Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies

Heartburn Treatment Remedies


The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning pain or sensation that occurs behind the breastbone.

The heartburn feeling can last for a few minutes or a few hours.

Heartburn or acid reflux symptoms include chronic cough and chest pain and burning.

Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm.

Heartburn that is more frequent or interferes with your daily routine may require special attention.

Heartburn can also be a symptom of a more serious condition that requires medical care.

Most of the time heart burn comes from the esophagus.

The pain often rises in your chest from your stomach and may spread to your neck or throat.

When foods and liquids are swallowed, they enter the lower esophageal sphincter, located at the end of the esophagus.

Once the food and liquid has passed into the stomach, the sphincter tightens shut.

It relaxes to allow the food and liquid into the stomach.

If the sphincter does not close tightly or closes abnormally it will produce stomach acid.

The acid can cause irritation and heartburn.

At this time food can back up into the esophagus.

Contrary to the name, heartburn does not affect the heart at all.

When heartburn is severe it can feel similar to a heart attack.

Heartburn occurs just below or behind the breastbone.

Heartburn Symptoms

Heartburn pain can become worse when lying down or bending over.

Regurgitation can occur when burping.

A sour taste in the mouth may develop after regurgitation.

A syndrome called Dyspepsia can occurwhich is a general term for stomach discomfort.

Most cases of heartburn and acid reflux do not cause health complications, though there are cases in which it does.

Seek immediate help if you experience severe chest pain or pressure.

You may need special treatment if your heartburn occurs more than twice a week.

If symptoms persist despite use of over-the-counter medications, you may need to be checked by a doctor.

Especially when combined with other signs and symptoms such as pain in the arm or jaw or difficulty breathing.

Regurgitation can occur which causes the heartburn sufferer to bring up some contents from the stomach into the mouth or cause vomiting.

You may have difficulty swallowing while experiencing heartburn.

Symptoms of dyspepsia are burping, nausea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

There may be a sensation of food being stuck in the throat.

Pain or discomfort can be felt in the chest, abdomen, or throat.

Esophagitis is the inflammation and irritation of the esophagus.

In some people, heartburn that causes acid reflux over a long period of time can result in a condition called Barrett's Esophagus.

Barrett's Esophagus occurs when stomach acid repeatedly irritates the esophagus which results in scarring.

The scarring can cause the esophagus to narrow which makes it difficult to swallow.

Dysphagia is a sensation of food being stuck in the throat.

Some cases of Barrett's Esophagus can cause the cells that are lining the esophagus to develop abnormally which can result in cancer.

Weight loss may occur if the sufferer is avoiding food in order to avoid heartburn and reflux.

Heartburn Causes

Certain foods and drinks may trigger heartburn.

Some medications may cause heartburn.

Heartburn is usually relieved soon after delivery.

Obesity can cause heartburn because of the pressure on the abdomen.

Pregnancy can cause heartburn in more than half of all pregnant women.

Heartburn due to pregnancy is usually caused by the increase in hormones and pressure from the growing baby.

Smoking can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter.

Stress can be a factor in developing heartburn.

Tight clothing can add pressure that can result in heartburn.

Lying flat can cause stomach contents to back up into the esophagus.

A hiatal hernia can cause heartburn and acid reflux.

The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm in which the esophagus passes through to the stomach.

When the hiatus becomes herniated it allows the stomach to bulge through the opening into the chest.

Only some people with hiatal hernia experience heartburn and acid reflux. Some will not.

It is important to understand that acid reflux is not a disease caused by excessive acid production in your stomach.

Heartburn Diagnosis

An x-ray can be used to view the condition of the esophagus and stomach.

An upper endoscopy provides a view of the esophagus and stomach by use of a small scope with a light and camera attached to it.

A biopsy can be performed during an upper endoscopy to analyze tissue.

An ambulatory acid probe test is used to determine the pH, how long, and when acids back up into the esophagus.

During the ambulatory acid probe test, an acid monitor is placed in the esophagus and is connected to a small computer that can be strapped onto the body.

An older method uses a small probe that is guided through the nostril and positioned near the lower esophagus then plugged into a small unit that is worn on the body.

A doctor might order an upper GI series.

Prior to the test, the patient has to drink a barium solution which shows up well on x-rays

In some instances, a barium enema may be used.

Sometimes an injection is given to slow down muscle movement in the stomach.

Fluoroscopy x-ray is used to track the barium moving throughout the esophagus, stomach, and small intestines.

An upper GI series may take 3-6 hours to complete.

During an esophageal manometry test, a thin tube that is pressure sensitive is passed through the nostril until it reaches the stomach.

The esophageal manometry or motility test measures peristalsis and how well the lower esophageal sphincter is closing.

Peristalsis is when the esophagus moves food from the throat to the stomach in a wave-like motion.

Heartburn Treatment

Heartburn should be treated because it can damage the lining of the esophagus.

Eat smaller sized meals and don't eat too fast.

H2 receptor antagonist medications do not work as fast as antacids but the effects last longer.

Medications can be purchased over the counter, and if a stronger medication is needed, a doctor can write a prescription.

Avoid foods and drinks that seem to trigger heartburn, such as spicy food, fried food, fatty food, tomatoes, citrus, alcohol, caffeine, peppermint, carbonated drinks, and chocolate.

Avoid eating 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Avoid exercising and bending over soon after eating.

If overweight, losing weight can reduce pressure on the stomach.

Extra weight can cause stomach contents to back up into the esophagus.

Sleep with your head raised above your stomach about 6 inches.

Try actually raising the head of the bed because a person can roll off a pillow during sleep.

Avoid wearing tight clothing and belts that squeeze the stomach.

Stop smoking because it can contribute to the weakening of the esophageal sphincter.

Reduce stress and stressful situations.

If lifestyle changes, diet changes, and medication fail to help, surgery may be an option.

A laparoscopic surgery, called fundoplication, involves wrapping the top of the stomach around the lower esophagus.

This procedure tightens the lower esophagus which prevents stomach acid from invading the esophagus.

Another procedure uses the surgical placement of beads, called LINX, around the lower esophagus which strengthens the sphincter.

If a person is allergic to metal they should avoid LINX

A person with LINX cannot have any type of MRI.

Heartburn Prevention

Heartburn relief can be achieved by some simple lifestyle and diet changes.

Eat meals at least 2 hours to 3 hours before lying down.

This will give food time to digest and empty from your stomach, and acid levels a chance to decrease before you lay down.

Decrease the size of portions at meal times or try eating 4 to 5 small meals instead of 3 large ones.

Take time to eat -- don't rush. Try putting your fork down between bites.

To prevent heartburn, avoid foods and drinks that trigger it.

If you are overweight, losing weight can help relieve heartburn symptoms.

At bedtime, keep the head elevated above the stomach.

Do not smoke.

Don't wear very tight clothing.

Maintain healthy weight.

Avoid eating late in the evening.

If medication is causing heartburn, check with a doctor to see if there is an alternative.

Avoid stressful situations.

Practice relaxation techniques, such as meditation or yoga.

Don't bend over or exercise soon after a meal.

Keep track of when heartburn hits and the specific activities that seem to trigger the incidents.

Heartburn Statistics & Facts

Some people mistake heartburn for a heart attack and a heart attack for heartburn.

Always seek immediate medical attention to determine if the symptoms are related to heartburn or the actual heart.

Around 25 million people suffer from heartburn.

40-80% of pregnant women suffer from heartburn.

Heartburn can occur in both children and adults.

Around 40% of adults experience heartburn monthly.

Heartburn Treatment Remedies plus

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning feeling in the lower chest, along with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth.

It usually occurs after eating a big meal or while lying down.

Most people will experience heartburn from time to time, it is very common.

If heartburn occurs often it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Knowing your triggers, such as certain foods, medications, obesity, or even stress, can help prevent heartburn.

Heartburn Symptoms

One of the most common symptoms of heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest area after eating certain foods.

Stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus can cause it to become inflamed, cause coughing, pain when swallowing, hiccups, chest pain, and trouble swallowing foods or liquids.

Heartburn can occur at any time of the day, but occurs most often at night.

Heartburn can feel severe enough that a person may think that they are having a heart attack or heart complications, though it isn't affecting the heart at all.

Regurgitation can occur which causes the heartburn sufferer to bring up some contents from the stomach into the mouth or cause vomiting.

Heartburn Causes

Eating a heavy or large meal can cause heartburn.

Some foods and drinks that are often a trigger for heartburn are: tomatoes or tomato products, garlic, onions, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, citrus fruits or citrus drinks, alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, spicy foods, and fried foods.

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid backs up into the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

After food passes through your esophagus into your stomach, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closes, preventing food or acid to move back up.

Acid reflux occurs when the LES relaxes inappropriately, allowing acid from your stomach to flow (reflux) backward into your esophagus.

Heartburn Treatment

Lifestyle and food changes can help reduce heartburn and acid reflux attacks.

Antacids, like Mylanta and Tums, neutralizes stomach acid and can be used for quick relief.

Proton pump inhibitors, like Prevacid 24hr and Prilosec OTC, blocks nearly all of the stomach acid.

H2 receptor antagonist, like Pepcid and Zantac, reduces stomach acid.

Prokinetics, like Reglan, can be used to strengthen the sphincter, but the medication can have serious side effects.

pub 48 Diagnosing and Treating

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