Information about Heart Burn
We Have to Know about the Heart Burn
- Heartburn is an uncomfortable but common feeling of burning or warmth in the chest.
- Heartburn is caused by stomach acid
Could be dangerous, if the answer is YES for any one of the following questions
- Throwing up blood or passing blood in your stools
- Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Difficulty swallowing
Causes of Heart Burn
- Certain foods and drinks are known to loosen the lower esophageal sphincter. These include chocolate, peppermint, caffeine-containing beverages (such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks), fatty foods, and alcohol.
- Heartburn often depends on the body’s position. It is easier for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus if you are lying down or bending over.
- Anything that increases the pressure on the stomach and forces stomach acid back into the esophagus can also cause heartburn. This is why lifting, straining, coughing, tight clothing, obesity, and pregnancy can worsen heartburn.
- People who suffer from certain medical conditions may have an increased chance of heartburn. These conditions include a hiatal hernia, diabetes, and many autoimmune diseases (CREST syndrome, Raynaud phenomenon, and scleroderma).
- Many prescription medications can loosen the lower esophageal sphincter, including certain blood pressure and heart medications, and the asthma drug.
Do’s and Don’ts of Heart Burn
Signs & Symptoms of Heart Burn
- If small amounts of stomach acid or food travel beyond the esophagus and up into the mouth, you may experience bitter or sour taste. This is known as regurgitation. It is common after meals, especially if you are lying down, bending over, or straining.
- Stomach acid can also affect the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage (acid eats the enamel on teeth). You may feel as if you have a lump in your throat.
- If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes damaged. You may then have difficulty swallowing. In more serious cases
Medical advice for Heart Burn
- if heartburn continues to bother you despite lifestyle modifications and use of antacids or low doses of acid blockers
Risk factors of Heart Burn
Treatment for Heart Burn
- Generally oral medicines
- Diet modifications
Self-care for Heart Burn
- Avoid large meals.
- Avoid caffeine (coffee, teas, some soft drinks).
- Avoid foods or drinks that reduce pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter such as chocolate, peppermint, caffeine-containing beverages, and fatty or fried foods.
- Avoid foods that damage the esophagus such as spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato sauces.
- After eating, beware of activities that force acid back into your esophagus. Such activities include lifting, straining, coughing, and wearing tight clothing.
- Use gravity to your advantage. Avoid lying down within 3 hours of meals. If you suffer from nighttime heartburn, elevate the head of your bed when sleeping. Place 6-inch blocks underneath the head of the bed, or place a wedge under the mattress. Simply using more pillows under your head will not help. In fact, it may worsen the heartburn by increasing the pressure on your stomach.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Antacids work by neutralizing the acid. They should be taken 1 hour after meals or when heartburn symptoms occur.
Investigations for Heart Burn