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Getting heartburn every day: Facts, Treatment, Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

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Treating Severe, Chronic Heartburn

If you feel uncomfortable in the middle of your chest every time you finish a meal, you may have chronic heartburn. This is when the acid from your stomach leaks up into the tender tissue of your esophagus (food pipe), causing pain and burning. You need treatment. If you don’t control your heartburn, it could damage your esophagus and even lead to cancer. There are some simple ways to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.

Watch What You Eat, Drink, and Do

Making some changes to your lifestyle can go a long way toward easing the pain of heartburn.

Say goodbye to cigarettes. Smoking causes your body to make less saliva, a liquid that helps stamp out stomach acid. That can lead to burning in your esophagus. Tobacco may also cause your stomach to make more acid and relax the muscles at the lower end of your esophagus that can shut down the opening between the stomach and the esophagus. Chewing gum and sucking on lozenges can help you make more saliva.

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Avoid trigger foods. For many people, these are spicy and high-fat foods, chocolate, peppermint and other mints, coffee, citrus fruits or juices, tomato products, carbonated drinks, and onions.

Don’t lie down after you eat. If you need an afternoon siesta, snooze upright (or almost upright) in a chair. Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed, and don’t make the last meal of the day your biggest one.

Raise the head of your bed. If the top of your bed is higher than the bottom, it’s harder for the acid to travel up. You can do this with a block of wood under the bed or a foam wedge under the mattress.

Be careful what medications you use. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other medications, such as some sedatives and blood pressure drugs, can trigger heartburn. Ask your doctor if any of your medications might be causing your symptoms. There may be something else you can take.

Eat several small meals during the day. Your stomach produces acid based on how much food you eat. Less food means less acid. Don’t overload your stomach.

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Limit alcohol. Alcohol can relax the muscles around the lower end of your esophagus, making it easier for acid to bubble up.

Stay slim. One study found that overweight people who lost weight were more likely to have their heartburn go away. Another reason to lose weight: You’ll respond better to heartburn medications.

Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing, including belts, can cause stomach contents to push upward.

Relax. Stress causes stomach acid to bubble up.

Treatments

If you have chronic severe heartburn, you may need medications. Both over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available.

Antacids are usually the first type of drugs doctors recommend for chronic heartburn. You can get them over the counter. They work by stamping out the acid in your stomach. Antacids work right away, but they don’t last long. They also don’t help a damaged esophagus heal. Look for products that have both magnesium and aluminum salts. They’re less likely to cause diarrhea and constipation.

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h3 blockers are available over the counter and by prescription. Although they don’t kick in as quickly as antacids, they last longer. They work by slowing down how much acid your stomach makes. They include cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid). Ranitidine (Zantac) was removed from the market in 2020 after it was found to contain a cancer causing agent.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) also block acid production. You can get them over the counter or with a prescription.

You may need more than one type of medication. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Make sure you’re aware of the side effects of all the medication you take.

Surgery

The most common surgery for extreme heartburn is fundoplication. The surgeon wraps the top of your stomach around the bottom of your esophagus to strengthen it and help keep the acid where it belongs. This often can be done laparoscopically — it involves only a small cut and typically lets you go home in 3 days or less.

Endoscopic Treatment

The goal of this treatment is the same as surgery. But instead, your doctor puts a thin tube called an endoscope down your throat and into your esophagus. They then use stitches or heat to create scar tissue to tighten the sphincter and stop stomach acid from leaking.

Newer treatments involve using implants (almost like a retaining wall) to keep acid from seeping out of the stomach. There’s not a lot of information yet on how safe they are or how well they work in the long run.

7 Dangers of Frequent Heartburn

Heartburn occurs when stomach juices backflow up into the esophagus—the food pipe to your stomach. Most people experience heartburn some time in their life; others experience regularly. If you’re having frequent heartburn, talk to your doctor. Heartburn can cause serious problems and it may be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) also known as acid reflux. Here are several reasons not to ignore your heartburn. 

Certain foods, even healthy foods, can trigger heartburn. Acidic food such as citrus fruits or juices like orange or grapefruit are high in acid. If you stay away from them to avoid heartburn, you could be missing out on vitamin C and other important nutrients. Work with your doctor to make sure you don’t develop deficiencies. Other heartburn triggers to avoid include high-fat foods, coffee, beverages that contain caffeine, peppermint, onions, and chocolate.

Normally, a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) keeps gastric juices in your stomach. But when you lie flat at night, especially after you’ve eaten, these juices can seep up through the LES. This can result in heartburn that wakes you up at night. You may even wake up coughing or choking if acid gets up to your throat. Most people with daytime heartburn also get nighttime heartburn. To prevent this problem, eat a small dinner meal and stop eating at least three hours before sleep, raise the head of your bed, and sleep on your left side. 

Heartburn occurs when gastric juices flow backwards into your esophagus—the long tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. Frequent heartburn can harm the lining of the esophagus and result in a condition called esophagitis. Over time, the esophagus can develop ulcers and scarring. This type of damage can increase your risk for esophageal cancer—another reason why it is very important to let your doctor know about frequent heartburn. Medicine is available to help prevent esophagitis. 

4. Difficulty Swallowing and Sore Throat

If stomach acids go all the way up your esophagus, they can reach the back of your throat. This condition is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). Besides heartburn, you might feel symptoms like a lump in your throat or a sore throat. You may constantly need to clear your throat or have trouble swallowing. Lifestyle changes can usually correct LPR. Try eating a bland diet and stop eating three hours before bed. If you are overweight, losing weight may help relieve pressure on your stomach. Also skip caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes. 

Heartburn stems from stomach acids flowing backwards into your esophagus. With laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) the stomach acids make it up as high as your throat and may spill over and go down into your larynx—your voice box. This can cause the swelling and irritation known as laryngitis. Your vocal cords will swell up, causing a hoarse voice. Hoarseness is another symptom of LPR. Lifestyle changes can usually reverse this cause of hoarseness. 

When reflux makes it all the way into your mouth, it can cause bad breath and damage tooth enamel. Bad breath is not dangerous, but, losing the enamel that protects your teeth is. The acid from your stomach can eat away at tooth enamel especially while you’re asleep. Normally, saliva in your mouth protects your teeth, but you make less saliva when you sleep. And, when you lie flat, more stomach acid can flow up into your mouth. If you have frequent heartburn, ask your dentist if there are any signs that you are losing enamel. 

Several types of lung disease have been linked to acid reflux. For instance, aspiration pneumonia occurs when gastric juices get past the vocal cords and into the lungs. Chronic cough also can stem from reflux. Experts estimate that acid reflux is the cause of chronic cough as much as 40% of the time. Reflux has also been linked to asthma and to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). If you have lung symptoms like wheezing, coughing or trouble breathing, talk to your doctor. Let your doctor know if you also have symptoms of heartburn or reflux. There could be a connection. 

Because frequent heartburn can be a symptom of a more serious condition, talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. Ask whether you might have GERD.

Is Heartburn a Sign of Something More Serious?

By RMHP

Is Heartburn a Sign of Something More Serious?

If you’ve ever had heartburn, you know how uncomfortable it can be. But did you know it could also be a sign of a more serious medical condition? Many people think nothing of it. Pop a Tums in your mouth and go on with your day. But frequent heartburn can lead to more serious medical conditions.

Heartburn is generally associated with a burning pain in the chest or throat. Some people have acid reflux, a condition where the liquid content of the stomach refluxes up into the esophagus- the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Two out of five individuals have heartburn at least once a month. One out of five has it on a weekly basis. And one in ten suffers from it daily.

Heartburn can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Barrett’s Esophagus and, in a very small number of individuals, esophageal cancer. A person has GERD if he or she has reflux more than twice a week. In addition to the symptoms described above, coughing, asthma and laryngitis can also be symptoms of GERD. Some people show no symptoms at all.

When GERD occurs frequently, it can damage the lining of the esophagus. In more serious cases, the esophageal lining begins to look like the lining of the intestine, a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s Esophagus. Only a small percentage of those who have GERD develop Barrett’s Esophagus and a much smaller percentage of those with Barrett’s develop esophageal cancer. According to the Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, only one out of every two hundred individuals with Barrett’s develops cancer per year.

Still esophageal cancer is on the rise. In the past few decades, the incidents of esophageal adenocaricinoma, a cancer associated with Barrett’s Esophagus, has risen by 600%, although the numbers are still low. What you eat, your weight, the medications you take, whether you use tobacco or consume alcohol, caffeine or carbonated drinks can all be causes of heartburn. GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus are chronic conditions. You can not cure them but you can control them.

When changes in lifestyle (elimination of tobacco, for example) and modification to your diet don’t work by themselves, medications, either over-the-counter or through prescription, may be recommended. Exercise is important if you are overweight. A person is most likely to have reflux when they are lying down. Avoid eating two or three hours before bed. An endoscopy is use to confirm GERD. In the case of Barrett’s Esophagus, a biopsy is also necessary.

Most everyone has heartburn once in a while. But when it becomes more frequent, it is time to discuss your symptoms with your physician. Early detection and treatment can help alleviate unpleasant symptoms and prevent a condition from becoming more serious.

Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment



Overview

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning feeling in your chest that can move up your neck and throat. This can be a symptom of many different conditions, including acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and even pregnancy.

When you are experiencing heartburn, you may also have a bitter or sour taste in the back of your throat. Heartburn can last from a few minutes to several hours. It often feels worse after you eat or when you lay down too quickly after eating.

How common is heartburn?

Occasional heartburn is fairly common. However, if you have regular and severe heartburn, it can actually be an indicator of a chronic acid reflux condition called GERD. You should talk to your healthcare provider if you frequently experience heartburn.

What does heartburn feel like?

Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:

  • A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
  • Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
  • A burning feeling in your throat.
  • A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.



Possible Causes

What causes heartburn?

To know why heartburn happens, it can help to understand how your esophagus and stomach work. When you eat, the food passes down a long tube that connects your mouth and stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. At the bottom of the esophagus is a valve, called the esophageal sphincter. This valve opens to let food through and then closes to keep your stomach contents down. Inside your stomach is a very strong acidic mixture that starts the process of breaking down your food (digestion). Your stomach is designed to hold this mixture. However, your esophagus isn’t able to hold this mixture without getting hurt.

Sometimes, the valve that separates your stomach and esophagus doesn’t close properly, and some of the acidic mixture from your stomach goes back up the esophagus. This is called reflux. When you have reflux, you’ll often feel the burning sensation that’s heartburn. There are a few medical conditions that can cause reflux and make you feel heartburn, including:

  • Pregnancy.
  • Hiatal hernia (when the stomach bulges up into the chest).
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Certain medications, especially anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.

Heartburn can also be caused by your eating habits — including the foods you eat, how large your meals are and how close to bedtime you eat — and certain lifestyle habits.

What can trigger heartburn?

Heartburn can be triggered by many different things that are a part of your daily life. For many people, heartburn can be caused by certain eating and lifestyle habits. These habits can involve things like eating large portions of food, eating too close to bedtime or even having high stress levels.

Certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn for some people. Some foods and drinks that could trigger your heartburn can include:

  • Onions.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • High-fat foods.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Tomato-based products.
  • Alcohol.
  • Citrus juices.
  • Caffeinated beverages.
  • Carbonated beverages.

Your lifestyle habits can also play a part in why you might experience heartburn. These everyday factors often contribute to medical conditions that cause heartburn, like GERD or hiatal hernia. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger your heartburn include:

  • Being overweight.
  • Being a smoker.
  • Having a high stress level.
  • Wearing tight clothes and belts.



Care and Treatment

How is heartburn treated?

In most cases, heartburn can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and changes to lifestyle habits that cause the feeling. Occasional heartburn is common and is typically not serious. However, if you have frequent and severe heartburn, reach out to your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a chronic condition like GERD. GERD can lead to other serious conditions like esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus and even cancer. Sometimes, your doctor may want to do an endoscopy to check for underlying medication conditions. An endoscopy is the examination of your digestive tract with a lighted flexible instrument.

Over-the-counter medications for heartburn typically include antacids and acid blockers.

How do antacids work to treat heartburn?

Antacids reduce the amount of stomach acid, relieving your heartburn. These medications can also be used to soothe stomach upset, indigestion and other pains in your stomach. Some antacids contain simethicone, which reduces gas. Antacids that you can get without a prescription include:

  • Tums®.
  • Rolaids®.
  • Maalox®.
  • Gaviscon®.

Make sure you always follow the instructions on the package or talk to your doctor about the right way to use an antacid. If you use tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.

Are there any side effects of antacids?

Some antacids contain magnesium or sodium bicarbonate, which can act like a laxative. Do not take antacids if you have any symptoms of appendicitis or bowel inflammation. Side effects of antacids may include:

Serious side effects can occur with an overdose or overuse of antacids.

How do acid blockers work to treat heartburn?

Products like Pepcid AC® are called histamine h3 blockers, or acid blockers. Acid blockers reduce the production of stomach acid. They relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. Always follow the directions on the packaging or talk to your healthcare provider about how to take this medication. Acid blockers you can buy without a prescription include:

  • Pepcid AC®.
  • Tagamet HB®.

Take your acid blocker medicine regularly for as long as directed by your healthcare provider, even if you do not have any pain or if your symptoms get better.

Stronger acid blockers are prescription medications. These can be used to block stomach acid, treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD. They work by reducing the production of stomach acid. Your healthcare provider will give you a specific prescription for this type of acid blocker.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently reported elevated levels of a possible carcinogen, NDMA, in the drugs ranitidine (Zantac®) and nizatidine (Axid®). You should speak to your healthcare provider if you are taking one these medications.

Are there any side effects of acid blockers?

Side effects of acid blockers include:

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness.
  • Diarrhea.

If you have any of the following possibly serious side effects after taking acid blockers, tell your healthcare provider right away:

  • Confusion.
  • Chest tightness.
  • Bleeding.
  • Sore throat.
  • Fever.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Weakness or unusual fatigue.

Should I take antacids and acid blockers together to treat heartburn?

Your healthcare provider may want you to take antacids when you start taking acid blockers. Antacids will control your symptoms until the acid blockers start to work. If your doctor prescribes an antacid, take it an hour before (or an hour after) you take an acid blocker.

What are prescription medications for heartburn?

If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:

  • Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength (usually higher doses), Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.

There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.

Can I prevent heartburn?

You can often prevent and manage heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. These changes include:

  • Not going to bed with a full stomach. Eat meals at least three to four hours before you lie down. This gives your stomach time to empty and reduces the chance of experiencing heartburn overnight.
  • Avoiding overeating. Cutting back on the size of your portions during meals can help lower your risk of heartburn. You can also try eating four or five small meals instead of three larger ones.
  • Slowing down. Eating slowly can often help prevent heartburn. Put your fork down between bites and avoid eating too quickly.
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes. Belts and tight clothing can sometimes cause heartburn. By changing your wardrobe to avoid these items, you might be able to prevent having heartburn.
  • Avoiding certain foods. For many people, there are certain foods that trigger heartburn. Avoiding these foods can help. Try keeping a log of these foods so that you can watch out for them in the future. Your healthcare provider may also suggest that you avoid alcohol.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Losing weight can often help relieve heartburn.
  • Not smoking. Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that separates your stomach and esophagus). Not smoking is recommended for your general health, as well as the strength of this valve.
  • Sleeping on your left side. This may help digestion and the removal of acid from your stomach and esophagus more quickly.
  • Raising the head of your bed so that your head and chest are higher than your feet. Place 6-inch blocks or books under the bed posts at the head of the bed. Do not use piles of pillows. They may cause you to put more pressure on your stomach and make your heartburn worse.
  • Planning your exercise to avoid heartburn. Wait at least two hours after a meal before exercising. If you work out any sooner, you may trigger heartburn. You should also drink plenty of water before and during exercise. Water aids digestion and prevents dehydration.



When to Call the Doctor

When should I call my doctor about my heartburn?

Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barrett’s esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.

You should contact your doctor if:

  • Your heartburn won’t go away.
  • Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
  • It’s hard or hurts to swallow.
  • Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
  • You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
  • You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks (or for a longer time than recommended on the label) and you still have heartburn symptoms.
  • You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
  • You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
  • Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.

Will heartburn go away on its own?

For many people, occasional heartburn is common. By watching what you eat and avoiding certain triggers (diet and lifestyle habits), you may be able to prevent heartburn or manage it. If you find that you frequently experience heartburn and that it keeps getting worse, it could be a sign of a medical condition like GERD. In these cases, your heartburn will not go away without treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider so that you can develop a treatment plan.



Resources

Where can I learn more about heartburn?

Heartburn: Causes, symptoms, and treatments

Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux, a condition where some of the stomach contents travel back up into the esophagus, or food pipe. It creates a burning pain in the lower chest.

Persistent acid reflux that happens more than twice per week is what experts call gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

A person will feel heartburn when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, the pipe that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Heartburn is a symptom of GERD.

The American College of Gastroenterology estimate that more than 15 million people in the United States experience heartburn symptoms every day.

In this article, we discuss heartburn, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment.

It is common for people to experience occasional heartburn, and it is rarely a significant cause for concern.

However, a doctor may diagnose recurrent acid reflux as GERD. This condition can have a serious impact on health, and it can indicate other underlying health issues.

People of all ages may develop GERD. Some of the most common causes include obesity and smoking.

The most frequent symptom of acid reflux or heartburn is a feeling of warmth, heat, or burning in the chest and throat. This is due to the stomach acid flowing back up into the esophagus.

Other symptoms include:

  • a burning sensation in the middle of the chest
  • a burning, indigestion-like pain
  • a foul, acrid taste in the mouth

If a person experiences acid reflux symptoms often, they should consult a doctor, who may refer them to a gastroenterologist a specialist in gut medicine for further investigation.

Using some lifestyle and behavioral tips can help prevent or reduce heartburn. Suggestions include:

  • following a healthy diet, with a limited fat intake
  • avoiding eating 2–3 hours before bedtime
  • elevating the head of the bed before lying down
  • avoiding wearing tight-fitting clothes
  • avoiding heavy lifting and straining
  • avoiding food triggers, such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, acidic foods, or foods causing gas and bloating
  • reaching or maintaining a moderate weight
  • quitting smoking, if applicable
  • exercising regularly
  • eating smaller meals more frequently

It is of note, however, that these lifestyle modifications may not work for everyone.

According to the Office on Women’s Health (OWH), heartburn and indigestion are common in pregnancy due to hormonal changes and the baby pressing against the stomach.

The OWH suggest some diet and lifestyle changes that may help relieve the symptoms. These include:

  • eating five to six small meals throughout the day
  • not lying down within an hour of eating
  • avoiding fatty and spicy foods

A heart attack is when the arteries connected to the heart become blocked. Heartburn, on the other hand, occurs when stomach acid travels back up the esophagus.

Some symptoms of heartburn and a heart attack could be similar, such as chest pain. As a result, some people who are having a heart attack do not take action as they think they have heartburn.

If a person experiences heartburn pain alongside shortness of breath or sweating, this could be a heart-related issue.

Other symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • discomfort in the chest, such as squeezing, fullness, pressure, or pain
  • nausea
  • lightheadedness
  • pain or discomfort in one or both arms, stomach, neck, jaw, or back

If a person has some or all of these symptoms, they should seek emergency medical attention. In the words of the American Heart Association (AHA), “If in doubt, check it out.”

Knowing how to distinguish a heart attack from heartburn can save lives.

Learn more about the differences between heartburn and a heart attack here.

A person may alleviate symptoms of heartburn by using drugs such as:

  • antacids, which are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that help relieve mild heartburn
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce the amount of stomach acid
  • h3 blockers, which are a type of medication that reduces the stomach acid levels and may help heal the esophageal lining

It is important to note that PPIs heal the esophageal lining and treat GERD symptoms more effectively than h3 blockers.

Additionally, h3 blockers can produce various side effects, such as diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, and headaches.

In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that manufacturers remove all forms of prescription and OTC ranitidine (Zantac), an h3 blocker, from the market because of its unacceptable levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine, a probable carcinogen.

Changes to lifestyle and behavior can prevent or improve heartburn symptoms.

A person may prevent heartburn by avoiding acidic foods and drinks that contain caffeine.

Getting more exercise, reaching or maintaining a moderate weight, eating smaller meals, and sitting upright after eating may also help avert heartburn.

Many people experience heartburn occasionally. Usually, it is no cause for concern.

However, if a person has heartburn regularly, they should contact a healthcare professional, who may recommend dietary changes and regular exercise and make suggestions with regard to posture, among other things.

If lifestyle and behavioral changes do not prove effective, a doctor may recommend OTC medications, such as antacids or h3 blockers.

If a person is unsure whether they are experiencing symptoms of heartburn or a heart attack, they should seek immediate medical attention.

When Should You Be Worried About Heartburn?

Heartburn is common, but it can also be quite serious

Heartburn is the burning feeling you get in your chest when food in your stomach backs up into your esophagus. Unfortunately, heartburn is extremely common, with an estimated 60 million Americans experiencing heartburn at least once a month. Nearly 15 million Americans experience heartburn every day.

When you feel heartburn, it means you have gastroesophageal reflux. The reflux is acidic stomach juice that’s flowing back up into your esophagus. It irritates the delicate lining of your esophagus and can be painful. The acid reflux backs up into your neck and throat. Frequent acid reflux is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Causes of heartburn

If you have heartburn, you may produce too much acid in your stomach. Your digestive system might have structural issues that let acid back into your esophagus. There are also foods and lifestyle choices that can exacerbate your risks and symptoms, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Spicy, greasy and fried foods
  • Acidic foods (citrus, tomatoes)
  • Fatty foods (chocolate, dairy, meats)
  • Medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Acidic beverages (coffee, carbonated drinks, juices)

Acidic juices can damage your esophageal lining but not your stomach. The juices in your stomach help your body digest foods. The juices contain hydrochloric acid. Your body naturally protects your stomach from this strong acid. Your esophagus is not protected.

In addition, if you smoke, you’re reducing the amount of saliva your body creates. Saliva is one of the natural protective barriers of your esophagus. If you smoke and have GERD, symptoms can be more severe.

Heartburn symptoms

Heartburn symptoms typically appear after eating. If you lie down after a meal, it can feel even worse. If you have any of the following symptoms after a meal, you may have heartburn, acid reflux or GERD:

  • Bad breath
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Tooth enamel damage from acid (GERD)
  • Sour or bitter taste in your mouth and throat
  • Burning sensation and pressure in your breastbone

 

Heartburn or heart attack?

Symptoms of severe heartburn and those of a heart attack can often overlap, but you can usually tell you have heartburn if you experience a burning sensation in your upper abdomen and chest, accompanied by a sour taste in your mouth. The most common and similar symptom of heartburn and a heart attack is the chest pain or discomfort.  Other symptoms that may be a more likely indication of heart attack (vs. heartburn) are listed below:

  • Cold sweat
  • General fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Heartburn symptoms
  • Sudden lightheadedness
  • Pressure or pain in your chest, arms, neck, jaw or back

With heartburn, you may feel like food is coming up into your mouth. It’s a different sensation than vomiting, but severe heartburn can also cause you to vomit. If you’re not sure if you’re experiencing heartburn or a heart attack, seek immediate medical care.

Serious side effects of heartburn

Even if it’s not a heart attack, heartburn can be serious.  Dangerous side effects and complications can result if you don’t seek treatment. Some common side effects include:

  • Awaking from sleep, especially if you’ve eaten within two hours of going to bed
  • Esophageal cancer: if Barrett’s esophagus is not treated
  • Esophagus erosion: scarring, ulcers and narrowing of the tube
  • Barrett’s esophagus: precancerous condition from chronic acid reflux
  • Esophageal strictures and dysphagia: swallowing difficulties due to esophagus damage

Heartburn diagnosis

Your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist who can evaluate the severity of your symptoms. To determine if your case is mild, or has potentially damaged your esophagus, there are three common tests your doctor may request:

  • Endoscopy: Examining your esophagus and stomach with a small, flexible tube that goes through your nose
  • Upper GI series: Examining how a liquid mixture travels through your esophagus and stomach while X-rays are taken
  • Esophageal Manometry (Esophageal pH): Examining your esophagus and stomach functions with a small, flexible tube through your nose

You will likely be able to take sedatives when you have tests that involve inserting a tube into your nose. These help keep you calm.

Heartburn treatment

Treatment for heartburn depends on how mild or severe it is. If it’s mild, you can often reduce or eliminate symptoms by taking some antacids and elevating your upper body.

Treatment for more severe heartburn, such as acid reflux or GERD, involves medicines to reduce acid in your stomach. Your doctor may also recommend losing weight, drinking less alcohol and stopping smoking. In extreme cases, you might need surgery to tighten part of your esophagus.

Is your heartburn more than uncomfortable? Visit Mercy.com to find the treatment that’s best for you.

Heartburn and acid reflux – NHS

Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). If it keeps happening, it’s called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Check if you have acid reflux

The main symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • heartburn – a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
  • an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid

You may also have:

  • a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
  • a hoarse voice
  • bad breath
  • bloating and feeling sick

Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.

Causes of heartburn and acid reflux

Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.

Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:

  • certain food and drink – such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
  • being overweight
  • smoking
  • pregnancy
  • stress and anxiety
  • some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers (like ibuprofen)
  • a hiatus hernia – when part of your stomach moves up into your chest

How you can ease heartburn and acid reflux yourself

Simple lifestyle changes can help stop or reduce heartburn.

Do

  • eat smaller, more frequent meals

  • raise 1 end of your bed 10 to 20cm by putting something under your bed or mattress – your chest and head should be above the level of your waist, so stomach acid does not travel up towards your throat

  • try to lose weight if you’re overweight

  • try to find ways to relax

Don’t

  • do not have food or drink that triggers your symptoms

  • do not eat within 3 or 4 hours before bed

  • do not wear clothes that are tight around your waist

  • do not smoke

  • do not drink too much alcohol

  • do not stop taking any prescribed medicine without speaking to a doctor first

A pharmacist can help with heartburn and acid reflux

Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.

They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.

It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • lifestyle changes and pharmacy medicines are not helping
  • you have heartburn most days for 3 weeks or more
  • you have other symptoms, like food getting stuck in your throat, frequently being sick or losing weight for no reason

A GP can provide stronger treatments and help rule out any more serious causes of your symptoms.

Information:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: how to contact a GP

It’s still important to get help from a GP if you need it. To contact your GP surgery:

  • visit their website
  • use the NHS App
  • call them

Find out about using the NHS during COVID-19

Treatment from a GP

A GP may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces how much acid your stomach makes. PPIs include:

You’ll usually need to take this type of medicine for 4 or 8 weeks, depending on how serious your acid reflux is.

Important

Go back to the GP if your symptoms return after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription.

Tests and surgery for heartburn and acid reflux

If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:

  • tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy (where a thin tube with a camera is passed down your throat)
  • an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux – called a laparoscopic fundoplication

Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020
Next review due: 09 September 2023

90,000 Heartburn every day – what to do. Causes and treatment of heartburn

A burning sensation starting in the chest and an unpleasant sour taste in the mouth, pain in the stomach are the first signs of heartburn. The phenomenon is very unpleasant. If simple things are annoying, it’s hard to enjoy food and your favorite drinks. It is especially unpleasant when heartburn reminds of itself every day and does not plan a retreat. What are the causes of this symptom, and how to get rid of it yourself at home?

Why can severe heartburn occur every day?

  • Overeating and late dinners are common causes.Our stomach is a very delicate organ that can get tired too. Do not overload him with heavy, fatty foods, especially at night. An average of 3 hours should elapse between bedtime and dinner. Citrus fruits are insidious. Due to their excessive consumption, the level of acidity in the stomach rises significantly, which leads to heartburn. If you want to eat strongly, have a snack with fruit or drink a glass of kefir. This will have a beneficial effect on digestion, and therefore on well-being.
  • Fatty foods, such as fried meat or butter, cause a heaviness in the stomach, from which it begins to send “alarm signals” in the form of heartburn.By reviewing your diet, you can get rid of a number of problems. Such, for example, as obesity, rapid aging of the skin, heartburn, abdominal pain.
  • Physical activity provokes heartburn and discomfort in the stomach if you exercise immediately after eating. The stomach has not yet had time to digest food, and physical activity causes it to “shake up”. Shake the soda bottle, can you imagine what’s going on in your stomach? If you exercise regularly, to avoid heartburn, try to set up your schedule so that at least an hour passes after eating.
  • Surprisingly, heartburn can be caused by nerves! A high susceptibility to stress, insomnia and other psychosomatic disorders weakens the body, which, in turn, “signals” us in such unpleasant ways as heartburn and stomach pain. It doesn’t matter what kind of life you lead, healthy or not.
  • Pregnancy – waiting time for a miracle, great patience. During the period of bearing a baby, the female body literally tests itself for strength in every sense of the word.For example, at a certain period of pregnancy (often closer to childbirth), the expectant mother may complain of persistent heartburn, stomach pain, and poor bowel function.

Causes of persistent heartburn after eating

The cause of heartburn after eating is stomach overload. For the average person, the amount of food eaten at a time should not exceed 1.5 liters. Better yet, rethink your diet completely. For example, you can increase the number of meals you eat during the day. This will improve digestion, you will immediately be able to feel lightness that you did not know about before.

As for the heat treatment of food, it is better to give preference to such types of food preparation as boiling or steam cooking. Steamed dishes retain their useful properties, contain a low percentage of fatty food acids, have a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora, and help the stomach work. Baked products are in the neutral category.

In the evenings

Another secret recipe for heartburn is not to eat before bed. The stomach works actively only during our waking hours.When we sleep, all processes in the body slow down. Remember folk wisdom? “Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend, and give dinner to the enemy.” You don’t have to be your own enemies. Dinner really needs to be made as light and juicy as possible. Important: recommendations for refusing food after 6 are relevant for those who go to bed no later than 10 hours. Therefore, individually calculate your schedule, do not go to extremes.

During pregnancy

Only heartburn was not enough in this already difficult period in a woman’s life! When carrying a baby, every third expectant mother suffers from it with enviable regularity.Heartburn occurs in the third trimester of pregnancy, when the baby is already big enough to “communicate” with the organs of the mother. He actively moves and “kicks”, from which not only sighs of emotion arise. We feel the baby’s blows only on the surface, but in fact, each of our organs clearly feels them: stomach, liver, kidneys.

In this case, the recommendation is simple: switch to fractional meals to relieve the stomach. Every woman during this period of time remembers that her diet should be exceptionally healthy.You need to eat fresh vegetables, fruits, natural ingredients, fresh juices, preferably not citrus fruits. Fatty meat is contraindicated, it loads not only the stomach, but the liver, pancreas and kidneys. In the last trimester of pregnancy, a woman’s organs shift and it is hard for them to work.

If heartburn bothers you for more than half a day, see your doctor to clarify the diagnosis. During pregnancy, diseases may occur that are not directly related to it, but provoked by it. Regular medical monitoring will help to avoid acute illnesses that sometimes occur during childbearing.Take care of yourself and your baby, take care of your health. At this time, your internal organs are very vulnerable, especially the stomach, liver, intestines.

What to do: effective improvised means

When heartburn is caught by surprise, it is not uncommon for us to strike back. Either we relieve the symptoms by relieving the stomach, or we eat something tasty. The degree to which this struggle is successful depends on the contents of our bag or refrigerator. Look into your stocks and tell me if there is any heartburn on this list:

  • soda;
  • activated carbon;
  • mineral water;
  • seeds;
  • honey;
  • lemon;
  • apples;
  • salt.

Soda really helps with heartburn attacks. But do not use it regularly, it is harmful to the body. Activated charcoal is another versatile stomach remedy for all occasions. It helps excellently, the main thing is not to overdo it with the dosage. Seeds in moderation (otherwise the stomach will suffer, the likelihood of gastritis is high), like lozenges, distract from the irritant, but do not eliminate its cause. Lemon in large quantities, on the contrary, will harm, increase the acidity in the stomach, which will lead to heartburn, and in small quantities, it will distract attention.

Separately about liquids. Mineral water, like ordinary warm water, with heartburn helps to normalize the acidity level of the stomach, cleanses the esophagus. It is best to drink it in the morning half an hour before breakfast. This way you are guaranteed to feel light all day long. Juices refresh, give positive emotions and fight heartburn, delight your stomach with freshness. But coffee consumption will have to be limited, although for many it will seem difficult.

Many of these methods are not always appropriate during pregnancy.Contraindications are due to diet, exacerbation of chronic diseases, which manifest themselves in the form of heartburn, or various pains. Pregnancy is a difficult time when there is something to fight, but nothing. Expectant mothers are rescued by folk remedies for heartburn. Herbs are mostly harmless during pregnancy if not overdone.

Apples are extremely good for the stomach. They normalize digestion, eliminate heartburn. Eating apples regularly will help combat this problem, at least at the level of masking the symptoms.Either way, your stomach will thank you. Heartburn cannot last forever without feeding it. Apples, like kefir, cleanse the body. They are especially recommended during pregnancy, when it is important to monitor the tone of the uterus and refuse junk food.

Treatment of heartburn with folk remedies

All folk remedies for diseases were obtained empirically, which is why there are so many of them. With the help of juice and decoctions, it is easy to cure a sick stomach and esophagus, increase intestinal motility.Folk recipes for heartburn are conventionally divided into two camps: herbal infusions and potato juice. If everything is clear with the second, then the first require detailed decoding. Herbal treatment is suitable for allergy sufferers. Although there is also an allergy to herbs, it is much less common than to synthetic drugs.

Here are some herbal-based recipes for heartburn and stomach pain:

  • Pour a glass of boiling water over a tablespoon of chamomile, St. John’s wort and plantain. Insist 3 hours and divide into 3 parts.Drink half an hour before meals.
  • A teaspoon of mint in a glass of boiling water. This infusion quickly eliminates the burning sensation.
  • Take a pinch of anise, dill and fennel and brew in a glass of water. Drink in small doses only with exacerbation of heartburn. Not only is fennel healthy, it can damage your stomach and intestinal tract if you drink it regularly. The course of treatment with this herb should not exceed 5 weeks.

Pharmacy preparations

When heartburn knocks on the door, buy something for your stomach at the pharmacy.Heartburn should be treated immediately. Do not tolerate it, otherwise then the consequences may not be the most rosy. Heartburn and stomach pain are only a symptom of the disease, so you need to consult a doctor and find out the cause of its occurrence. Use this list of medicines to treat or relieve heartburn:

  • Rennie. A popular remedy with a neutral composition. Rennie can be consumed even during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Gastal. Contains a combination of magnesium and aluminum to improve intestinal motility.
  • Almagel product line (conventional, A and NEO). Coats the walls of the stomach and relieves irritation.
  • Gaviscol product line (chewable tablets and viscous suspension). Reduces the acidity of gastric juice.
  • Vikair (or Vikalin). With heartburn, relieves pain, burning, envelops the walls of the stomach.
  • Gastrofarm. Allowed for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Reduces acidity, relieves pain, contains lacticidal bacteria that create a favorable atmosphere to protect the walls of the stomach.
  • Maalox. Analogue of the drug Almagel, but from a different manufacturer.

Before taking any heartburn medication, be sure to read the instructions carefully. It is important to consult a doctor in order to diagnose possible diseases of the esophagus, intestinal tract, stomach in time and start treatment. Contraindications and special recommendations are possible when combined with other drugs. The dosage of the medicine for daily heartburn is indicated in the instructions or the doctor will prescribe it.

The information presented in the article is for informational purposes only. The materials of the article do not call for self-treatment. Only a qualified doctor can diagnose and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.

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90,000 causes of occurrence, what is the danger, treatment

What is heartburn?

Food passes through the esophagus in about 10 seconds and then “knocks” on a special valve in the stomach.It opens for a short time, and the food “falls” into the stomach. Sometimes the valve malfunctions and relaxes, ejecting some of the gastric juices back into the lower esophagus. Because of this, the pH balance is disturbed – power Hidrogen, which shows the activity of hydrogen ions (H +) and hydroxide ions (OH−) in a liquid in values ​​from 0 to 14 units. If the concentration of these two elements is equal, then the pH will be neutral, equal to 7 units. An increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions and a decrease in pH values ​​are called acid shift, and a high activity of hydroxide ions is called alkaline.The normal pH for the esophagus is 6-7 units, but when gastric juice is ejected into the esophagus, it drops to 4 and below. The alkaline environment of the esophagus becomes acidic, burning sensation and discomfort appear. This is heartburn.

Why does it arise?

Didn’t have time to have breakfast, dined on semi-finished products or junk food, ate too much at dinner and felt a burning sensation behind the breastbone? Improper diet is the first cause of heartburn. Others include stress, being overweight, pregnancy, smoking and alcohol abuse, taking blood pressure medications, aspirin, and even lying down after eating.

What is the danger of heartburn?

If you experience discomfort in the esophagus a couple of times a year, there is nothing to fear. But if heartburn lasts for weeks, it’s time to sound the alarm. A burning sensation in the esophagus is one of the symptoms of almost every disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Gastritis, peptic ulcer, cholecystitis, hernia of the alimentary opening, inflammation of the duodenum, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and early stage stomach cancer are an impressive list of possible companions of heartburn.

How is heartburn treated?

If a burning sensation in the esophagus is rare for you, then folk remedies can also solve the problem:

  • Add a few spoons chamomile petals to a glass of boiling water and wait half an hour. Drink the resulting infusion in small sips three times a day. Alternatively, chamomile tea is suitable.
  • If you know that heartburn comes from certain types of food, limit their consumption.Drink a small amount of mineral water with food: it will help cleanse the walls of the esophagus from acid.

If traditional recipes do not help, contact the pharmacy for special drugs:

The most popular and harmless remedies for heartburn are antacids. They contain aluminum, magnesium and calcium, which neutralize the acid in the esophagus. These drugs are known to everyone: Rennie , Gaviscon , Almagel .

If these funds do not cope with constant heartburn, there is only one way – to the doctor. The specialist can prescribe antisecretory drugs , which reduce acid production, or, in extreme cases, stimulants of gastrointestinal motility. We do not recommend taking these drugs without a doctor’s prescription. For example, one of the side effects of antisecretory drugs can be dementia (dementia), an increased risk of heart attack, and kidney failure.

Heartburn is only a signal that we receive from poor diet and lifestyle.Listen to your body and do not treat a burning sensation in the esophagus as something completely not worthy of attention.

All about heartburn. In what diseases does this symptom occur, how to treat it, and why you should not swallow soda?

Heartburn is a symptom that occurs in many diseases, not all of them are associated with the stomach. How it appears and the reason for what is the portal “Health @ Mail.Ru” tells.

Continuation of the article is under advertising

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Why is hydrochloric acid in the stomach

The concentration of hydrochloric acid in gastric juice is small – about 0.5%.This is enough to provide an acidic environment, with an average of 1 to 2.5 pH. Hydrochloric acid is so aggressive that if it weren’t for the protective layer on the mucous membrane, it could digest the entire stomach.

Hydrochloric acid has three important functions in the stomach: it helps break down nutrients, activates enzymes and destroys pathogenic microbes.

Neighboring organs – the esophagus and the duodenum – are categorically intolerant of “stomach acid”, and therefore have acquired special defense mechanisms.In the duodenum, hydrochloric acid is quickly neutralized by bicarbonates, which are contained in bile, and the esophagus is protected from reflux of gastric contents by a special sphincter located on the border with the stomach. When this sphincter, for one reason or another, does not work effectively enough, acid enters the esophagus and heartburn occurs.

When heartburn occurs

One of the common causes of heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short.It occurs due to various factors, often against the background of a diaphragmatic hernia – a condition in which part of the stomach rises through the opening in the diaphragm up into the chest cavity, as a result of which the esophageal-gastric sphincter ceases to cope with its functions.

It is not uncommon for GERD to accompany women during pregnancy, when the enlarged uterus lifts the abdominal organs.

Heartburn can accompany gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, dysfunction of the pancreas.Achalasia is a condition in which the esophageal-gastric sphincter is not fully compressed and cannot prevent hydrochloric acid from flowing upwards.

Sometimes heartburn indicates a malignant tumor of the stomach or esophagus.

Not all heartburn is due to diseases of the digestive system.

Panic attacks are conditions in which a person experiences a strong unreasonable fear. A wide variety of symptoms can occur during an attack, including heartburn and chest pain.

Sometimes damage to the esophagus occurs with scleroderma – a systemic disease of the connective tissue, in which tissue resembling scar tissue grows in the skin, blood vessels and internal organs.Difficulty swallowing, discomfort, pain, burning sensation in the chest.

Why is heartburn dangerous?

Hydrochloric acid, which enters the esophagus, not only causes unpleasant symptoms – it damages the cells of the mucous membrane. If this happens occasionally, it usually does not threaten anything. Chronic heartburn can lead to a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. It develops in every tenth person with GERD, and manifests itself in the form of changes in the cells of the mucous membrane – they become similar to the cells that are characteristic of the stomach and intestines.In 1% of cases, Barrett’s esophagus leads to cancer.

Repeated chemical burns of the mucous membrane lead to esophagitis (inflammation), ulcers, after the healing of which scars remain, narrowing the lumen of the organ. Heavy bleeding is possible.

Heartburn or heart?

Sometimes “heartburn” is actually an attack of angina pectoris or even myocardial infarction. The heart and stomach are separated by a diaphragm, however they are very close to each other, so the symptoms of their diseases are often easy to confuse.Sometimes the “pains in the heart” that make you desperately swallow Corvalol actually speak of gastritis or peptic ulcer disease. Sometimes, on the contrary, in the form of heartburn, nausea and abdominal pain, a not quite typical heart attack manifests itself.

The following symptoms should be alerted and forced to call an ambulance:

  • severe chest pain that radiates to the arm;
  • pallor, cold clammy sweat;
  • shortness of breath;
  • dizziness.

How to treat heartburn

To get the right treatment, you first need to visit a doctor and at least undergo FEGDS (fibroesophagogastroduodenoscopy).

The cause of heartburn can be relatively harmless and not even require treatment, as is the case with GERD. But there are also serious diseases such as peptic ulcer, cholelithiasis, cancer.

When it comes to symptomatic treatment, the choice of drugs is quite large. Some neutralize hydrochloric acid, others suppress its production. The gastroenterologist will help you choose the right drug.

For many people, heartburn is exacerbated by anxiety and stress.In such cases, any methods of alternative medicine help, as long as they enter a state of calm and relaxation. They resort to aromatherapy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation.

The most popular remedy for heartburn “treatment”

Baking soda neutralizes hydrochloric acid and quickly relieves heartburn. Many people use this folk remedy in the old fashioned way, but doctors do not approve of it.

There are many reasons for doctors to distrust the “old-fashioned method”. In large quantities, baking soda is toxic: it can cause alkalosis, which is manifested by nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

As a result of the reaction of hydrochloric acid with soda, carbon dioxide is formed. It stretches the stomach, this can lead to the fact that after a short-term improvement, even more hydrochloric acid will be produced, and the condition will worsen.

One teaspoon of baking soda contains three daily sodium requirements. With prolonged use, it threatens with high blood pressure, worsening of the condition for people suffering from heart failure, kidney disease.

Lifestyle against heartburn

Some recommendations will help reduce heartburn:

  • Limit the consumption of onions, citrus fruits, tomatoes and ketchup, spicy, fatty, fried, chocolate, alcohol.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra pounds put pressure on the abdominal organs.
  • Do not wear tight clothing that squeezes the stomach.
  • Try not to lie down immediately after eating. Wait three hours.
  • Do not eat at night.
  • Try to quit smoking.It has been proven that tobacco smoke helps to relax the gastroesophageal sphincter.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease – causes, symptoms and diagnosis

Very often the patient does not go to see the doctor with problems such as headache, cough, runny nose, laryngitis and heartburn. It would seem that a cough can be a cold, a runny nose can be temporarily allergic, the voice can be disrupted. What about heartburn? Well, who doesn’t have this heartburn? This is with our that food, rhythm of life, employment.

The above complaints do not always mean colds, allergies and angina pectoris. This clinical picture can occur with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD is an acid-dependent disease that occurs when acidic stomach contents are thrown into the esophagus, which causes heartburn, air belching, sour belching, as well as nausea, a feeling of increased fluid in the mouth, epigastric pain, sleep disturbance associated with pain or heartburn, discomfort when swallowing.

GERD can be promoted by increased intra-abdominal pressure, impaired motor activity of the esophagus and stomach. Often overweight people, food lovers, especially in the late evening and at night, smokers, alcohol drinkers, avid coffee lovers, people suffering from prolonged constipation are susceptible to reflux. One of the provocateurs is the improvement of well-being: a person eats more and moves a little.

GERD is an insidious disease. Even bronchial asthma may not be a lung disease, but a manifestation of reflux!

Why is GERD misdiagnosed?

For example, a patient begins to use drugs intended for asthmatics – they are aimed at facilitating breathing, expanding the bronchi.Starting to take them with a patient with inflammation of the esophagus does not get rid of the problem, the drugs do not help. Meanwhile, the inflamed walls of the esophagus begin to collapse, taking on the risk of erosion, bleeding, up to oncology.

A dry, persistent cough, complaints of frequent heartburn, sour belching, bloating, constipation, nausea, a feeling of quick satiety when eating, heaviness in the stomach should alert the doctor and the patient.

Sudden angina pectoris or pain in the heart, as well as in the epigastric region, should not be ignored, especially if these sensations occur immediately after eating.

Pain in the region of the heart or “pseudo-coronary” pain is often found with inflammatory changes in the wall of the esophagus. Pain in GERD can cause a spasm of the coronary arteries, thereby provoking an attack of angina pectoris. There is even a saying: “If your patient is less than thirty-five years old and does not have heart defects, look for the cause in the stomach”

A common manifestation of GERD is a white coating on the tongue, bad breath, gum damage, tooth enamel damage. Again, you can endlessly treat your symptoms at the dentist, without reaching the cause, lose all your teeth and never get rid of the problem.Because it lies deeper. And you need to stop it there.

If GERD is not treated in time, it can cause complications such as pneumonia, diseases of the pharynx, larynx, vocal cords, and esophageal cancer. Therefore, it is absolutely recommended to exclude the ill-fated reflux in ENT diseases and bronchopulmonary diseases.

In order for the patient to be correctly diagnosed with GERD, it is necessary to consult a gastroenterologist who will prescribe additional examination methods to the patient.

Diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease is carried out using pH -metry, endoscopic examination of the mucous membrane, and, if necessary, biopsy and chromoscopy. X-ray examination is easy to identify a hiatal hernia, if any.

To reduce acidity in modern medicine, various groups of drugs are used: antisecretory agents (H2-blockers, M-anticholinergics, proton pump inhibitors), antacids.

Given the dominance of TV commercials, a patient with heartburn begins to self-medicate. However, only a doctor should prescribe modern and correct treatment, which will reduce the duration of treatment and the cost of it, and also help to avoid formidable complications.

It is important to remember that in addition to miraculous pharmacological agents, the patient will have to reconsider his lifestyle: quit smoking, stop drinking alcohol, change the diet, do not go to bed after eating, etc.and also consult a doctor in time.

The following article will focus on lifestyle and dietary advice for GERD.

90,000 What rules must be followed to get rid of heartburn – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Everyone has probably experienced heartburn at least once in his life. As a rule, this is a relatively harmless consequence of overeating or eating inappropriate food. But sometimes heartburn is a symptom of diseases that require serious treatment.Why does an illness arise and how to eat so that it does not cause discomfort, aif.ru was told by Ph.D., physician, gastroenterologist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, specialist in the field of psychosomatics Irina Pichugina.

But first, let’s figure out what is considered to be heartburn. This is a burning sensation behind the breastbone, which occurs due to hydrochloric acid secreted in the stomach. This acid is needed to digest and move food into the duodenum, as well as to detoxify some food components.

For most people, heartburn occurs after a heavy meal and mainly when a person who has just eaten immediately takes a horizontal position.It also appears against the background of autonomic dysfunction provoked by severe or chronic stress.

But in some people, lifestyle can lead to the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease: as doctors call chronic heartburn. In this case, the disease may be the result of an increase in the number of casts or higher casts of bile and pancreatic juice into the esophagus. It is worth noting that similar symptoms can cause cardiovascular diseases and diseases of the spine, so these pathologies must first be excluded.

Only a doctor can determine the true cause. If a person still has an increase in the throwing of acidic contents into the esophagus, then these rules must be observed:

1. Bring weight and nutrition back to normal: exclude overeating, eat slowly and in small portions several times a day. Remember that the last meal should be no later than 2 hours before bedtime. Moreover, after eating for 2 hours, it is necessary to be in an upright position, that is, standing or sitting, and also to exclude heavy physical labor and sports.

2. Sleep with your head elevated.

3. Give up bad habits.

4. Normalize the daily routine.

Also, the doctor advised to follow a certain diet for heartburn: exclude spicy, salty, acidic foods. But pay attention to milk, cottage cheese dishes, dried bread, low-fat soups, boiled meat, cereals, lean fish, boiled potatoes, carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, berries and fruits (except for sour ones).

Omeprazole does not help with heartburn, how to get rid of?

Omeprazole is a first-generation antisecretory drug of proton pump inhibitors that has been used since 1979 and is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with heartburn and gastric acidity.It has a long-term inhibitory effect on gastric secretion and blocks the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, and therefore should relieve discomfort.

And if omeprazole does not help you or stops helping you, it is necessary: ​​“to understand the reasons,” says the chief physician of the Expert Gastroenterological Center, Mehtiyev Sabir Nasredinovich.

What causes heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning pain that occurs behind the breastbone and / or in the epigastric region, spreading up to the throat as a result of the throwing of aggressive gastric contents into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux).

Heartburn most often occurs on an empty stomach or after a heavy meal: sweets, spicy, fatty or spicy foods. Reflux and its consequence of heartburn are provoked by lard, dark chocolate, strong coffee, tomatoes, citrus fruits, especially in combination with smoking and alcohol. Being overweight or obese disrupts the esophagus and stomach and can also cause heartburn.

If the feeling of heartburn or eaten food in the mouth occurs in a horizontal position, in the process of physical work, including those associated with lifting weights, bending the torso downward, additional examination is necessary.Since these symptoms can be manifestations of muscle failure (sphincter) – the obturator mechanism between the esophagus and the stomach . For a full examination of the zone of the esophageal-gastric junction, it is first of all necessary to perform fibrogastroduodenoscopy (FGDS) . Based on the results of EGD and your condition, the gastroenterologist will prescribe the necessary treatment.

In our center you have the opportunity to perform FGDS in one visit and get a consultation from a gastroenterologist.An appointment is required by phone 426-33-88 or through the form on the website.

Several reasons why heartburn does not go away despite using omeprazole

1. It is very important to be able to distinguish heartburn from pain behind the breastbone (“angina pain”) , in which omeprazole, esomeprazole, rabeprazole and other drugs do not help. This difficult question should be resolved at the appointment by your attending physician, if necessary with the involvement of ECG data and daily monitoring.

Cardiologist, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Hospital Therapy of St. Petersburg State Medical University named after Academician I.P. Pavlova Mekhtieva Olga Alexandrovna, you can make an appointment by calling 426-33-88 or through the form on the website.

2. Persistent (difficult to treat) heartburn can be a manifestation of gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, and even stomach cancer . Often, the “faithful companion” of these diseases is Helicobacter pylori infection, which in most cases leads to their exacerbation.Treatment in each case is individual and is carried out on the basis of the results of endoscopic examination of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and respiratory 13 C-urease breath test to detect Helicobacter pylori infection.

3. In addition, refractory heartburn may be a manifestation of bile reflux . In this case, bile entering the stomach is the main cause of all symptoms. In this situation, taking omeprazole can only worsen the patient’s condition.The cause of biliary (biliary) reflux is often congenital anomalies in the structure of the gallbladder, leading to impaired emptying function, as well as changes in the rheological properties of bile (gallstone disease, biliary sludge). High-resolution ultrasound of the abdominal organs, as well as dynamic ultrasound of the gallbladder function, allows to exclude concomitant diseases.

To undergo high-resolution ultrasound of the abdominal cavity, as well as dynamic ultrasound of the gallbladder function and get advice from a gastroenterologist, call our center by calling 426-33-88 or through the form on the website.

Despite the fact that drugs from the family of proton pump inhibitors (omeprazole, rabeprazole, esomeprazole, etc.) are the basic and most effective therapy for gastroesophageal reflux in most cases, patients whose symptoms do not disappear after taking these drugs the scheme prescribed by the doctor should be fully and comprehensively examined to exclude other diseases from the gastrointestinal tract.

Such examination, including the necessary tests, breath test, FGDS, abdominal ultrasound, can be done in our center in one day.An appointment is required by phone 426-33-88 or through the form on the website.

Heartburn – Healthy Russia


What can darken an evening after a hearty dinner? For example, heartburn. Let’s try to figure out how to avoid it.

What can darken an evening after a hearty dinner? For example, a burning sensation in the upper abdomen, accompanied by belching and a sour taste in the mouth.This is heartburn. Let’s try to figure out why it appears and how to avoid it.

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is a digestive problem that occurs when acid from stomach acid contacts the lining of the esophagus, causing irritation. Most people suffer from occasional heartburn, usually after eating.

Why quit smoking

The human digestive system suffers from smoking no less than the respiratory and cardiovascular.Read about what tobacco does to people to find an incentive to quit.

There may be several reasons why gastric juice enters the esophagus:

  • The lower esophageal sphincter (the valve that holds gastric juice in the stomach) is weakened. This is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Some foods: chocolate, fried and fatty foods, mint, coffee, alcohol and sugar – help to relax the lower esophageal sphincter and reflux gastric juice.
  • A large meal, especially before bedtime, increases pressure on the lower sphincter of the stomach, causing it to relax.
  • Pressure is applied to the abdomen due to a constant sitting position, obesity or tight clothing.
  • Smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Stress can increase stomach acid production and slow stomach emptying.
  • Heartburn can also be caused by abnormalities in the structure of the esophagus, tumors in it or adjacent tissues.

Why is heartburn dangerous?

If you experience heartburn times a month – you are faced with a mild form of this problem. If times a week – with moderate. In the event that heartburn torments you every day – you are dealing with a severe form that requires treatment.

Rare bouts of heartburn are relieved by eating a healthy diet, losing weight, and following simple tips (see below).

For severe heartburn, these measures provide only temporary relief. Do not delay treatment if you experience heartburn symptoms every day: if left untreated, it can lead to serious complications.

For example, in people with GERD, chronic heartburn leads to scarring in the esophagus caused by stomach acid burns. The damage narrows the esophagus and makes it difficult to swallow.

Chronic acid exposure also increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

How to control heartburn?

1. Switch to small portions of meals instead of three main meals.This will help prevent excessive stomach acid production.

2. Eat slowly . One way to stop swallowing your meal quickly is to place a fork or spoon on the table while you chew on your food.

3. Do not go to bed with a full stomach. Have dinner three hours before bed . This will reduce the production of gastric acid by the time you are in a horizontal position.

4. Get a high pillow or raise the head of the bed. This will prevent gastric acid from backing up into the esophagus at night.5. Reduce your intake of foods and drinks that can cause heartburn. These include coffee, alcohol, fatty foods, sodas, onions, mint, chocolate, citrus juices, and tomatoes. Keep a food diary in which you write down everything you eat and note when you have heartburn. This will help you figure out the foods that lead to it.
6. Stop smoking. Nicotine weakens the lower esophageal sphincter.

7. Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing squeezes the stomach, pushing stomach contents upward.8. Reduce weight to a healthy level. Excess belly fat works like tight clothing – it squeezes the stomach.

9. Drink warm liquid. A glass of warm water or herbal tea after a meal helps to thin the stomach acid and reduce acidity.

Most important

Heartburn is caused by weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter, excess weight, sitting posture and the use of certain foods.

Frequent heartburn is a reason to see a doctor. Without treatment, it can not only ruin the life of any person, but can also lead to the development of other diseases. Photos: Adam Brown!

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