All You Need To Know About Heartburn

Heartburn is no fun and is pretty painful. Antacids can relieve it, but many people take heartburn medications instead. The relief these drugs offer isn’t without side effects, though. Pregnant women are cautioned to avoid heartburn medications due to possible infant damage. Heartburn medications may cause nausea, vomiting, headache, or diarrhea. These side effects are not specific to one drug but rather apply to the entire category of heartburn medications. Heartburn can be caused by several things, including pregnancy and certain foods. If you experience heartburn more often than usual, you should visit a Plano heartburn specialist.

Causes of Heartburn

Several things can cause and worsen heartburn and acid reflux. Pregnancy is one, but you can control or avoid others entirely. You could be overeating food at once, not chewing your food well enough, or consuming certain foods like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods (like oranges), peppermint (in large quantities), or spicy foods.

Heartburn is often associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, it causes inflammation of the throat, chest, and sometimes even the ears. It can cause or mimic symptoms of a heart attack.

Symptoms of Heartburn

Most people only experience heartburn as a painful sensation in their chest associated with eating. Just because you don’t have these other symptoms does not mean you aren’t experiencing heartburn and acid reflux. They may just be less severe than some of the more common symptoms. Other heartburn symptoms may include painful swallowing, a sore throat, wheezing, coughing, hoarseness, trouble breathing, asthma flare-ups, ear infections in children, or dizziness.

Treatment for Heartburn

If heartburn is not causing severe symptoms and only happens occasionally, you may be able to avoid medication entirely. A few lifestyle changes can help you manage your heartburn. First of all, always eat smaller meals and take them slow when eating. This will give your body time to digest the food and pace itself so that acid isn’t being produced faster than you can use it. Avoid lying down or bending over immediately after eating, and stay upright for a half-hour to an hour after your meal, so stomach acid has a chance to move back down.

How Does Weight Loss Help With Heartburn?

A few extra pounds can cause or exacerbate heartburn symptoms. To avoid these symptoms, it is suggested that you lose weight wherever necessary for your health and happiness. If you are overweight, losing a few pounds may help avoid the pain of heartburn entirely. For those who are only slightly overweight, losing a few pounds will help prevent heartburn symptoms. Heartburn doesn’t happen because of weight alone; poor food choices and lifestyle habits often cause it.

In summary, heartburn is one symptom of acid reflux and GERD. Acid reflux can cause serious damage to the body over time. If you are experiencing heartburn more than twice a week, check in with your heartburn specialist. Your doctor should prescribe medication for this painful condition or help you avoid it through diet and lifestyle changes.

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