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Burning Issues On Heartburn
you have just consumed a big breakfast and leaned back in your favorite recliner to watch your favorite television show. As you begin to relax, your chest begins to hurt so much it feels like its on fire. You may be experiencing heartburn. According to studies, about 30% of adults experience sporadic heartburn, while 10% experience heartburn very nearly every single day. Heartburn is common, and an occasional episode is generally nothing to worry about. However, many people have already considered heartburn as an uncomfortable condition that requires medication or medical attention.
Heartburn usually begins after a large lunch. To understand how this condition comes about, it is best to understand what exactly happens when we digest food. The food that is swallowed moves from the mouth to the stomach through a hollow tube called the esophagus. Before food enters the stomach, it must pass through a tight muscle at the lower part of the esophagus called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter LES. The lower esophageal sphincter prevents food from migrating back into the esophagus. Once in the stomach, stomach acid slowly digests the food. This acid is very powerful and can harm many parts of your body. Fortunately, the stomach is protected from its own acid by a special mucous layer. The esophagus, however, does not have any such special protection. If the lower esophageal sphincter does not close completely, the lower part of the esophagus can be injured by stomach acid. When this occurs, heartburn occurs.
Heartburn can remain for several hours and is often worse after eating, or when lying down, or when a person who just ate suddenly bends over. Heartburn is the most common symptom of reflux. Reflux happens when acid in the stomach, which is there to help digest food, rises up into the esophagus, causing pain, irritation, and discomfort.
Some other factors that can make heartburn worse include certain foods such as fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, caffeine, onions, tomato sauce, carbonated beverages and mint. Alcohol, large meals, lying down too soon after eating, cigarette smoking, sedatives, calcium channel blockers and antidepressant medications can also trigger heartburn.
Heartburn, also called acid indigestion, is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD; a disease in which stomach acid or, occasionally, bile flows back refluxes into the esophagus. Heartburn usually feels like a burning chest pain beginning behind the breastbone and moving upward to the neck and throat. Many people say it feels like food is coming back into the mouth leaving an acid or bitter taste.
Most heartburn problems are mild, but if someone experiences regular discomfort, there may already be some complications that need medical treatment or the use of prescription medications. If someone encounters heartburn multiple times a week, or if it returns soon after the effects of antacids wear off, medical attention may be necessary. A person with heartburn should also consult a doctor if he or she repeatedly wakes up at night due to discomfort brought about by reflux. One may require more medical care, or possibly even surgery, if a person experience difficulty swallowing, regurgitates blood or black material, suddenly loses weight, or if the stool is black in color.
Most people can handle the discomfort of heartburn with lifestyle changes and overthecounter medications. But if heartburn is severe, these remedies can offer only temporary or partial relief. Heartburn pain can be mistaken for the pain associated with heart disease or a heart attack, but there are differences. Heartburn pain is less likely to be associated with physical activity. Exercise may aggravate pain resulting from heart disease, and rest may relieve the pain.