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Overview

Heartburn feels like a burning sensation in the middle of the chest, just under the breastbone. Burning feeling in the chest may extend to the neck and throat. It may be very uncomfortable. It may be due to a variety of factors, including GERD, acid reflux, and even pregnancy.

If you have heartburn, you may experience a bitter or sour sensation in the back of your throat. Furthermore, if you have heartburn, you may have chest discomfort when you bend over or lay down. It may also be accompanied by suffocation that happens because of swallowing problems. Heartburn symptoms may range from a few minutes to many hours. It is normal to feel uncomfortable after a meal or if you sleep too soon thereafter.

Heartburn is a very common occurrence. However, if you have heartburn on a frequent basis, you should see a doctor since severe and regular heartburn could be an indication of an underlying diseased condition like GERD.

Lifestyle modifications are important to get rid of heartburn. These include eating a healthy diet and drinking beverages that are low in calories. Avoiding caffeine is also advised to get rid of heartburn. Medicines are also prescribed for heartburn relief in severe heartburn.

Patients who do not seek treatment for severe heartburn may have a risk of acquiring other health issues, such as esophagitis. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the esophageal lining is abnormal, increasing your chance of developing esophageal cancer. It is treatable.

If persistent heartburn occurs, it may have a negative impact on quality of life. If you are experiencing difficulty continuing with your normal activities or if your activities have been substantially restricted because of heartburn, see your doctor have a treatment plan.

Causes

When you eat, the food travels down a lengthy tube known as the esophagus that connects the mouth and stomach. The esophageal sphincter acts as a valve in the esophagus, allowing food to pass through. It is located towards the esophagus’s bottom. This valve opens to allow food to pass through and then shuts to prevent stomach contents from being pushed back up. Inside your stomach, a highly acidic combination begins the process of breaking down the food.

When the valve that divides the stomach from the esophagus fails to close properly, some of the acidic mixtures in your stomach may flow back up your esophagus. This is referred to as reflux. If you have reflux disease, you may experience a burning sensation.

Heartburn is a symptom of GERD i.e.“gastroesophageal reflux disease,” a disorder of the digestive system in which acid is generated. The acid from the stomach rises into the esophagus, causing discomfort. There may be a burning feeling behind the sternum or breastbone. A large quantity of food, leaning forward, or lying flat may all exacerbate symptoms.

The presence of a hiatal hernia may also result in heartburn. The diaphragm pushes a portion of the stomach up into the chest cavity. You may get heartburn because of this.

Other health conditions that cause heartburn symptoms include:

·         Stress and anxiety

·         Constipation

·         Scleroderma

·         Sarcoidosis

Certain diet and lifestyle choices may induce a sensation of burning heart. Following are the dietary components that may cause heartburn.

·         Alcohol since it relaxes the muscle of esophageal sphincter

·         Acidic juices like orange juice it trigger heartburn due to acidic nature

·         Fried, fatty, acidic and spicy foods also lead to acid reflux chest pain, and heartburn

Pregnancy-related heartburn is a frequent symptom in pregnant women. The progesterone hormone may induce the lower esophageal sphincter to soften and relax. Consequently, stomach contents may migrate into the esophagus, irritating the mucosa, and cause heartburn.

Other variables that are associated with increased occurrence of heartburn include:

·         Obesity

·         Smoking

·         Immediately lying down after consuming food

Certain medications also trigger heartburn.

When to see a doctor

If you have severe chest pain or pressure, get medical attention immediately, particularly if the pain or pressure is accompanied by additional symptoms such as jaw or arm discomfort or trouble breathing. Consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

·         Heartburn more than twice a week

·         Symptoms persist despite the use of medications

·         Difficulty swallowing

·         Nausea or vomiting

·         Weight loss because of inability to eat or eating issues

Anyone who has chronic heartburn should see a physician. A healthcare expert may recommend dietary modifications and frequent exercise along with medicines. If a person is uncertain if they are having heartburn or a heart attack, they should seek medical care immediately.


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