Without a doubt, the most ironic fact about heartburn is that it’s not even related to the heart. What’s troubling is that most people don’t bother to know what that painful sensation over the chest or the throat is, and just pop in an antacid to relieve the pain. While this is a well and effective temporary solution, it won’t address the long-term problem of our body: your lifestyle and diet. If you finally want to cop out of the heartburn, then you’ve come to the right place.
Heartburn and Digestion
To understand how heartburn occur, an understanding of digestion is in order. When you take in food through your mouth, your saliva helps in breaking it down before finally bringing it down to your stomach through the esophagus. Now, between the esophagus and the stomach is a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, also called LES. The LES opens and closes to accommodate the food you just took in. When the food is finally in your stomach, strong acids are released to break down the food even further. At this point, everything is still normal.
At certain occasions, though, the LES may open and close too often, allowing the release of the same strong stomach acids that are supposed to break down the food. You can just imagine what happens to the stomach acids: it goes right through the LES and up to your esophagus, resulting in the twitching sensation you call heartburn.
That’s everything heartburn is: an acid reflux because your esophagus cannot withstand the inflaming pain of your stomach acids. It’s just not something your esopaghus is not built to withstand.
Symptoms of Heartburn
Now that you know where heartburn comes from, the more pressing question is: how can you tell if you’re experiencing heartburn. Aside from that, you might also want to know the difference between heartburn and a more troubling health problem, heart attacks.
People who experience heartburn report of a painful sensation right above the left chest area. The pain is essentially close to the heart—which is the precise reason why it was wrongfully associated with the heart and hence called as such. This burning sensation can also manifest at the center of your chest. The pain can also travel all the way to the neck area, but that’s usually as far as it goes.
Aside from the pain over the chest, a person experiencing heartburn might also have a bitter taste in the mouth. This isn’t your saliva anymore; this is your stomach acid traveling way back from your stomach to your mouth. While having heartburn, you will also have trouble swallowing and feel as if there’s some food sticking in your throat.
Heartburn is also characterized by having an unusually hoarse voice, especially late at night. While at it, chronic coughing is a usual experience.
As you can see, there are plenty of heartburn symptoms. Make no mistake though: you are not supposed to experience all of them at the same time. Just because the only symptom you experience is the searing pain across the chest doesn’t make it less of a heartburn.
Heartburn and Heart Attacks
Although it helps to be vigilant about the symptoms, the last thing you want is to make the mistake of confusing heart attacks with heartburn. Heart attacks, as they are, have a wide variety of symptoms. You might simply not be able to tell apart if you’re not well-read on the matter.
Heart attacks usually last longer than heartburn. While heartburn are characterized by that brief painful sensation, heart attacks last quite longer.
While the pain in heartburn is usually concentrated in the chest area and sometimes in the pathways of digestion up to your mouth, the pain brought by heart attacks can travel throughout your body. Heart attacks are also concentrated on your chest area, but it tends to spread to your arms, joints, and sometimes even your teeth. The pain can be so searing and unbearable that people need to sit down, hold on to something, and breathe more carefully. Breaking down into cold sweat, experiencing extreme pain in the left arm, and feeling lightheaded are also symptoms of heart attacks.
What Causes Heartburn
At this point it all comes down to the big question: what is causing all this heartburn? Medical science has in fact found plenty of causes for heartburn, just as many as the unhealthy foods and lifestyle choices out there.
- Caffeinated drinks. Perhaps the most common cause because they relax your lower esophageal sphincter, the valve that connects your stomach and esophagus, and allows the stomach acid to reflux to your esophagus.
- Chocolate also causes heartburn. A compound found in it, the theobromine, relaxes the LES as well and allows it to open and close more frequently than usual.
- Fried and fatty foods are also notorious heartburn triggers. Because they can be difficult to break down, it tends to stay in your stomach longer. Because of the pressure, stomach acids can reflux as well.
Here are other triggers of heartburn:
- tobacco and cigarette
- heavy meals
- citrus juice
- tight-fitting clothing
- and spicy foods
It is also common among obese and pregnant people. Because too much pressure is exerted on the stomach, it tends to contract and release the stomach acids at an irregular rate.
Aside from these rather physical causes of heartburn, it can also be an indication of more serious health problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, hiatal hernia, functional gastrointestinal disorder, acute myocardial infection, and angina. But, really, how can you tell if your heartburn is the result of a much bigger health problem?
Generally, heartburn are a result of the aforementioned lifestyle choices: the food you eat, and the habits you can’t break or are not willing to break. Maybe you can even tell when you’re about to experience a heartburn: right after you’ve had a particularly good helping of chocolate or smoking one too many cigarette sticks.
However, heartburn is caused by serious health problems tend to be more frequent and longer lasting. They are also simultaneous to or go along with other symptoms of the other serious health problems.
To find out more about curing heartburn naturally, go to heartburn remedies to read more about it.
Heartburn may not exactly be serious and life-threatening. However, its frequency and mere presence should be enough reason for you to reexamine your lifestyle, go to the doctor, and ultimately find out what’s not working for your body.
Limited Free Access to 6-Parts Heartburn Natural Diet Newsletter: How to Get Rid Of Heartburn Forever Without Medications!
- Day #1: Secrets to Great Health
- Day #2: How the Food Industry Has Been Lying To You
- Day #3: Is Your Body Dangerously Acidic - Causing Your Heartburnk?
- Day #4: 3 Deadly Foods That Are Murdering You Slowly
- Day #5: The #1 Natural Catalyst to Help You Cure Heartburn
- Day #6: Cure Heartburn With Alkalizing Exercising Method
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