Table of contents:
- What is heartburn?
- When should you see a doctor?
- How to deal with heartburn on your own: 5 ways that scientists advise
Feelings with heartburn can not be confused with anything. When faced with this state for the first time, you understand that it is she. Heartburn often occurs during pregnancy, and can also be a symptom of various disorders in the digestive system. Is it possible to cope with heartburn and do I need to see a doctor for this?
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a condition that occurs when gastric juices enter the esophagus, a process also known as acid reflux. The hydrochloric acid contained in gastric juice irritates the walls of the esophagus, causing an excruciating burning sensation behind the breastbone.
The reflux of gastric juice into the esophagus occurs due to the fact that the sphincter, the muscle ring that is located on the border of the esophagus and the stomach, for some reason, weakens, as a result, the contents of the stomach begins to move in the opposite direction - not towards the exit from the stomach, but into esophagus.
It may seem that heartburn is not a serious problem, however, according to statistics, every second, and often - every week - almost every fifth inhabitant of the planet encounters it.
And it's not just about discomfort or temporary inconvenience. Heartburn can seriously affect your quality of life. If it occurs every week or more, doctors talk about gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The mucous membrane of the esophagus is not designed for frequent contact with hydrochloric acid from the stomach, and therefore it is damaged. Constant trauma to the mucous membrane can cause unpleasant consequences, for example, a feeling of a lump in the throat. In addition, regular reflux of gastric juice can provoke a precancerous condition called Barrett's syndrome, and even malignant tumors of the esophagus.
When should you see a doctor?
The consequences of heartburn can be more than serious, and therefore it makes sense to consult a therapist or gastroenterologist. The following symptoms may become a reason for treatment:
heartburn occurs more than twice a week;
have trouble swallowing;
unreasonable weight loss was recorded;
regularly there is nausea or vomiting, not associated with poisoning or intestinal infection;
no remedies for heartburn, including those prescribed by a doctor earlier, help.
The doctor will help establish the exact cause of heartburn - for this you will have to pass a number of tests and undergo the necessary examinations, for example, an endoscopic examination of the esophagus or an X-ray of the stomach, and prescribe the necessary therapy.
How to deal with heartburn on your own: 5 ways that scientists advise
If heartburn attacks rarely occur, and no other consequences associated with this condition occur, you can try to relieve the heartburn attack yourself.
Chewing sugar-free gum can help you get rid of heartburn quickly. Try chewing it after eating. It will induce increased salivation, which will help neutralize acid trapped in the esophagus. Please note that not every gum will work - avoid mint, on the contrary, it can intensify the burning sensation or provoke a new attack.
Chewing gum will help with heartburn, Unspalsh
Change your body position
Heartburn in the middle of the night? Try to lie down differently - try to keep your head and shoulders higher than your legs. But make sure that the angle of inclination is not too strong, otherwise the pressure on the stomach will increase, and heartburn will become more pronounced.
A glass of milk or a serving of yogurt can help relieve heartburn. They will create a temporary barrier between the stomach and esophagus and help neutralize hydrochloric acid. Just choose low-fat options, otherwise such products will provoke an increased production of gastric juice and, as a result, an even stronger attack of heartburn.
Milk - Proven Heartburn Remedy, Unspalsh
Unbutton your pants
It sounds corny, but a tight belt of pants or a skirt, combined with a large meal, can cause an attack of heartburn. If you feel an unpleasant burning sensation, try the easiest option - just loosen the belt buckle. The pressure on the abdomen and stomach will ease, and the attack may subside, or at least become less painful.
Make herbal tea
Chamomile tea is ideal for those suffering from bouts of heartburn. Following the instructions, make a cup of herbal tea and drink in small sips - this will help to cope with irritation of the walls of the esophagus, which means that the attack will gradually pass.
Try herbal tea for heartburn if you haven't tried it yet, Unsplash
If the proposed methods do not work, and seizures occur frequently, self-medication should be discontinued and a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.
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