Heartburn Causes, Types, Symptoms, Prevention And Treatment.
Heartburn is one of the common cases that affect a large number of people around the world. Based on statistical records, virtually everyone experience this discomfort once or more times on a monthly basis. This is most often as a result of the type of food we eat and how our body system and stomach react to them.
Although, heartburn is usually mistaken to be acid reflux and or GERD but as you read through this article, we will clearly see and know more about heart burn and how to prevent it.
Now, do you know that heart burn or the pain we call heartburn really does not have anything to do with the heat as commonly thought by a lot of people?
Difference Between Acid Reflux, GERD and Heartburn
Acid reflux is a health issue where the muscles of the oesophagus usually called the Lower oesophagus sphincter(LES) that is responsible for holding firm or tightening it’s passage after a meal is weak, slow to relaxation or unable to hold back the acid in the stomach. This disorder allows the backwars movement of the acid into the track, causing cough, sour taste and sore throat.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD, is an extreme or serious stage of acid reflux.
This high inflammatory disorder usually cause chest pain, inflammation of the oesophagus, bad breath, persistent chest pain, tooth aches and enamel damage which is as a result of excessive presence of acid.
Heartburn otherwise called pyrosis, acid indigestion, or cardialgia is an inflammation in the beast bone region, chest, or top central abdomen.
It ranges from gentle to serious discomforting pains in the chest region.
This occurs mainly in the oesophagus, as a result of backward movement of acid from the digestive system in the stomach which passes through the delicate lining of the track, causing burning sensation such as inflammation in the chest and around the neck region.
This burning sensation is often caused by the reflux of gastric acid back into the oesophagus, leading to discomfort in the central chest, all the way up to the neck, and throat.
Inflammation of the track usually occurs after one’s meal. Lying down or engaging in some other physical activities like bending, jumping, stretching immediately after eating can also trigger this experience severely.
However, this hurtful feeling can be managed by:
- Avoiding frequent consumption of fatty foods.
- Cutting down weight.
- Avoiding over eating.
- Staying away from spicy foods.
- Avoiding chemical and acidic foods.
- Staying away from smoking.
- Avoiding late night food.
What age gets heartburn?
This ailment affects people at any and at all age, which is mostly as a result of the type of food we eat and our habits.
Although, the complain of heart burn usually come from adult but children can also have the experience of this burning sensation in the central chest.
Heartburn therefore affects the following age.
- Infant /minor
Causes of heartburn
The walls of the oesophagus is usually more delicate and sensitive more than the walls of the stomach.
When one takes in good, there are ring of muscles, the LES, that ensure the food taken remains in the stomach. When the LES becomes weak, it opens and permit reflux movement of the content in the stomach back into the oesophagus.
This backward movement of the content along side the acid and then creates an inflammatory sensation in the track.
However, the case above is not always the same for some persons as they may experience pains or some sensational irritation due to heart attack pain or delay in LES relaxation after food intake.
In view of this, the ailment can be caused by the following.
- Heavy weight gain
- Pregnancy (it stops after child birth)
- Alcohol intake
- Intake of spicy and fatty foods
- Over eating and late nigh meal
- Too fitted or tight dress
- Lying down immediately after a meal
- Intake of certain medicine like pain relieving medicine, medication for asthma, sedative, antidepressants.
- Waist trainers and girdles
- Smoking and exposure to smoke frequently.
Symptoms of heartburn
Heartburn is an ailment that is characterized by inflammation of the oesophagus or burning sensation in the chest, jaw, and around the upper throat which is caused by the reflux action of the acid in the digestive system back into the oesophagus.
This action, gives signs such as pains and discomfort in the chest, which can last for a number of hours and also difficulty in swallowing, sour taste, cough, heavy throat or sore throat, regurgitation, difficulty in breathing and at other times asthma.
Symptoms of heart burn in kids
Kids may likely experience the following symptoms as a result of heart burn
- Hurtful swallowing
- Sore throat
- Back ache
- Lose of appetite or poor eating
- Chest pain
- Inability to add proper weight
- Narrowing of the oesophagus
Know that the above symptoms may also present in other health issues. Therefore, they may not completely be symptoms of this disease.
Preventing heartburn: What You Really Should Know
Like I pointed out earlier, the sickness heart burn occurs as a result of acid reflux from the stomach back into the oesophagus.
This happens due to wrong relaxation time of weakened LES and also as due to some behavioral or habitual practices such as smoking, over weight gain, indulging in strenuous activities immediately after food consumption and other causes.
Thus to prevent the occurrence or development of this disease, one has to avoid activities that will disrupt and weaken the muscle LES, regulating the passage of food and acid in the digestive system.
Here are other preventive measures to take in order to stop experiencing it.
1. Eat at least 4 to 5 hours before going to bed. Eating that early allows for proper digestion, it avoids acid reflux and stomach content traveling back into the oesophagus when sleeping.
2. It is ideal to raise your head with pillow to a height of at least 7 inches. This helps in retaining stomach content due to the little inclination in gravity.
3. It is important to watch your dietary, as spicy foods, fatty foods, alcohol, acidic foods, citrus, sodas, tomato fruits, garlic, peppermint may trigger and provoke reflux. Foods such as the ones listed above alter the relaxation at LES.
4. Physical activities are good for the health. However, engaging in physical exercise where the abdominal pressure is increased may likely provoke the reflux of stomach content back into the oesophagus.
5. Too fitted outfit may cause abdominal pressure which lead to the backward movement of acid and stomach content into the track. Therefore, it is mote appropriate to wear clothes that are free especially around the abdomen.
6. Since heavy food and over eating can lead to this burning sensation, it is however preferred to eat small quantity foods at a time to allow for quick digestion.
7. Habits such as smoking, lying down immediately after eating and some other health threatening habits should be avoided to enable proper digestion.
There are remedies and treatments available by prescription and over the counter for this disorder. They include.
This is one of the available remedies that treat this condition. This medication helps eliminate the burning sensation caused by acid reflux by neutralizing it and making it less harmful.
Antacids are gotten in medicine dispensary stores and should be taken based on the dosage prescribed to avoid side effects. Maalox, rolaids, mylanta, tum are some of the types of antacids.
For severe pains of heartburn that can’t be treated by antacid, please consult your doctor.
H2 blocker and antacids are good combination to treat heartburn. However, taking H2 blocker helps to prevent or slow the rate at which stomach acid is produced. It also helps to remedy the sores caused by the acid reflux in the oesophagus.
For better treatment, take this medication 30 to 45 minutes before meal.
Kinds of H2 blockers are:
– Nizatidine (Axid)
– Famotidine (Pepcid)
– Ranitidine (Zantac)
– Cimetidine (Tagamet)
Proton pump inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors, PPIs works more effectively than the H2 blockers. It works by preventing the rate at which the amount of stomach acid is produced.
PPIs are either purchased from medicine dispensary stores or by doctors prescription. They are taken a longer time and in high dosage than H2 blockers for better treatment.
Kinds of PPIs are:
– Pantoprazole (Protonix)
– Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid)
– Esomeprazole (Nexium)
– Rabeprazole (AcipHex)
– Esomeprazole (Nexium)
We have in this article discussed Heartburn: the causes, symptoms and remedies.
Are you currently experiencing such? Do you feel you are having a heartburn?
The causes and remedies of this disease discussed herein should be taken with care. However, call your doctor when the pains and discomfort of heartburn persist. Some symptoms of heart attack may present as heart burn.
Symptoms such as dizziness, sweating, difficulty in breathing, regular and painful vomiting, and pains in the jaw are severe and therefore require a more medical attention.