Heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest caused by the movement of stomach acid, bile, into the oesophagus. The oesophagus (the tube that connects mouth to the stomach) has a rigid band of muscles at the lower end which closes after the food enters the stomach and prevents the stomach contents from re-entering the oesophagus. If this sphincter weakens or loosens at the wrong time, stomach acid can back up into the oesophagus, causing heartburn.
Common symptoms and treatment
Many people experience heartburn and there are a lot of medications and home remedies to treat it. At times the burning gets worse but if the heartburn isn’t frequent, one does not need a health care professional. It can be treated with home remedies. The typical warning sign of heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest. It can be accompanied by a sour, unpleasant taste at the back of the throat, barfing or puking of food, or a distasteful feeling of food being stuck in the throat.
If these symptoms are accompanied with shortness of breath, dizziness or cold sweat, you will need to meet a doctor to look into it. A lot of times all that a health-care professional requires is a detailed history and physical check to make the initial diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor may suggest some tests.
Heartburn can be treated with home remedies and medication. In some cases, surgical procedures are available to help with severe and chronic heartburn. There are quite a lot of ways to treat and avoid heartburn by making some lifestyle changes and adapting some home remedies.
Maintain your ideal weight
Being overweight increases the pressure on the stomach, increasing the chance of acid reflux into the oesophagus. Exercise regularly and regulate your diet to keep healthy.
Smoking interferes with the proper functioning of the lower oesophageal sphincter. It is also responsible for worsening gastric troubles. If you’re a heavy smoker, it’s in your best interest to quit the butt.
Avoid certain food items
Try avoiding food items that cause heartburn and replace them with something healthy. Here are a few food items which are commonly responsible for it:
• Alcohol and cigarette: Alcohol and cigarettes weaken the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus causing severe heartburn. Avoid these two helps to maintain gut health.
• Coffee: Caffeine weakens the lower oesophageal sphincter which worsens the movement of bile acid and causes heartburn.
• Fatty, fried, acidic food: Food items that are fried, or high on fat, or are acidic may cause heartburn by loosening the lower oesophageal sphincter. Consumption of fat also relaxes the sphincter and lets the food sit in the stomach for longer, both of which are risk factors for heartburn.
• Acidic juices (grapefruit, orange, pineapple): Various studies have proven that excessive consumption of acidic juices irritates the lining of the oesophagus and eventually, cause heartburn.
• Chocolate: Excess consumption may cause heartburn as it loosens up the lower oesophageal sphincter. It is made up of fatty contents, besides other compounds.
• Onions: they release the lower oesophageal sphincter which causes heartburn. They are also high in fermentable fibre, causing gastric problems which eventually cause heartburn.
Keep a food journal
Also, keep a food journal to track food items that make your heartburn worse and try to decrease their intake. There are many food items that can make heartburn symptoms worse as there are ample of food items that help in easing the heartburn. Ginger, bananas and melons, veggies, oatmeal, grains, potatoes, etc. are good remedies
Lift up the head of your bed
If one experiences heartburn at night, elevating the head of the bed will ease symptoms. One can also use two or three pillows to allow gravity to keep acid from flowing into the other organs from the stomach, which causes heartburn.
Understanding heartburn symptoms and learning how to avoid them can help in avoiding the distress typically experienced with a frequent condition. An occurrence of heartburn every now and then is usually nothing to be troubled about. But arrange an appointment with your doctor if you have heartburn often or if it starts getting severe and interferes with your daily activities. Such an occurrence may indicate a more serious underlying condition. If it isn’t anything that serious it can be treated with the suggested home remedies for sudden relief.
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Disclaimer This blog solely intended for the educational/informational/awareness purposes and is not a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your doctor/healthcare professional before acting on the information provided on the blog. Reliance on any or all information provided in the blog, is solely at your own risk and responsibility. Mankind Pharma Limited shall not be held liable, in any circumstance whatsoever.