly have a negative effect on your life.

So, what causes heartburn and why should you take it seriously?

For starters, heartburn happens when the stomach acid refluxes or backs up in to the esophagus. This can happen because of several reasons.

The first reason is that the lower esophageal sphincter or LES is weakened or relaxed and doesn’t do its job properly. Basically, the LES is the valve that keeps the stomach acid in the stomach. If it doesn’t work properly, it will allow the stomach acid to come in contact with the esophagus, which in turn causes heartburn. This is a common symptom of GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Another cause is by eating certain foods, such as fried and fatty foods, chocolates, coffee, peppermint, sugars, and alcohol. These foods weaken or relax the LES.

Eating large meals shortly before bedtime can also cause heartburn. When you eat large meals, the production of stomach acid increases and when you lie down immediately after eating a large meal to go to bed, your body is in the perfect position for the stomach acid to reflux or come in contact with the esophagus.

Hiatal hernia is another cause of heartburn. This condition is a result of a weakening of the tissues that supports the digestive tract. This condition occurs when a part of the upper stomach slips up through the hiatus and in to the chest. Depending on the size and position of the hernia, this can cause heartburn and even chest pain.

Smoking can also cause heartburn. This is because the nicotine inside cigars and cigarettes weaken the LES. And, as you may already know, if the LES is weakened, it may not function properly and will let the stomach acid flow in to the esophagus, which will ultimately cause heartburn.

Stress is another known cause of heartburn. It has been found that stress can increase the acid production in the stomach and slows down the emptying of the stomach, causing heartburn.

These are the causes of heartburn. Mild cases of heartburn are more of a nuisance rather than a condition. But, if you have a severe case of heartburn, you may want to get it checked and treated by a doctor immediately. This is because chronic cases of heartburn can cause severe complications. It can cause scarring of the esophagus, which can make it difficult for you to swallow food and even liquids. Leaving it untreated can also lead to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. This condition is where cells similar to the lining of the stomach start to develop in the lower esophagus. This condition can increase your risk of developing cancer of the esophagus, which is very hard to detect and very hard to treat.

These are the causes of heartburn. As you can see, heartburn should be taken seriously especially if have a chronic case or when you experience it almost every day. Get heartburn treated and you can be sure that you will be able to continue living a normal life.

Heartburn: What Is It and Why Should You Be Concerned

Whenever you drink beer, you feel something burning inside your chest located just behind your breastbone. It’s painful and it rises into the chest and radiates to your neck, throat, and angle of the jaw. You feel like vomiting but nothing comes out but just a bitter taste in your mouth.

You’ve just experienced heartburn or also known as pyrosis or acid indigestion.

Basically, heartburn is often associated with regurgitation of gastric acid or also known as acid reflux. This is why you feel a burning sensation in your chest and in your throat. This is also the reason why you taste something bitter right after the heartburn episode.

So, should you be concerned if you experience heartburn?

For starters, heartburn is a major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. And, you need to remember that this can be misdiagnosed because the burning in the chest symptom of heartburn is also a symptom of ischemic heart disease, which is a much more serious illness.

This is why you have to go to your doctor when you experience heartburn. This way, you will be diagnosed properly and be given the proper medications for the type of disease you have.

You have to be concerned if you have heartburn because this is one of the major symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, which can lead to the inflammation of the esophagus. Also, heartburn can also be a symptom of acute myocardial infarction as well as angina.

If you have been told to administer vicous lidocaine and it relieved you of symptoms 5 to 10 minutes after the administration, it is very likely that the heartburn is esophageal in origin. But, you still have to keep in mind that this does not rule out that it can be caused by heart related illnesses or diseases.

This is primarily the reason why you have to go to the doctor in order to get it diagnosed properly and determine the cause of heartburn.

The doctor may try to diagnose you biochemically or mechanically. The biochemical method of diagnosing means that a probe will be placed via the nose and in to the esophagus. This will record the level of acidity in the lower of esophagus. This method is called Esophageal pH Monitoring, which can be sued to document acid reflux in real time.

In the mechanical method, the doctor will try a method called Manometry. This method is where the doctor will insert a pressure sensor or a manometer through the mouth and in to the esophagus. This device will measure the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter.

Another method is endoscopy. This method will allow the doctor to see the esophageal mucosa by passing a thin and lighted tube with a small camera through the mouth. This device is called endoscope and is used to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach.

Endoscopy will help the doctor see if there is any evidence of esophageal inflammation and biopsies may be taken if necessary through this method.

Treating heartburn will depend on the underlying cause. Antacids may be given to treat GERD and gastritis and antibiotics may be given if H. pylori are present or diagnosed.

Heartburn is a serious condition that you have to take seriously. Once you experience heartburn, you better get it diagnosed by your doctor to determine what’s causing it and treat it properly.

Heartburn: Self Care and Medical Treatments Available

Today, millions of people experiences heartburn. Some have mild cases of it while others have chronic or severe cases of heartburn.

If you are also experiencing heartburn, then it would be wise if you follow these tips in order for you to properly manage or control it and prevent it from taking control of your life. You see, heartburn is a painful condition where you will experience pain often described as a burning sensation on the chest.

Although the name heartburn suggests that it may be an illness associated with the heart, it’s actually not. Heartburn is a digestive condition where stomach acid flows out from the stomach and comes in contact with the esophagus. Sometimes you will regurgitate and taste something bitter or sour in your mouth during an episode of heartburn.

This is because the stomach acid may have reached your mouth, which explains the sour or bitter taste.

Mild cases of heartburn are considered more of a nuisance than a real condition that can have a large impact on people’s life. It can be managed and controlled through self-care. But, if you have chronic heartburn, you may need to seek professional medical help as self-care at home may only provide temporary or partial relief.

For mild or occasional symptoms of heartburn, a few lifestyle modifications will go a long way in helping you with your heartburn problem.

To start, you may want to avoid large meals. Large meals are usually the cause of heartburn. This is because large meals tend to overwhelm the stomach and it will produce excessive stomach acid in order to digest excessive food. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, go for around 6 smaller meals a day. This will keep acid production in check and eventually prevent or at least lessen heartburn.

You should also avoid foods and beverages that reduce pressure on the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter. This means that you have to avoid food like peppermint, chocolate, coffee or any other beverages or food that contains caffeine, and fatty or fried foods.

You also have to lessen your consumption of food that damages the esophagus, such as spicy food, tomatoes, citrus juices and fruits, and even tomato sauces.

After a big meal, you need to take a rest for at least 2 to 3 hours. Avoid doing any activities that forces acid back in to the esophagus, such as lifting, straining, and coughing. You also have to avoid wearing tight fitting clothes as this can produce pressure on your midsection forcing stomach contents, such as stomach acid, upwards to your esophagus.

After eating, avoid lying down. Use gravity to your advantage. Sit, stand up or walk around for at least 3 hours after a big meal. If you constantly experience night time heartburn, try to elevate the head of your bed when you sleep. But, you should never use more pillows under your head. Instead, use a wedge under the mattress or place a 6 inch block under the head of the bed.

If you are overweight, you should start losing weight. And, you also have to stop smoking if you do smoke as nicotine can damage your LES or lower esophageal sphincter.

Taking antacids can also work. This works by neutralizing the acid in your stomach and it should be taken 1 hour after meals or when you feel heartburn symptoms starting.

You can also take advantage of drugs that block the production of stomach acids. Low doses of these drugs are available over the counter.

These are the self-care and medical treatments that you can consider if you are suffering from heartburn. By keeping these things in mind, you can be sure that you will be able to effectively manage heartburn and take control of your life again.