An unpleasant burning sensation behind the sternum after eating is familiar to many. Why does heartburn occur, why is it dangerous and how to get rid of it?
How heartburn manifests itself:
- Severe burning sensation in the upper abdomen
- sometimes reaches the esophagus and throat,
- aggravated by bending over or lying down
- belching sour,
- bitter or sour taste in the mouth.
Heartburn starts when acid passes from the stomach into the esophagus. Between these organs there is a muscular sphincter, which should normally contract.
If it does not close tightly, the acid enters the esophagus and begins to corrode its mucous membrane.
Causes of heartburn
In most cases, heartburn is the main symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which disrupts the sphincter.
But even if the sphincter is in order, there is no guarantee that heartburn will not appear.
Heartburn can even occur due to banal stress! In a stressful situation, the nervous system changes the motility of the stomach, causing its strong and frequent contractions. As a result, the contents of the stomach are thrown into the esophagus.
Another cause of heartburn is a large meal or certain foods and drinks.
- strong tea and coffee
- sour food.
But it’s not always so obvious. The list of product provocateurs can be very individual.
How to calculate them?
The easiest way to calculate them is to keep a food diary. Every day write down in it what you ate and drank. And you will quickly understand the reason. And to find out if you’re at risk for heartburn, take this simple test.
Checklist: Do you suffer from heartburn?
- Do you often experience stress?
- Do you sometimes have chest pain that radiates to your back?
- Do you have a lot of fatty foods on your menu?
- Do you sometimes wake up at night with a sour taste in your mouth?
If you answered yes to at least 2 questions, there is a high risk that you will develop heartburn.
What is the danger of heartburn
Heartburn can be a symptom of many diseases:
- inflammatory diseases of the esophagus,
- stomach ulcers,
- functional disorders of the gallbladder,
Gastroenterologists believe that people who suffer from burning in the esophagus more than 1–2 times a week have an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
This disease is especially susceptible to those who more often commit two “crimes” against the esophagus:
- drinking scalding hot tea (65° and above),
- abuses strong alcohol.
So it shouldn’t be ignored. In any case, if you have heartburn from time to time, you need to see a doctor. He will conduct endoscopic studies and identify its cause.
How to get rid of heartburn
Let’s look at several ways to overcome heartburn, but first we note that it is best to consult a specialist, because most folk methods will only help for a short time, or even can harm! They are just ancillary activities. For starters, before dealing with heartburn, consult your doctor.
baking soda solution
With heartburn, it only exacerbates the problem. Soda is “built into” acid metabolism, increasing acidity and intensifying heartburn. Remember how soda starts to sizzle when you extinguish it with vinegar in the kitchen. The same volcano occurs in our stomach!
Some experts recommend freshly squeezed potato juice for heartburn. It contains fiber, which actively absorbs hydrochloric acid and neutralizes it. Unlike soda and milk, potato juice does not provoke a relapse, which means it can be used at home.
A few more ways that work
Here are a few other ways that can ease heartburn flare-ups:
During an exacerbation, drink 1 tablespoon, it will create a protective film on the esophagus and prevent irritation.
Pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Eat some seeds on an empty stomach: you will not only satisfy your hunger, but also prevent heartburn.
Coal and warm water
Drink 1 tablet of coal per 10 kg. weight with warm water.
Boil rice without salt and spices, drink the chilled liquid in which it was boiled.
If there is nothing at hand
To get rid of heartburn, you can drink plain water. It will wash away irritating substances from the walls of the esophagus, dilute the contents of the stomach and, thereby, alleviate the condition.
And do not provoke heartburn: do not wear too tight clothes that put pressure on the internal organs, do not lie down to rest immediately after eating, do not overeat.
And if you have your own methods of dealing with heartburn, share them with us in the comments!