Heartburn is burning sensations that take place in the chest, behind
the breastbone. The pain associated with heartburn is usually a lot
worse when the person is bending or lying down. Occasional heartburn
with no pain is very common and isn’t worrying whatsoever. Many
people are able to effectively manage discomfort by making lifestyle
changes or using medications. Heartburn takes place when the acid in
the stock backs into the oesophagus. Additionally, there are certain
types of food and beverages that can increase heartburn in many
individuals such as:-
• Black pepper
• Fatty food
• Fried food
On the other hand, frequent or painful heartburn that interrupts
daily routine is serious and requires assistance from the doctor.
There are various heartburn symptoms such as:-
• Pain and burning sensation in the chest. This usually takes place
after eating or at night.
• Pain that becomes worse when bending over and lying down.
• Having difficulties eating.
• Difficulties breathing.
It is essential to contact a doctor is the chest pain is severe
especially if combined with symptoms like having difficulties
breathing and arm pain. Excessive pain in the chest is a warning
sign of heart attacks. You should also contact the doctor if the
heartburn takes place for more than two times, medications aren’t
working, and if you’re having problems swallowing.
Heartburn that takes place on a frequent basis and constantly
interferes with daily routines is known as GERD. The treatment for
GERD requires various prescription medications. Surgery is also
going to be needed if medications don’t work effectively as GERD can
lead to other serious complications like damaging the oesophagus.
Medications used to relieve heartburn pain and cure the condition
• Antacids which are effective in neutralizing acid in the stomach.
Antacid like Maalox, Rolaids, or Tums provide very quick relief.
However, the only drawback to antacids is that they don’t heal the
oesophagus if it gets inflamed by the aid in the stomach.
Additionally, overusing antacids and lead to numerous side effects
like constipation and diarrhoea.
• Medications to decrease the production of acid, also known as
blockers for h2 receptors. Even though they don’t work quickly like
antacids, they are effective because they provide relief for a
longer time. There are different strong versions available so it is
advised to select one that is suitable for your condition.
• Medications that effectively block the production of acid, also
known as proton inhibitors. These medications also allow a lot of
time for the oesophagus that is damaged to completely heal. However,
proton inhibitors are not recommended for individuals over 50 years
old as some of the side effects they experience include fractures in
the hip and spine.
Along with medications, there are various home remedies that can be
implemented at home as well that can be successful in curing heart
burn and its associated symptoms. These remedies include:-
• Maintain a normal and healthy weight. This is very important
because excess pounds place a lot of pressure of the abdomen which
leads to the stomach being pushed up. If you are overweight, then
you should consider losing weight as this will also prevent acid
from backing up in the oesophagus.
• Avoid clothing that is tight-fitting. Clothes are tight especially
around the waist place pressure of the abdomen along with the lower
• Avoid drinks or meals that lead to heartburn. It is essential to
understand that this is going to differ from one person to another.
Some of the common triggers include fatty and fried foods, alcohol,
mint, onion, chocolate, and even tomato sauce. Keep in mind that
alcohol is the most significant triggers of heartburn, especially if
the patient is suffering from other medical problems. It is advised
to eat meals that are smaller as well, especially before going to
bed to avoid placing pressure on the digestive system. After you
finish eating, you should avoid lying down. Wait for three hours as
this is also going to prevent GERD from taking place.
• Elevate the bed’s head. Gravity can greatly help you if you
experience heartburn on a regular basis, especially before or during
your sleep. You can do this by placing wood and cement block or even
wedges. Wedges can easily be purchases from pharmacies. This is also
going to ensure that the acid is not going to be transported.
• Avoid smoking and products that consist of nicotine, such as
nicotine gum. Smoking is also going to decrease the ability of the
lower sphincter to function in a proper and regular manner.
If you suffer from
heartburn, you want to do all you can to alleviate it. This isn’t the
type of health concern that you want to allow to continue. While it
isn’t life threatening, you could end up with plenty of pain and
discomfort. You can also end up with your stomach and esophagus lining
permanently damaged. There are some natural remedies that you can
pursue though to reduce the occurrence of it.
If you drink
alcohol frequently then you have an increased risk of heartburn
occurring. This is especially true if you drink in the evening
hours. If you are a smoker then your lungs and esophagus can
already have some irritation or damage. That makes it more
likely that you will have severe symptoms of heartburn
occurring. Studies show that those individuals overweight are
more lightly to produce excessive acid.
If you drink or smoke you need to take action to stop doing so.
There are some wonderful programs in place that walk you through
one step at a time. You also need a support group to assist you
with reducing the likeliness of you regressing into old habits.
If you are overweight make some goals to help you shed those
extra pounds. Eating right and getting plenty of exercise will
help you to slim down.
Watch what you Eat and When you Eat
There are certain
types of foods that can increase your risk of heartburn
occurring. They include spicy foods so you may want to cut down
on them. Eating late at night close to bed time is a common
concern as well. You don’t want to eat for at least two hours
before you go to bed. That gives the digestive process plenty of
time to kick in before you lie down.
The amount of food you eat can also trigger heartburn. Make sure
you eat your food slowly and chew it well. Swallowing it fast
can result in too much air being taken into your body along with
the food. That can result in more acid being produced. Never
skip meals so that you won’t be starving when you sit down to
Pay close attention to
portion sizes when it comes to your meals. Eating frequently
throughout the day but eating smaller amounts at each time can aid in
the digestive process too. Such changes can help you to avoid problems
with heartburn in the future.
There are some
foods that have been identified as triggers for heartburn. You
want to avoid caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, and juices
that contain citrus in them. Pay attention to what triggers
related to foods affect you too. Keep a diary of what you eat as
well as document when you have heartburn. Then you can start to
look for patterns and connections.
Before you panic,
this doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee or even chocolate
completely! However, if you drink several cups of coffee a day
you may need to cut that in half. If you eat chocolate daily,
try to consume only a small amount of it. Such changes may be
enough to reduce you problems with acid reflux.
Sleeping flat on
your back can result in more acid moving back into the
esophagus. Get into the habit of sleeping on your side. You can
get a body pillow to tuck beside you as a way of getting such
behavior changed. Make sure you have a durable pillow that helps
put your neck and head up higher than the rest of your body.
This will make it harder for the acid to go back up into the
You may already
know you have heartburn and that you suffer from acid reflux.
However, understanding what the situation is inside of your body
needs to be done by a professional. That way you can take the
appropriate steps to reduce the scope of the problem. Getting a
proper diagnosis for acid reflux involves your doctor performing
various tests and evaluations. This is what you can expect to be
When you schedule
your doctor’s appointment for acid reflux you will be asked to
complete an assessment. Make sure you provide information
regarding all of your symptoms. Your doctor needs to know how
often you experience them. They also need to know how painful
they are for you.
What have you
If you have tried
to make changes on your own to take care of acid reflux, share
that with your doctor. If you have purchased over the counter
products let your doctor know what you have tried. If you are
currently using anything that is offering you relief they need
to know about it. Today there are many over the counter products
offered for acid reflux including antacids and pills.
esophagus is affected in various ways due to acid reflux, your
doctor may ask you to consent to an x-ray. The goal is to find
out what the upper digestive system looks like at this point in
time. You will often hear this referred to as a GI series as
well but it is the same type of testing.
Before you take
this type of test you will be asked to drink a substance that is
white and chalky. It doesn’t taste the best but you should be
able to get it down without too much trouble. This substance
coats the digestive tract so that it is easier for the stomach,
esophagus, and upper intestine to be properly evaluated.
With an endoscopy
a tube is entered into the body through the throat. It has a
small camera attached to one end of it. This allows for the
doctor to have a view of the inside of your digestive tract. The
images will show up on a screen as they are moving the camera
around. In many instances a sample of the tissue in the
esophagus is removed during an edoscopy. Then testing can be
conducted in it as well.
Finding out how
much acid is present in the esophagus is very important too.
This can be determined through an ambulatory acid test. This
process involves a tube being inserted through the nose and then
pushed down into the esophagus. You will need to allow it to
remain in place for about 48 hours.
You will have a
monitor that you carry around with you in your pocket. This will
measure the amount of acid in the esophagus during that span of
time. Such testing results give accurate information better than
just testing the level of acid in the esophagus at the time of
Once a full
assessment and diagnosis has been completed your doctor can
explore treatment options with you. The use of over the counter
products may be recommended to start with. Typically this is
along with changing your diet and some lifestyle changes. For
example if you drink or smoke those habits need to be
If over the
counter products don’t work for you then at your follow up
appointment prescription medications may be offered. Some of
them are expensive and they can have an array of side effects
associated with them. If the damage to the digestive tract is
severe due to acid reflux your doctor may recommend surgery to
improve your condition.