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Heartburn

Heartburn is the burning feeling that begins in the chest (near the vicinity of the heart), it may travel to the throat, and is usually accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth. Heartburn is the main symptom of GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease). What is happening is that a bit of stomach acid and stomach contents escaped the stomach.

Heartburn can often be managed by self-care. Symptoms can be treated at home. Making some simple changes can reduce and often eliminate heartburn occurrences. Heartburn should be managed to eliminate acid damage to the esophagus. Sores, burns, irritation, inflammation, and discoloration are some of the effects from stomach acids washing up over the esophagus walls.

The following conditions can put someone at risk for heartburn

  • Obesity-the added weight puts extra pressure on stomach
  • Diabetes-stomach may take too long to empty
  • Pregnancy-progesterone relaxes muscles and there’s added pressure on stomach
  • Asthma-relationship currently unclear (if asthma’s coughing triggers heartburn or if heartburn triggers asthma coughing)
  • Hiatal hernia-stomach protrudes in lower chest
  • Connective tissue disorder-thick, swollen stomach muscles may slow stomach from emptying
  • Peptic ulcer-open sore near valve (phlorus) interferes with function
  • Quick remedies to relieve symptoms

  • Over the counter medications
  • Eating almonds
  • A few tablespoons of Aloe Vera juice
  • Club soda or baking soda in water
  • Quick changes to prevent heartburn occurrences

  • Sit up after meals-postpone laying down for about four hours after eating
  • Sleep with head raised-gravity will work to lessen nighttime heartburn
  • Loosen clothing around waist-it will relieve pressure on the stomach
  • Reduce the size of meals-pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter is minimized.
  • Long term changes to reduce heartburn occurrences

  • Loose extra pounds-it will relieve the pressure on the stomach
  • Stop smoking-nicotine and smoking contribute to acid production
  • When heartburn cannot be managed with self-care, is occurring several times a week, regularly interrupting sleep, and/or returns immediately when antacids wear off, it may be a sign to seek medical attention to avoid complications of heartburn. Medical attention may include prescription heartburn medication, surgery, or new minimally invasive procedures.

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