Heartburn is quite common but can be very uncomfortable and alarming. Some may even mistake it for a heart attack. Heartburn, a primary symptom of acid reflux, refers to a burning sensation that radiates up from the stomach to the chest and throat. This happens when the hydrochloric acid (highly corrosive) in the stomach moves up into the esophagus. The stomach easily handles the acid created for digestion but the esophagus is more sensitive and reacts to the presence of acid. It is estimated that heartburn occurs to a quarter of the American population in a week.
Anyone can get acid reflux and heartburn.
- Bending over or lying down after a meal can cause acid reflux
- Consumption of acidic and fatty foods.
- A heartburn can be triggered by obesity, stress and certain medications.
Chronic acid reflux is dangerous and can cause serious health conditions like esophagitis, esophageal bleeding, ulcers, strictures and even cancer.
The stomach has strong acids and enzymes to help the digestion of the food sent in. After you eat your food, a band of muscle tissues at the end of your esophagus close preventing the food from coming up. If these tissues become weak, they become incapable of thus trapping the food inside the stomach. Then the food from the stomach may back up to the esophagus causing great discomfort and agony. Then you have an acid reflux and a burning sensation below the breastbone, near the heart.You can prevent this condition by giving it utmost care and treating it with caution.
- Try eating light, small but frequent meals in the day than having a large meal.
- Drink enough water to help dissolve the acids inside the stomach.
- By making the right food selection you can improve your digestion and harmony in the stomach. Keep away from condiments, spicy foods and junk foods.
- Do not lie down immediately after a meal. Take the lunch and the dinner early before the nap or bed time.
- Control your weight.
- Wear loose garments.
- Remember that smoking and alcoholism increase your risks.
- Practice relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation to keep worry, tension and anxiety at bay.
- Try herbal remedies that can help soothe the lining of the stomach and esophagus. Some people find relief from heartburn by drinking a glass of lukewarm milk.
- Chamomile tea is an excellent remedy.
- Chew almonds or apple.
- Other remedies also include aloe, fennel tea, meadowsweet, slippery elm bark, cancer bush, catnip, angelica root, ginger root and peppermint tea. Consult a herbologist to find what works best for you.
- Nat phos 6X is a biochemic antacid that aids digestion as found in homeopathic medicines.
Change your lifestyle and avoid heartburn!