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Heartburn Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

Heartburn is a burning sensation that rises from the stomach or lower chest up to your neck. Resulting from the acid, heartburn could be attributed to different causes. The feeling of discomfort may trigger other problems and adequate treatments are available to treat heartburn.

Heartburn CausesPHOTO BY FLICKR.COM/CBB4104

Heartburn Causes - Food and Lifestyle

There are several things that trigger heartburn. Stomach acid helps in digestion but tissues in the stomach are protected from this acid because of the presence of mucus layer. Food pipe opens and closes when swallowing occurs. Where food pipe does not close properly, the stomach acid could squirt up causing damage to the lower end of esophagus. This condition is called as lower esophageal sphincter and results in heartburn. This is one of the most important heartburn causes. At times, heartburn can be occasional or could even occur frequently in patients with acid reflux problem. In the latter case, heartburn aggravates immediately after eating or when the individual bends or lies down. Heartburn causes are many times associated with consumption of specific kinds of food. Consumption of caffeinated drinks or tea pushes stomach contents to reflux into your food pipe. Cocoa products exhibit a similar effect. Fried and fatty food delays digestion and causes increased pressure in stomach. Tomatoes, alcohol, tobacco, large meals and citrus fruits are other foods to watch out for.

Symptoms of Heartburn - Acid Refluxes

One of the major symptoms of heartburn is a strong burning sensation in your chest. The sensation positions itself inside the lower chest or behind the breast bone. Developing such a feeling immediately after a meal is quite typical of heartburn. It could also occur when an individual lies down or bends over. Sour tasting liquid in the mouth or acid regurgitation after meals is also one of the other symptoms of heartburn. This occurs because stomach contents reflux into your food pipe and may reach the back of your throat. This eventually causes burning sensation in throat. Swallowing difficulties, chronic coughing and wheezing or other symptoms of asthma could also characterize heartburn. The feeling can last for a few hours, few days or even for several months if left untreated.

Remedy for Heartburn - Prevent Occurrence

Treatment for heartburn could be either to prevent it or to treat it once you experience it. Preventing heartburn can be done by taking over-the-counter medications such as Zantac 75, Pepcid AC or Axid that are H2 blockers and should be taken before having a meal. Proton pump inhibitors also serve as a preventive remedy for heartburn and include products such as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec. They stop the release of stomach acid into the esophagus. Treating heartburn after it occurs can be done through the use of antacids. Tums and Mylanta are some examples of antacids. Subtle changes in lifestyle can also offer relief from heartburn. Contact your doctor if the condition persists.

Written by Katherine Murphy

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