One of the most prevalent gastrointestinal illnesses is heartburn, often known as acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). It is reported that approximately 20% of America's population suffers from heartburn. Almost everyone will suffer heartburn at some time in their lives, particularly after a large meal. GERD is described as symptoms that often occur (two or more times per week) when the esophagus experiences damage from reflux, such as constriction, erosions, or pre-cancerous alterations.
GERD is described as symptoms that often occur (two or more times per week) when the esophagus experiences damage from reflux, such as constriction, erosions, or pre-cancerous alterations. It is more frequent in the elderly, fat people, and pregnant women. If you're among the people suffering from heartburn, then you know how inconvenient it can be. But, precisely, what is heartburn?
Symptoms of heartburn
When you have heartburn, you will feel a burning feeling in the chest that is frequently accompanied by a sourness in your mouth and throat. Depending on your circumstances, heartburn sensations may worsen after a heavy meal or while you're lying down.
In general, you may effectively manage the symptoms of heartburn at home using over-the-counter heartburn medicine
. In contrast, if you suffer from recurrent heartburn that makes it almost impossible to swallow, your symptoms may be an indication of a more severe underlying medical problem.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, you may also experience the following:
• A burning sensation in your chest that may last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
• When you bend over or lie down, you may have chest pain.
• You may have a burning sensation in your throat.
• Back of the throat taste sensations such as a burning sensation, sourness, acidity, or saltiness
• Difficulty swallowing certain foods.
Causes of heartburn
Acids that reflux back into the esophagus from the stomach are the source of heartburn. Factors that enhance acid production in the stomach and anatomical issues that enable acid to flow back into the esophagus are all potential risk factors for acid reflux disease.
• Certain typical meals and beverages that we consume and drink might cause an increase in stomach acid output, which can lead to heartburn. Heartburn may also be exacerbated by over-the-counter drugs as well as prescription prescriptions. Examples of these irritants include:
o carbonated drinks
o acidic juices
o acidic foods
o Aspirin and ibuprofen-containing medications
• As a result of smoking and consuming high-fat meals, the LES is more likely to relax from the stomach and enable acid to reflux into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn or other symptoms of heartburn.
• In cases of hiatal hernia, when part of the stomach protrudes into the chest rather than the abdomen, it may interfere with the function of the LES, increasing the likelihood of reflux. Hiatal hernias do not manifest themselves with any symptoms. Heartburn happens only when the LES fails to function correctly.
• Pregnancy might result in increased pressure in the abdominal cavity, which can impair the function of the LES and expose it to reflux.
• Obesity may also result in increased stress in the belly, which can lead to reflux in the same manner.
• Heartburn may also be a sign of esophageal disorders that are not related to the digestive system. Scleroderma and sarcoidosis are two of the most common of these diseases.
Quick remedies for heartburn
1. Take note of what you consume.
Everyone responds differently to various dietary categories. Keep a food diary to document which foods aggravate your symptoms. In this notebook, you should keep account of what you eat, when you consume it, any activity that aggravated or relieved your heartburn, and which days you had heartburn symptoms. Gradually, you will manage to connect the harmful foods to heartburn episodes.
2. Maintain appropriate posture.
Your posture might also cause heartburn. Try standing up if you're seated or lying down. If you're already standing, strive to stand up straighter. An upright position reduces the strain on the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). Your LES is a muscular ring that helps prevent stomach acid from flowing into your esophagus.
When it's time to sleep, lift your upper body by adjusting your sleeping surface. Set your adjustable bed at a comfortable angle to give relief. If your bed isn't adjustable, you may alter the inclination of your resting surface using more pillows.
3. Avoid smoking
You're undoubtedly aware that smoking is terrible for your health. Did you realize, however, that smoking may add to heartburn? If you're a smoker and experience heartburn, don't light up. Smoking may be your method of dealing with stress when things become difficult, but it will not make that burning sensation disappear.
4. Keep a healthy BMI
Obesity is associated with an increased chance of acquiring acid reflux. The relationship seems to be that extra fat around the abdomen increases pressure on the gut, causing reflux. Obese people may discover that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight helps them minimize the occurrence of acid reflux.
5. Chew gum
Chewing gum increases saliva production and encourages swallowing. This may aid in diluting and clearing acid reflux from your esophagus.