Heartburn occurs when contents from the stomach goes back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that carries food and fluids from your mouth into your stomach.
The esophagus connects to your stomach at a juncture called the cardiac or lower esophageal sphincter. Naturally, the cardiac sphincter closes when food leaves the esophagus and enters the stomach.
But in some people, the cardiac sphincter functions abnormally when it becomes weakened. This makes contents from the stomach leaking back into the esophagus.
Stomach acids can irritate the esophagus and cause symptoms of heartburn.
This condition is known as acid reflux.
However, heartburn can occur due to hiatal hernia. This happens when part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest.
Heartburn is also a common condition that affects pregnant women. The progesterone hormone can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax when a woman is pregnant.
Thus, allowing the stomach contents to travel into the esophagus, causing irritation.
Factors that increases your risk of heartburn
Other health conditions or lifestyle choices can worsen your heartburn, these includes
- Obesity or excessive weight
- Consuming too much caffeine, chocolate, or alcohol
- Eating spicy foods
- Lying down immediately after eating
- Taking certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen
Symptoms of heartburn
- Having a burning sensation in the chest just behind the breastbone after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours
- Burning in the throat
- Fluid at the back of the throat, that tastes hot, acidic, sour or salty
- Chest pain, occurring when you bending over or lie down after eating
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling like food is sticking to the middle of the throat or chest
Home treatment methods for heartburn includes
- Do away with foods or activities that may cause your symptoms.
- Take an over-the-counter medication, such as a chew able antacid tablet, before you eat to prevent heartburn before symptoms start.
- Ginger snacks or ginger tea is also helpful home remedies that you can buy in many stores.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Try to avoid snacking late at night. Instead, stop eating at least four hours before bedtime.
- Rather than two or three large meals, eat smaller meals more frequently and include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet to ease the impact on your digestive system.
If you experience heartburn occasionally, there are several home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate your symptoms.
Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, can help reduce your symptoms.
Things you should also avoid
- Lying down after meals
- Using tobacco products
- Eating too much chocolate
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Consuming caffeinated drinks
Know your symptoms and don’t do things that trigger them or make them worse.
You can share any of the home remedy options you use and works for you in the comment section below. Stay healthy, it’s important!