Heartburn acidity symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention in 2022

                                     
Heartburn acidity symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention in 2022


*** What is heartburn?

Heartburn or heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest that often has a bitter taste in your throat or mouth. Heartburn symptoms may get worse after eating a large meal or when lying down.

In general, you can successfully treat the symptoms of heartburn at home. However, if frequent heartburn makes it difficult to eat or swallow, the symptoms may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.


*** What are the causes of heartburn?

Heartburn usually occurs when stomach contents back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach.

The esophagus connects to your stomach in a bend known as the cardiac or lower esophageal sphincter. If the cardiac sphincter is working properly, it closes when food leaves the esophagus and enters the stomach.

In some people, the cardiac sphincter does not work properly or is weakened. This causes stomach contents to leak into the esophagus. Stomach acids can irritate the esophagus and cause heartburn symptoms. This condition is known as reflux.

Heartburn can also be a result of a hiatal hernia. This occurs when part of the stomach pushes the diaphragm into the chest.

Heartburn is also a common condition during pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, the hormone progesterone can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. This allows stomach contents to move up the esophagus, causing irritation.

Other health conditions or lifestyle choices can worsen heartburn, including

smoking

Being overweight or obese

Consuming caffeine, chocolate or alcohol

Eating spicy foods

Lie down immediately after eating

Take certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen


*** Heartburn and pregnancy

It is estimated that between 17 and 45 percent of pregnant women experience heartburn in pregnancy. Heartburn frequency usually increases by the third.

In the first trimester, about 39 percent of women had heartburn, while 72 percent had heartburn symptoms in the third trimester.

There are a number of factors that increase the risk of heartburn in pregnant women. This includes reduced pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This means that acid can pass from the stomach into the esophagus more easily.

The growing uterus also puts extra pressure on the stomach, which can worsen heartburn. Certain hormones that help women maintain their pregnancies can slow down digestion, increasing the risk of heartburn.

There are not many long-term complications related to heartburn in pregnancy. Pregnant women usually have it at higher rates than non-pregnant women.

Sometimes, heartburn symptoms are more severe than when a woman is not pregnant.


*** Heartburn vs indigestion

Heartburn and indigestion may have a lot in common, but they're not the same thing.

Doctors also call indigestion dyspepsia. This is a symptom that causes pain in the upper part of the stomach. A person with indigestion may also experience symptoms such as:

burping

bloating

nausea

general abdominal pain

The foods you eat cause heartburn and indigestion. Indigestion is the result of foods that irritate the stomach and its lining. Heartburn is the result of acid reflux from the stomach.


*** Gastroesophageal reflux disease

A person with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may have indigestion and heartburn as part of their symptoms.

GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux that can damage the esophagus. Excess weight, smoking, and hiatal hernias increase a person's risk of developing GERD.


***Other possible cases

Sometimes, heartburn can cause symptoms so out of the ordinary that you worry it's a heart attack.

But not all heart attacks result in the classic, crushing chest pain you see on TV and in the movies. Here's how to tell the difference between the two:

Heartburn usually causes symptoms after eating. The heart attack did not appear to be related to the foods you ate.

Heartburn usually causes a sour taste in the mouth or the feeling of acid rising in the back of the throat. A heart attack may cause stomach pain, including nausea and general abdominal pain.

Heartburn usually starts as a burning sensation in the upper part of the stomach that moves to the chest. A heart attack usually causes pressure, tightness or chest pain that may reach the arms, neck, jaw or back.

Heartburn is usually relieved with antacids. Heart attack symptoms are not.

In addition to a heart attack, some people may mistake the following for heartburn:

esophageal spasm

gallbladder disease

Gastritis

pancreatitis

peptic ulcer disease

If you are not sure whether your symptoms are heartburn or something else, it is best to seek emergency medical attention.


*** When should I see my doctor about heartburn?

Many people sometimes suffer from heartburn. However, you should contact your doctor if you have heartburn more than twice a week or heartburn that does not improve with treatment. This may be a sign of a more serious condition.

Heartburn often occurs alongside other infectious diseases, such as ulcers, which are sores in the lining of the esophagus and stomach, or GERD. Call your doctor if you experience heartburn and develop:

Difficulty swallowing

pain in swallowing

Dark, tarry, or bloody stools

Shortness of breath

Pain that radiates from your back to your shoulder

Dizziness

Vertigo

Sweating while feeling chest pain

Heartburn is not associated with a heart attack. However, many people with heartburn think they are having a heart attack because the symptoms can be very similar. You may be having a heart attack if you have:

Severe or crushing chest pain

breathing difficulties

jaw pain

arm pain


*** What are the treatment options for heartburn?

If you have occasional heartburn, there are many home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help relieve symptoms. Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, can help reduce symptoms. You should also avoid:

Lie down after meals

Use of tobacco products

Chocolate consumption

alcohol consumption

Drink caffeinated drinks.


***Treatment of heartburn for pregnant women

Pregnancy can be a difficult time to treat heartburn, because you cannot take all the medicines due to fears of harming the baby.

Making some lifestyle changes may provide relief:

Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.

Eat slowly and chew each bite well.

Refrain from eating 2 or 3 hours before bed.

Refrain from wearing tight clothing.

Use pillows to support your head and upper body to reduce acid reflux when sleeping.

If heartburn symptoms persist, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.


***Some foods can increase the risk of heartburn. These include:

carbonated drinks

citrus fruits

tomatoes

mint

fried foods

Avoiding these foods can help reduce the frequency of heartburn.

If these treatments do not improve your symptoms, you may need to see your doctor. Your doctor will review your medical history and ask you about your symptoms. Your doctor may also order several tests to find the cause of your heartburn. Tests may include:

X-ray of the stomach or abdomen

endoscopy to check for ulcers or irritation in the esophagus or stomach lining, which involves passing a small tube equipped with a camera down your throat into your stomach

In a pH test to determine how much acid is in the esophagus

Depending on your diagnosis, your doctor will be able to provide you with treatment options to help reduce or eliminate your symptoms.

Medications to treat occasional heartburn include antacids, H2 receptor antagonists to reduce stomach acid production, and proton pump inhibitors that block acid production.


*** What are the complications associated with heartburn?

Occasional heartburn is not usually a cause for concern. However, if you frequently experience these symptoms, you may have a serious health problem that requires treatment.

If you don't get treatment for serious heartburn, additional health problems may develop, such as inflammation of the esophagus, called Barrett's esophagitis or Barrett's esophagitis. Barrett's esophagus causes changes in the lining of the esophagus that can increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Long-term heartburn can also affect your quality of life. See your doctor for a course of treatment if you find it difficult to carry on with your daily life or are very limited in your activities due to heartburn.


*** How can I prevent heartburn?

Follow these tips to prevent heartburn:

Avoid foods or activities that may cause symptoms.

Ginger snacks or ginger tea are also useful home remedies that you can buy at many stores.

Enjoy a healthy lifestyle and avoid alcohol and tobacco.

Try to avoid snacking late at night. And stop eating at least four hours before bed.

Instead of two or three large meals, eat smaller meals more frequently to lessen the impact on your digestive system.

 

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