Heartburn is a feeling of pain, burning, and warmth that begins in the upper abdomen just below the lower breastbone. The discomfort at times spreads as waves into the throat, and you may have a sour taste in the mouth. Other means for heartburn include indigestion, sour stomach, pyrosis and acid regurgitation.
The occurrence of heartburn is not due to a heart attack, although the symptoms might seem like one. Heartburn causes problems such as burping, nausea, swallowing food, and bloating. The symptoms remain for two hours or more, and in some people, the occurrence is repetitive. They experience sleep disorders, a chronic cough, wheezing and choking episodes.
The Occurrence of Heartburn
The occurrence of heartburn is almost universal in every one. It occurs more frequently in adults in comparison to children. Women experience the situation during their pregnancy. The symptoms increase during the third trimester and reduce after the delivery. The reason is due to the growing uterus that exerts pressure on the stomach.
The Feeling of Heartburn
The symptoms of heartburn and heart attack may feel the same for an individual. However, the case can differ from one person to another. If the symptoms are repetitive as spoken earlier, it may mean that there is a serious problem underlying within the body and requires diagnosis by an expert.
In terms of medical terminology, dyspepsia is the name that describes the feeling of burning in the chest and fullness in the stomach. A few people describe this as gas. Other symptoms include belching, noises in the stomach, stomach cramps, poor appetite, and irregular bowel habits. The occurrence of dyspepsia changes from minor to severe depending on the self-care that an individual exhibits.
How Long Can You Have Heartburn For?
The heartburn sensation, if occurs in the initial stage, an individual can expect its presence for a few hours. It usually happens when one consumes food that causes irritation or excessively consumed food. If such is the case, it is possible to cure the situation by opting for antacids.
If the sensation remains for extended periods and is repetitive, then it is time to seek medical attention. The reason could be due to an underlying cause such as ulcers, gastro esophageal reflux disease, and pancreatic inflammation. Severe heartburn occurs every day and causes bleeding, trouble in swallowing food, and a sudden loss of weight. Along with other symptoms, such as tightness in the throat, wheezing, dental problems, and asthma worsen the situation.
Major Causes of Heartburn
The occurrence of heartburn is due to the throwing up of stomach acids into the esophagus. The esophagus connects the mouth and the stomach. Common causes of heartburn include:
- Incomplete closing of the lower esophageal sphincter, which acts as a wall between the esophagus and the stomach
- Heartburn can be caused by consuming foods that cause irritation to the stomach such as chocolate, fatty foods, fried foods, carbonated drinks, alcohol, smoking, and artificial sweeteners
- Excessive pressure exerted on the stomach due to overweight, frequent bending after having a meal, and wearing tight clothes also causes heartburn
- Vigorous exercises also cause acid reflux
- Prescription and non-prescription medicines such as ibuprofen, aspirin, potassium, iron, and sleeping pills
- A hiatal hernia, where a small portion of the muscle that protects the entrance of gas from the abdomen into the esophagus has a misalignment between the lower esophageal sphincter and the stomach.
- Increased stress that elevates the amount of acid produced in the stomach, which makes it difficult for the stomach to empty it at a slow pace is also a cause of heartburn.
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