Simple and effective ways to deal with heartburn.
Heartburn is a discomfort or burning sensation behind the sternum, extending upward from the epigastric (epigastric) region, sometimes radiating to the neck.
Every fifth adult experiences heartburn once a week, but you can put out this fire in your stomach, read this article and share with friends!
In developed countries, heartburn occurs in 20-50% of the population. Frequent heartburn (at least once a week) in Western Europe and North and South America and Turkey is 10-20%, in other countries of Asia - 5%. In the United States, more than 60 million people experience heartburn at least once a month, and 15 million of them daily. According to a 2003 survey conducted in Moscow, frequent heartburn (more than once a week) occurred at about 18%, rare (at least once a week) - at about 22%. There is evidence that 50 million Europeans suffer from heartburn, including about 20% of people in France have experienced heartburn, 40% in Sweden. In Russia, 48.5% of women and 51.4% of men occasionally have heartburn, 3.7% of women and 1.2% of men have frequent complaints.
Causes of Heartburn
Popular publications for patients state that heartburn is the result of the effects of gastric acid on the mucous membrane of the esophagus, which comes from the stomach as a result of gastroesophageal reflux or regurgitation. In other sources, it is noted that besides hydrochloric acid, pepsin, bile acids, lysolecithin, and pancreatic enzymes also play a damaging role.
Acid, as well as other ingredients harmful to the esophagus, enter the esophagus from the stomach due to retrograde movement of the stomach contents into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) caused by gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or regurgitation.
Gastroesophageal refluxes, in turn, are due to the fact that the lower esophageal sphincter expands not only when the bolus passes from the esophagus into the stomach, but also at other times. GERs are also found in healthy people, however, often recurring GERs are abnormal from the normal state and the reason for these refluxes is the insufficient closure function of the lower esophageal sphincter. Heartburn is common in pregnant women.
Factors that increase the likelihood of gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn
Heartburn often increases after chocolate, coffee, strong tea, mint, rich meals, citrus, hot or strong drinks. The factors causing heartburn are overeating, eating less than 2 times per day. Heartburn often affects overweight people. Smoking tobacco products stimulates the secretion of acid in the stomach, and also helps to relax the lower esophageal sphincter. Heartburn occurs more frequently with the patient in a horizontal position, as well as with bending and bending of the body. Tight, stomach-tight clothing can provoke heartburn. The presence of a hiatus hernia also slightly increases the chance of heartburn.
Patients suffering from heartburn should try to make adjustments to their lifestyle. Refusal from the above products, eating smaller portions, but more often, refusing to eat before bedtime, reducing body weight, stopping smoking and alcohol, putting on clothes, sleeping on a bed with a raised headboard can positively affect the patient's condition and reduce the number of episodes heartburn.
If heartburn hurts you mainly on days of breaking the diet, this is because fatty foods are digested more slowly. But heartburn can cause any abundant food intake, since large portions disrupt the work of the muscles of the esophagus, which should let in food and not release gastric juice. Instead, it allows the juice to penetrate the esophagus, where it causes the same burning sensation in the chest. If you do not violate the diet, the reason may be training, if after a meal less than two hours have passed: the abdominal muscles contract and weaken the sphincter.
Another reason may be the increased workload. If you sit in the office until late and have dinner before bedtime, the release of gastric juice can be due to the fact that the food does not have time to digest. You go to bed with a full stomach, and gravity does not help food move through the digestive tract. Better to put a pillow under your back and watch a couple of episodes of a series.
Medicine from the fridge
If you are very sleepy, and watching the series is not an option, you can smooth out the symptoms of heartburn. Excess gastric juice suggests an increased level of acidity, which means it must be neutralized. Drink half a liter of plain water: according to The Journal of Digestive Diseases and Sciences, it is no less effective than antacids. And keep on hand mint chewing gum without sugar. Saliva secreted in the process contains alkalis that neutralize the acid.
If neither water nor chewing gum help, go to the pharmacy. Antacids such as Gaviscon relieve heartburn symptoms by protecting the walls of the esophagus. If you often suffer from heartburn, you will be helped by such tablets as Nexium, which reduce the amount of gastric juice produced. If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, go to the doctor. It is better to entrust such a strong fire to extinguish professionals.
While heartburn is treatable and is not a serious disease, its symptoms are very similar to a more terrible condition: a heart attack. Heartburn usually hurts after eating, and the above remedies bring relief, while a heart attack is often also accompanied by a lack of breathing and sweating. But there are no clear rules here: there are cases when not all symptoms appear, so it is better to be safe. Doctors say that it is better to come with heartburn, thinking that this is the heart, than not to come with the heart, thinking that this is heartburn.