HEARTBURN: CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, AND PREVENTION

Heartburn, also known as pyrosis, cardialgia, or acid indigestion, is a burning sensation in the chest, just behind the breastbone or in the epigastrium, the upper central abdomen. The pain often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck, throat, or angle of the jaw.

Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach




Heartburn is actually a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, and is caused by acid refluxing into the esophagus. The risks include those that increase the production of acid in the stomach, as well as structural problems that allow acid reflux into the esophagus.
Some common foods that we eat and drink, stimulate increased stomach acid secretion setting the stage for heartburn. Over-the-counter medications also may precipitate heartburn. Examples of these irritants include:
  • alcohol,
  • caffeine,
  • carbonated beverages,
  • acidic juices (grapefruit, orange, pineapple)
  • acidic foods (tomatoes, grapefruit, and oranges), and
  • chocolate.


Most foods rich in proteins also can cause heartburn based on the preparation. But there are differences in the sense that, what causes heartburn for an individual may not cause heartburn for another individual, so as regards this, everyone should find what can cause it for him/her and try to  avoid it.

HEARTBURN SYMPTOMS
  • A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours.
  • Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down, or eating. Remember, you should see your doctor right away for any unexplained chest pain. Don't assume it's heartburn until your doctor tells you it is.
  • Burning in the throat -- or hot, sour, acidic or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Feeling of food "sticking" in the middle of the chest or throat.
  • Heartburn may cause chronic cough, sore throat, or chronic hoarseness.


HEARTBURN PREVENTION
Eating heavy meals is not beneficial to the digestive system, its much more better to split large quantity of food into smaller quantity eaten at different times than eating large quantity at a time. For better understanding, its better you have your meal 5 times a day in small quantity than have your meal 2 times a day in large quantity.
·        After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren't a good idea.
·        Chocolate, mint, and alcohol can make heartburn worse. They relax the valve between the esophagus and the stomachSpicy foods, foods that have a lot of acid (like tomatoes and oranges), and coffee can make heartburn symptoms worse in some people. If your symptoms are worse after you eat a certain food, you may want to stop eating that food to see if your symptoms get better.




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