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Heartburn: How It Happens And What Can You Do To Avoid It

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Heartburn is burning chest pain behind the breastbone. If you feel chest pain after eating food or in the night while lying down or by bending, you are probably having heartburn.

Approximately 24 percent of the local population in Pakistan suffers from heartburn due to the growing trend of overeating coupled with an unhealthy lifestyle (Source).

If you have heartburn occasionally, that’s common and you should not worry about and you can counter it by taking some medication. But constant heartburn is alarming and you may probably have GERD. But GERD can have without heartburn.

Heartburn along with arm pain or chest pain can be a symptom of heart attack and you should seek medical care if constant heartburn occurs.

What are the Symptoms of heartburn?

  • Pain in the chest i.e. burning pain during the night after eating
  • Pain worsens if you lie down or bend over
  • Feeling bitter acidic taste in the mouth

When you should see a doctor?

See a doctor immediately if you feel severe chest pain or and pressure. Chest pain along with pain in arm or jaw or difficulty breathing could be a sign of heart attack, so seek medical care right away.

Make an appointment with your doctor if:

  • Repeated heartburn more than twice a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent nausea or vomiting
  • You have weight loss because difficulty eating
  • Book Appointment at Islamabad Gastroenterology Associates

How heartburn and GERD occur?

Heartburn occurs due to acid reflux where some stomach contents are forced back to the esophagus resulting in a burning pain in the lower chest.

The condition called gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) where continuous reflux happens more than twice a week.  Heartburn could be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The esophagus is the pathway of food from the mouth to the stomach.

What kind of food can cause heartburn?

Some foods and drinks become the cause of acid reflux but condition varies from person to person. Here are some foods and drinks listed below.

  • Spicy foods
  • Onions
  • Citrus products
  • Tomato products
  • Fatty or fried foods
  • Peppermint
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol, carbonated beverages, coffee
  • Fatty meals

Pregnancy and overweight can also cause heartburn.

Heartburn remedies: Natural ways to avoid heartburn

Heartburn can be dangerous and continuous heartburn can severely damage your esophagus. See a doctor if you feel frequent heartburn. Here are some natural ways to avoid normal heartburn.

  • Avoid fatty meals
  • Don’t lie down immediately after a meal
  • Avoid weight lifting
  • Avoid item which triggers heartburn such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy food, full cream milk, gassy foods, such as soft drinks, and acidic food, such as tomato, lemon, or orange juices
  • Try not to be overweight
  • Reduce smoking
  • Review medication

Not all the mentioned ways are clinically proven. These natural ways are observed by fewer people.

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