Heartburn: When You Should Seek Medical Help

Millions of people today experiences heartburn. And, although it is an uncomfortable and painful condition, most people consider it is a nuisance rather than a condition. Besides, most people only experiences heartburn once or twice every month and it’s really nothing serious.

However, there are cases where heartburn can severely affect your life. Around 10 percent of the adult population experiences a chronic kind of heartburn. Chronic heartburn happens when people start experiencing the condition every single day. And, this can really have the ability to take control of your life.

Chronic heartburn will rob you of a normal life. You won’t be able to sleep because of the pain and also reduce your activities because of the discomfort you will experience from heartburn.

So, if you are experiencing heartburn, you may be wondering when you should seek professional medical help.

You have to remember that heartburn can be managed and controlled through lifestyle modifications as well as the use of antacids or acid blockers. When these methods stop working and heartburn continues to bother you despite the fact that you are doing everything you can to manage it, this is the time when you have to seek medical help.

You have to call your doctor immediately after you experience heartburn more than 3 times a week for over 2 weeks as this is a sign of a chronic case of heartburn.

Your doctor will prescribe medications to manage heartburn more effectively and make other recommendations that will help you control or manage heartburn and let you live a more normal life.

You also have to keep in mind that chronic heartburn can sometimes lead to much more serious complications, which will require you to seek immediate medical attention. If you are already throwing up blood or passing blood in your stools, experiencing dizziness, severe pain or light headedness, have difficulty in swallowing, feeling of dehydration, and you lost weight unintentionally, this is the time that you should call your doctor and go to the hospital.

What the doctor will do is conduct a series of test in order to determine what is causing you to experience chronic heartburn. One of the tests is called the upper GI endoscopy. You will be lightly sedated and a special camera will be used to take a look at your esophagus and your stomach.

This way, the doctor conducting the procedure will be able to see how much damage has been done to the esophagus from stomach acid.

The specialist may also conduct a diagnosis where they will test the strength of your LES muscle, which is basically a valve that separates the stomach acid from your esophagus. This test is called esophageal manometry.

You may also be subjected to a procedure called the 24 hours pH monitoring. This measures the strength of your stomach acid and a thin tube will be passed through your nose and in to your esophagus. The test will measure the amount of acid reflux that occurs while you do your daily and regular activities for 24 hours.

After the diagnosis, you will get treatment for your heartburn as well as for the complications heartburn had on your body, especially on your esophagus.

These are the things that you have to remember if you experience chronic heartburn. Always remember that if you are already experiencing heartburn at least 3 times every week for 2 weeks, this is the time that you should seek medical help. This may be a sign that you may be experiencing a more serious condition.

Tips That Can Help Prevent Heartburn from Affecting Your Life

If you suffer from heartburn, then you have to remember that you’re not alone. Heartburn is a condition that millions of people today are suffering from. It is also an age-old condition that people have been experiencing. You have to keep in mind that heartburn is a common condition that is treatable and even preventable.

First of all, you have to remember that heartburn is in no way related to any heart condition. As a matter of fact, heartburn is a digestive condition where the acid that our stomach naturally produces to digest food comes in contact with our esophagus. When this happens, we will feel a burning sensation that starts on our diaphragm all the way to our chest. It is also accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in our mouth, which is basically the stomach acid reaching our throat and mouth.

Now, you have to keep in mind that there are several ways on how you can prevent or at least lessen the frequency of heartburn. By following these tips, you can be sure that you will be able to take control of your life again.

You have to remember that in order to prevent heartburn, you have to make some changes with your life. A few lifestyle modifications can really go a long way.

The first is that you have to avoid eating large meals. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, you may want to eat 6 smaller meals a day. This will keep stomach acid production on a minimum and eventually prevent 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 chocolate, caffeine containing food and beverages, peppermint, and fried or fatty foods.

You also need to avoid or lessen your consumption of foods that can damage your esophagus, such as spicy food, oranges, pineapple or citrus fruits and juices, tomato sauce and foods that contain a lot of tomatoes.

You should also stop smoking as nicotine can damage your LES or the lower esophageal sphincter, which is primarily responsible for preventing stomach acid from reaching your esophagus.

After eating, you need to avoid lying down as this is the best position for the stomach acid to flow back or reflux in to your esophagus. If you are suffering from nighttime heartburn, the best thing that you can do is to elevate your head when you lie down. But, don’t try using more pillows to do this as this can worsen heartburn as it will increase pressure on your stomach. Instead, try to elevate by placing a wedge under the mattress or by placing 6 inch blocks under the head of the bed.

Alcohol is known to increase the frequency of heartburn. So, try to limit your alcohol intake. You should also try to lose weight if you are overweight.

Lastly, you should take antacids whenever you feel the symptoms of heartburn.

Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will be able to prevent or at least control heartburn. And, if none of these tips work, it may be time to consult your doctor as the heartburn may already be a sign of a far worse condition in your body.

Heartburn: Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Prevent Heartburn

Thanks to man’s innovation and advancement in technology, we are now able to live comfortably and easily. However, it also brought us problems that we need to learn to deal with. Primarily, the comfort and convenience of modern life have increased the risk of heart related diseases, such as hypertension and stroke. And, it also increased the likelihood of heartburn.

Although the name heartburn suggests that this is a heart related illness, it’s really not even close to that. As a matter of fact, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Heartburn is basically a digestive illness that can be prevented or least lessened in its frequency through lifestyle modifications.

Heartburn happens when our stomach acid refluxes and comes in to contact with our esophagus. This irritates our esophagus and causes us to feel a burning sensation starting from the diaphragm all the way behind our breastbone. This is the feeling that you know as heartburn. It will also be accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, which is primarily the stomach acid you regurgitated.

If you are suffering from heartburn, simple lifestyle changes must be made in order for you to prevent it from happening to you or at least lessen its frequency.

The first is to lose weight. Overweight and obese people are more at higher risk in suffering from heartburn. This is because they tend to overeat and overeating will increase the amount of acid inside the stomach. Try to reduce your overall food intake and lose some of your weight by exercising. Doing so will help reduce the amount of acid produced in your stomach, which will in turn decrease your chances of experiencing heartburn.

The second is to eat healthy. If you can, you should try and maintain a food diary. This way, you will be able to track down food that causes you to experience heartburn. Cut down on foods that triggers heartburn and you will be able to prevent heartburn from taking control of your life. You really don’t have to give up eating your favorite food. But, you do have to limit it.

Also, increasing fiber intake will help bind stomach acids together, which will help in preventing heartburn.

Smoking is one of the main triggers of heartburn. The nicotine you inhale will increase the production of stomach acid and it will also weaken the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter. The LES acts as a valve which is primarily responsible for keeping stomach acid inside the stomach and prevent it from reaching your esophagus.

You should also avoid drinking too much alcohol. Wine and beer triggers heartburn because they tend to increase stomach acid production. By cutting down on alcohol, you will be able to improve your condition and reduce the frequency of heartburn you experience.

Lastly, you should try drinking a cup of green tea once every day. This will help get rid of toxins inside your stomach and significantly reduce the amount of stomach acid being produced.

These are some of the lifestyle changes that you need to make in order for you to prevent heartburn or at least reduce its frequency. If none of these things work, then it may be time for you to seek professional medical help as the heartburn you are experiencing may be a sign of a far more serious health condition.