What can cause heartburn?
Heartburn is the feeling of pain and discomfort in the chest area that can be caused by acid reflux, a buildup of stomach acid. Acid reflux happens when stomach contents are suddenly forced up into the esophagus, but it also may happen when food sits in the stomach too long.
When acid from the stomach mixes with digestive juices, it can produce an uncomfortable burning sensation known as heartburn. This happens in two ways:
- The combination of hydrochloric acid and pepsin causes an immediate burning pain after swallowing.
- When food sits in the stomach for too long, gas bubbles collect and form a pocket of air where they can escape through weak areas causing pain.
What are the symptoms of heartburn?
There are many symptoms that precede heartburn, which include feeling nauseous, having a bitter taste in the mouth, and being lightheaded. The symptoms of heartburn also vary depending on the severity of it.
For example, if someone has mild heartburn, they might experience just a burning sensation in their chest that lasts for only a few seconds. If someone has severe heartburn, they might feel like their throat and skin are on fire and experience shortness of breath.
Heartburn can be caused by different factors such as overeating or eating too fast or too large meals within an hour before bedtime. It can also be prevented with lifestyle changes such as avoiding heavy meals and not smoking.
Top 10 Ways to Prevent Heartburn That Work Instantly
Heartburn is one of the most common health problems, with about 50% of adults experiencing it at some point in their life.
Heartburn can be caused by a number of factors, including too much alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods and cigarette smoking.
If you’re experiencing heartburn regularly, here are 10 ways to prevent it that work instantly:
- Chew gum
- Do not drink alcohol or caffeine in excess
- Avoid fatty foods
- Quit smoking
- Stop using spices
- Drink lots of water every day
- Eat smaller meals more often
- Eat large meals less often
- Get plenty of rest
How to treat heartburn
There are many ways to treat heartburn symptoms. Some people find relief from taking over-the-counter medications such as antacids or H2 blockers while others opt for natural remedies such as ginger or peppermint tea. It’s important to find what works best for you because every person experiences different symptoms and have different triggers that cause heartburn.
When to see a doctor for heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest, behind the breastbone. It can cause pain or discomfort, and may also produce feelings of fullness in the throat.
When to see a doctor: Heartburn that lasts for more than two weeks, starts suddenly or becomes very intense or if heartburn is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Foods to avoid for heartburn
Certain foods produce a low-grade acid that can cause heartburn. Here is a list of foods to avoid if you are experiencing heartburn.
Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol can increase the risk for heartburn since alcohol dilates the esophagus and increases gastric acid reflux.
Caffeine: Consuming caffeine along with other food stimulants such as chocolate or tea, may also increase the risk for an attack of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These stimulants act as a sedative, which relaxes both your esophagus and stomach.
What is Gastroesophageal Reflux disease?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition where stomach contents (usually food) flow back up into the esophagus. Other symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation from the mouth or throat.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is also commonly known as acid reflux, heartburn, and more colloquially as sour stomach or heartburn.
It is an umbrella term that refers to a variety of conditions that all affect the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract (oesophagus, stomach, small intestine).
If you are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), the first step is to get a diagnosis. This is important because GERD can develop into a more serious condition.
The treatment for GERD varies depending on whether it’s caused by acid or not. The general rule of thumb is to drink water at room temperature three times daily until symptoms disappear.
Depending on the cause of GERD, there are two types of treatments: those who only alter reflux with medications like proton pump inhibitors or those who are surgical in nature such as fundoplication surgery.
About Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are the most common medication for GERD treatment and have been shown to have significant therapeutic effects. They are quick-acting drugs that reduce stomach acid secretion and lower the risk of developing complications from GERD.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Warnings
The use of proton pump inhibitors in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause serious side effects, including impaired kidney function, kidney stones, increased risk of osteoporosis and dementia.
Proton pump inhibitors can also increase the risk of an overdose. For example, if a patient takes a proton pump inhibitor and the drug is not absorbed into the blood stream it is possible to overdose on medication.
It is important to monitor patients taking proton pump inhibitors. The patient should take medication on time and avoid alcohol consumption while taking a proton pump inhibitors. This will help prevent an overdose.
Types of Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are anti-reflux drugs that lower the amount of acid in the stomach. They are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, and Barrett’s esophagus.
There is a wide variety of proton pump inhibitors available. These include omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, pantoprazole, and dexlansoprazole. Proton pump inhibitors can be taken in pill form or as a liquid that is mixed with food or water.
Proton pump inhibitors come in various dosage options and can be purchased without a prescription by adults over 18 years old. Other types of proton pump inhibiting drugs do require a doctor’s prescription before they can be bought on the market.
What is Fundoplication Surgery
Fundoplication is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the stomach pouch. It is done by wrapping one or more layers of tissue around the top portion of the stomach so that it cannot empty its contents into the esophagus.
This surgical procedure involves keyhole surgery, laparoscopy, and sometimes an endoscopy. The surgeon removes the fundus from the body and wraps it around and ties it off at one or more points. It is typically performed on people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a hiatal hernia.
The common symptoms of fundoplication are dysphagia, regurgitation, and heartburn – all due to food regurgitating back up into your throat as you swallow.
Please call Superior Compounding Pharmacy to speak with one of our licensed pharmacists today at 734-404-6065. We can help answer any medication questions that you may have.