Heartburn occurs due to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) which causes the acid to revert back to the oesophagus. It allows food and other content to crawl back up in the oesophagus from the stomach. Stomach releases acids to aid digestion, but sometimes due to over secretion of these acids, you feel a burning sensation in your throat or chest when acid rises from the stomach.
Understanding if it’s really just a heartburn, or a serious health problem is a difficult task.
What causes heartburn?
The lower oesophageal sphincter keeps the stomach acids at the bottom of the stomach but due to its ill-functioning and not closing properly, acids can spill up to the oesophagus and cause discomfort in the chest area and breastbone. It can occur due to two reasons, either you are overeating or due to conditions like constipation, pregnancy and obesity which put extra pressure on your system.
Also, consumption of certain foods may increase your acid production:
- Onions and garlic
- Sour fruits
How to differentiate between heartburn and heart problem?
Heartburn is not fatal in itself. But you must know how to know the difference. Doctors usually ask you the questions like: Did you have palpitations? Shortness of breath? Did you get sweaty?
You must see a doctor if you have been getting heartburn continuously for six months or more. If you are eating too many antacids, it’s time to visit a doctor.
The duration for which a heartburn lasts may vary from person to person. It can occur for a few minutes or a few hours even.
Some people may have experienced acid reflux without even knowing it. In addition to a burning sensation in your chest, acid reflux can cause:
- burping during meals or after
- If you feel a lump in your throat
- A sour, Bitter taste in the back of your mouth
- Problems in Swallowing
- Regurgitating of food
Pregnant women experience heartburn a lot while expecting. If you have long term heartburn, it may a dangerous sign. IT may point towards other problems like:
- Oesophageal cancer
- Ulcers or swelling in oesophagus
- Cough for a long time
- Facing problems in swallowing food
The five health conditions that may cause heart burn are:
The pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy causes more acids to be released which may cause heartburn all through the pregnancy.
In hernia, the diaphragm protrudes from the stomach to touch the chest thus increasing the pressure on the valve leading to increased secretion of acid.
- Slow Digestion
Some people’s digestion is slow in general. This causes the body to react with greater release of acids.
So the above article explained what is heartburn and its causes. Now you do not need to panic, just follow the appropriate diet and your condition will improve certainly.