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Posts Tagged ‘Acid Reflux’

Reasons for Heartburn

June 1st, 2011 2 comments

Heartburn typically occurs after eating a large meal or drinking a lot of alcohol. Some people get heartburn when they bend over or lie down.

The frequency of stomach acid reflux varies from one person to another. For most people, it happens very rarely. But weekly or daily incidents of heartburn or acid regurgitation may occur.

 

What can I do to help myself?

  • Try to lose a little weight by eating healthy. Extra weight around the midsection, especially, can press against the stomach and increase the pressure going up toward the LES (lower esophageal sphincter)
  • Avoid large fatty or spicy meals. Eat more frequently. the more volume in the stomach, the more likely the stomach contents will splash toward the LES. Try eating four to five small meals instead of two or three large ones.
  • Try not to eat just before bedtime.
  • Try to cut down on coffee. Coffee, caffeinated tea and cola can increase the acid content in the stomach as well as relax the LES.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.
  • Quit smoking or reduce your smoking habits
  • If suffering from nightly symptoms, try using an extra pillow or putting a couple of books under the legs at the head of the bed.
  • Drink a small glass of water at the end of meals to help dilute and wash down any stomach acid that might be splashing up into the esophagus
  • Drink heartburn-friendly beverages like water, mineral water, decaffeinated tea, noncitrus juices, or nonfat or low-fat milk
  • Avoid Beverages like Sodas and certain Juices. Sodas can bloat the abdomen and encourage stomach acid to splash up into the esophagus, while Tomato and citrus juices can irritate a damaged esophagus
  • Eat a high fiber diet – A recent study found that people who followed a high-fiber meal plan were 20% less likely to have heartburn symptoms, regardless of their body weight. You’ll find fiber in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds (basically unprocessed plant foods).
  • If heartburn or acid regurgitations are rare (less than five times a month) medicines bought from a chemist such as antacids can be used.

What is Heartburn?

May 30th, 2011 6 comments

Heartburn is caused by stomach acids rising up in to the esophagus, also called reflux. It happens when the sphincter at the opening of the esophagus relaxes, allowing the acids that break down food in the stomach to come up. reasons for heartburnThis creates a burning feeling that, if left untreated, can eventually damage the esophagus. This type of chronic reflux is a serious problem that should be addressed. It can be so incredibly painful as to be nearly debilitating, interrupting sleep and making meals unpleasant.

Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. A few of the symptoms, though, are comparable to those of heart disease or a heart attack. We will cover this in more detail in a different post.

Common Heartburn symptoms:

  • A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours.
  • Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down or eating.
  • Burning in the throat — or hot, sour, acidic or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Feeling of food “sticking” in the middle of the chest or throat.
  • Heartburn may cause chronic cough, sore throat, or chronic hoarseness.

Heartburn can be brought on by numerous conditions and a preliminary diagnosis of Gastroesophogal disease (GERD) is dependent on additional signs and symptoms.

It also is common in expectant women, and may be triggered or caused by consuming food in large quantities, or eating certain foods containing certain spices, high fat content, or high acid content.

Infrequent heartburn isn’t dangerous, but chronic heartburn can point to severe problems and can progress into GERD. Unfortunately heartburn is a daily occurrence for roughly 10% of Americans and up to 50% of pregnant women. It’s an occasional nuisance for 30% of the population.

 

>>> What triggers Heartburn?

>>> What is the best Heartburn Remedy without resorting to prescription drugs?

>>> Is there any way to Cure Heartburn Permanently?