Heartburn

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Heartburn

 

Heartburn is the burning sensation you experienced under your breastbone after you’ve eaten something that may not have agreed with you.

What to look for

Chest plain, especially after bending over or lying down to soon after you have eaten.
Burning in the throat-or a hot, sour or salty tasting fluid at the back of your throat.
A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone, that happens after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours.
Belching.
Seldom theses symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack but normally this condition is not nearly as dangerous. This is an irritation of the oesophagus that is caused by stomach acid. Normally sphincter at the end to the oesophagus relaxes to let food into the stomach, then contracts to close of the oesophagus from the stomach contents. When the muscle becomes weak, acid and bile from the stomach can go back into the oesophagus causing this condition.
Normally heartburn isn’t dangerous, but chronic heartburn can indicate serious problems.

Causes

The basic cause of heartburn is that the sphincter doesn’t tighten as it should. The cause can be: If there is too much food in the stomach (overeating) or too much pressure on the stomach (frequently from obesity or pregnancy)
The sphincter relaxes with garlic, coffee, tomatoes, onions, peppermint, citrus fruits, dishes high in fats and oils, chocolate, alcohol, medications and especially some antibiotics. Stress which strains the nerves controlling the sphincter, can also cause heartburn as can smoking.

Dietary Considerations

You should take acidophilus Bifidus to help maintain a selected level of the friendly intestinal flora. This will help your indigestion. Also it helps to eat smaller more regular meals including vegetables and fruit, whole grain breads and cereals. And you should always chew your food properly.

Prevention

Heartburn is often preventable. You should try to avoid foods which you know will cause this problem. And Lying down is often not the best remedy, you should sit upright while the discomfort is evident.

When to seek professional help

When you experience heartburn along with any other symptom as above.
If you take an antacid to relieve heartburn and do not feel relief within 15 minutes.
Or your heartburn gets worse with exercise and relieved by rest.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

 

Herbal Therapies - Ginger (Zingiber officinale) tea can reduce heartburn quickly, and chamomile (Matricaria recutita) tea's calming effects is especially helpful. when your digestion system is not working as it should, you should try try herbs such as agrimony and dandelion. If you have heartburn because of nervousness or anxiety, try hops, lemon balm and vervain.

Homeopathy - Specific heartburn symptoms often respond well to homeopathic remedies. After eating spicy foods, take Nux vomica; after rich foods take Carbo vegetabilis; and for burning pain, take Arsenicum album.

Traditional Treatment

 

Most physicians advise antacids for unusual heartburn. but alternative practitioners rely on herbal remedies to reduce acid and relaxation therapies to lessen stress.
The objective is to identify the cause of the heartburn, so that it can be avoided in the future. if nothing else works , surgery may be required to repair the sphincter, but this is somewhat rare.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-22