Despite the name, heartburn does not affectthe heart.
Heartburn, also called acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a burning sensation in the lower chest, accompanied by a bitter or sour taste in the mouth and throat.
It usually occurs after eating a big meal or while lying down and can last up to a few hours.
What causes heartburn?
When you eat, food passes from your mouth into a tube (about 10 inches long), called esophagus.
Before entering the stomach, food travels through an opening at the end of the esophagus. This opening acts like a gate, which allows food to pass into the stomach.
The opening to the stomach closes as soon as food passes through. If the opening does not close, acid in the stomach can leak into and travel through the esophagus. This phenomenon, called reflux, is cause of heartburn.
Hiatal hernia can also cause heartburn. This is a condition in which part of the stomach is pushed up through the diaphragm and into the chest.
What factors add to heartburn?
Heartburn is most common after overeating, when bending over or when lying down. Other factors affecting heartburn include: eating certain foods, pregnancy and stress.
Can heartburn be serious?
Having occasional symptoms of heartburn is not very serious. If heartburn continues to persist, however it can lead to a serious of problems. Esophagitis, an inflamed lining of the esophagus, can lead to bleeding and trouble swallowing. Heartburn can also be a sign of ulcers.
What can I do to feel better?
You make find relied from heartburn by making some simple changes in your lifestyle.
Tips on preventing heartburn
- Avoid overeating
- Avoid wearing clothes with tight waistlines and belts that are too tight.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Raise the head of your bed by placing four to six inch blocks under the legs at the bed’s head.
- Try to eat at least two to three hours before lying down. If you take naps, try sleeping in a chair.
Will antacids take care of heartburn?
Antacids neutralize the acid that your stomach makes and most people find fast, short-term relief. However, antacids contain aluminum hydroxide. They may lead to diarrhea and ultimately neuro toxic effects of the brain and nervous system. Instead try bicarbonate of soda, or a piece of hard white cheese.
Three days on water knocks the condition totally out.
Raw foods do the trick as well, but take seven to ten days.
- Avoid stress
- Change your eating habits. Eat more raw vegetables. Eat small more frequent meals. Chew your food well. Eat slowly and enjoy your food.
- Do not consume caffeine products, carbonated beverages, fats, fried food, processed foods, sugar or tobacco.
- DO not eat for three hours before bedtime.
- Drink a big glass of water at the first sign of heartburn.
- Drink a glass of fresh cabbage or celery juice every day.
- Eat a fresh papaya or pineapple to aid digestion.
- Sip one tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar, mixed with a glass of water, while eating a meal.
- Try raw potato juice. Do not peel the potato – just wash it and put it in the juicer. Mix with equal parts water. Drink it immediately after preparation, up to three times daily.