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Heartburn Feeling and Indigestion

Heartburn, a painful, burning feeling in the chest, is caused by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus. It is a burning discomfort that is generally felt in the chest just behind the breastbone.

The burning sensation results when harsh stomach juices come in contact with and irritate the delicate lining of the esophagus. (Also known as acid indigestion or pyrosis). A burning sensation felt in the chest and throat when acid from the stomach leaks up into the esophagus. During pregnancy, the muscle at the top of the stomach that usually prevents digestive acids from going back up relaxes, allowing gastric juices to splash back. Heartburn or pyrosis is a painful or burning sensation in the esophagus, just below the breastbone caused by regurgitation of gastric acid. The pain often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck, throat, or angle of the jaw.

Continual bouts of heartburn can be a symptom of a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Frequent or severe heartburn may limit daily activities and lead to further complications such as ulcers in the esophagus. With proper understanding of heartburn and treatment, relief can be obtained from this condition.

Antacids, acid blockers, and perhaps surgery may provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into more serious disease.

  1. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications can be helpful. Avoid large meals.
  2. Avoid caffeine (coffee, teas, some soft drinks).
  3. Avoid foods or drinks that reduce pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter such as chocolate, peppermint, caffeine-containing beverages, and fatty or fried foods.
  4. Avoid foods that damage the esophagus such as spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes and tomato sauces.
  5. After eating, beware of activities that force acid back into your esophagus. Such activities include lifting, straining, coughing, and wearing tight clothing.
  6. Avoid the foods and beverages that trigger your heartburn symptoms or relax the sphincter muscle. (These may include onions, peppermint, chocolate, caffeine-containing beverages and foods, citrus fruits or juices, tomatoes, or high-fat foods). A good way to figure out what foods cause your symptoms is to keep a heartburn diary.
  7. Shed some pounds. If you are overweight, losing weight by following a healthy weight loss plan can help relieve your symptoms.
  8. Stop smoking. Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that controls the opening between the esophagus and stomach and prevents the acid-containing contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus.

Many women will experience heartburn during their pregnancy. Even for women who have never experienced it before, heartburn may occur for the first time while they are pregnant. That burning sensation in the chest and throat, and sour, acidic taste in the mouth, may become an all too familiar sensation for some of them.

Treatment medication for Heartburn
  1. Antacids work by neutralizing acid in the stomach. They are usually the first remedy doctors will recommend patients take to relief heartburn symptoms. Antacids include Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, Gaviscon, and Chooz.
  2. H2 blockers, also called H2 receptor agonists, are medicines that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. H2 blockers include Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac.
  3. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of medications that prevent the release of acid in the stomach and intestines. PPIs include Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, PrilosecFree Web Content, and Protonix.

Article Tags: Burning Sensation

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Author Bio - Sander Bel writes articles for vitamins guide. He also writes for natural herbs and womens health.

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