The other day I got a very interesting question from my small nephew. He asked me what happens to people who have heart burns. He asked how they survive after that. I asked him why and he told me that their teacher had told them that the heart is the central organ in a human being which a person cannot live without. According to him, he wanted to know how they survive after their hearts get burnt. This prompted me thinking about the misconception that is usually there with heartburns. I therefore set out to explain everything to him. To avoid such questions or misconceptions in the future, I decided to write this article.
Heartburn is also refereed to as pyrosis. Most people suffer from heartburn. This is an uncomfortable painful feeling of burning or warmth in the lower chest. It is caused by excessive production of gastric acid in the stomach. The feeling can sometime last for hour or a few minutes. It usually occurs after heavy meals. It may also occur as a result of pregnancy, smoking, obesity or because of wearing tight clothes around the waist like tight trousers or skirts. Despite the name heartburn, it does not in any way affect the heart.
The main symptom of a heart burn is the burning feeling in the lower part of the chest and belching. Heartburn is a common health condition. Studies reveal that it affects 30% of adults from time to time and 10% of people suffer from it on a day to day basis. In , it is estimated that 20% of people suffer from heartburn every week.
Sometimes, frequent attacks from heartburns can be a symptom of a more serious health condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). It is also called acid reflux disease. GERD is a condition in which stomach acid regurgitates or flows back into the food pipe (esophagus) sometimes causing an inflammation of the esophagus though this is limited to few individuals. It may also lead to damage to the vocal cords. GERD affects at least an estimated 5% to 7% of the world population.
There are several ways through which heartburns are treated. The most common and efficient treatment is by avoiding what may cause heartburn to you. The following are some few tips that may help you avoid heart burns.
Ensure you have adequate time between your meals and your bed time. Take your meals like 2 hours before going to bed.
Eat high-protein, low-fat meals.
Avoid foods that make you have a heart burn
Avoid wearing tight clothes especially skirts, trousers and tight belts.
Loose weight if you are overweight.
But if you have heart burn, then you may buy antacids. These are drugs that are used to treat acid-related symptoms, like heartburn or indigestion. They neutralize the acid in the stomach. However, they are not recommended to treat the frequent heartburn suffered by people with GERD. In extreme cases, the best and most effective long-term solution is surgery.