What causes heartburn? This question has been bothering us since we were children and have always wondered why this burning sensation felt like it went up through our esophagus and into the stomach. When a person is affected with GERD, the upper layers of the esophagus to become inflamed due to the stomach acid reflux that takes place when a person suffers from heartburn. As you may already know, a full understanding of what causes heartburn is important if you are to prevent and stop its complications.
There are several things that can trigger heartburn such as over-eating, lying down immediately after your meals, spicy foods, too much alcohol consumption, or the use of certain prescription or over the counter medications. Once these causes are taken into account, the next step is to find out how to treat them. In this case, if the heartburn symptoms did not go away after eating a large amount of food, you will have to take the necessary steps in order to prevent yourself from experiencing heartburn again. You should first find out what causes heartburn and whether this is what caused the discomfort felt within the esophagus. If you find out the underlying cause of the heartburn, you will be able to find the appropriate treatment method to treat this.
The common over-the-counter medication sold in the market is antacids. These medicines can effectively bring relief to heartburn symptoms but they have several side effects. For example, antacids neutralize stomach acid, which will temporarily relieve the burning and painful sensation felt in the esophagus. If you choose to use OTC medications, you will be taking them regularly and you might already have a habit of taking them before eating meals.
Sometimes, people experience heartburn because of the way they manage their diets. The main cause of heartburn is acidic food contents that are not neutralized by the stomach’s acid. In order to prevent having acid reflux and heartburn, you should know what causes heartburn in the first place and what you can do to remedy the problem. Most often than not, heartburn occurs when there is too much acid produced in the stomach by the presence of too much fat in the food. When the stomach acid goes up to the esophagus, the gastric contents are regurgitated back into the throat.
If you have been suffering from heartburn for quite some time already, it would be a good idea to get a full diagnosis from your doctor. Ask your doctor if you can get prescription medications that can help you alleviate your symptoms of heartburn, such as antacids and histamine antagonists. Although antacids can provide temporary relief to heartburn symptoms, they can cause your esophagus to become more sensitive in the future. Histamine antagonists can also cause your stomach acid level to increase so you may experience heartburn again in the near future.
As previously mentioned, one of the major causes of heartburn is improper or incorrect diet. Eating the wrong kinds of food is what triggers acid reflux in most of the people. You need to stay away from fatty foods, coffee, caffeinated beverages, chocolate, pineapple, alcohol and spicy food. Being overweight may also trigger heartburn in many people. Stay away from all these foods for several days to a week to avoid experiencing heartburn episodes.