Heartburn is a painful burning sensation in your chest, which can move upward your throat and neck. This is a common symptom of a variety of medical conditions, including GERD, acid reflux and pregnancy. Heartburn typically comes on quickly and easily, with no warning at all. People experience heartburn throughout their lives, but for some people heartburn attacks can come suddenly and severely. Heartburn typically occurs after a meal or at bedtime. Sometimes heartburn occurs when you are lying down, too, but this isn’t normal.
There are a number of different possible causes of heartburn, and it’s important to identify the cause if you have persistent heartburn, severe heartburn or if you are experiencing frequent heartburn attacks. You might not always have a precise diagnosis, and it could take a visit to your doctor to get a thorough diagnosis. In some cases, heartburn is a temporary condition that is the result of food not passing through the esophagus properly, but it can also be caused by the LES (lower esophageal sphincter).
Heartburn symptoms often include a burning feeling in the chest that begins to rise to the level of your shoulders. This can be accompanied by difficulty swallowing. You might have a sour taste in your throat or trouble talking. Heartburn typically disappears as the stomach acid and food move out of your body, providing you with a soothing feeling. However, if your heartburn is persistent, more severe symptoms may appear such as hoarseness, trouble breathing and pain in the chest area.
When you start experiencing heartburn, you should call your doctor immediately. You will typically be given an over-the-counter (OTC) antacid to help relieve the burning. Sometimes, prescription medications are needed. If you want to avoid having to take medicine, there are several natural remedies you can try. These remedies have been used for heartburn and GERD since the early 1900s.
Heartburn typically feels like a burning pain behind the breastbone, behind the sternum or upper right side of your abdomen. There is usually a sour taste in the throat. Other symptoms may include a sore throat, hoarseness, earaches and pressure. A person with GERD might have trouble swallowing, coughing and wheezing. There are some people who experience heartburn only when they have food or liquid in the mouth, but most people experience it with no food or liquid in their mouth at all.
Although heartburn does not happen too often, there are some ways to avoid it or lessen its severity. For instance, if you experience heartburn frequently, you should consider making changes to your diet. Some foods that cause heartburn are greasy, spicy, citrus, tomatoes and chocolate. Therefore, if you do experience these symptoms, you should eat less of these foods and add more vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains to your daily menu.