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Heartburn is a symptom related to the gastrointestinal tract with manifestations such as burning in the throat, chest and stomach, causing discomfort and leading to loss of confidence in communication and activities. So let’s find out with Cfis.edu.vn what heartburn is and what to do when you have heartburn to quickly relieve discomfort.
What is heartburn?
According to Associate Professor, Doctor, Doctor Nguyen Thuy Oanh – Vinmec Central Park International General Hospital, heartburn is a burning condition in the breastbone area, chest caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. This symptom can cause pain when the patient lies or bends the body. After heartburn, the patient may experience a bitter or sour taste in the mouth.
This is a phenomenon that can happen to people of all ages. However, this is not a disease but just a symptom that your digestive system is having a problem.
Causes of heartburn
Caused by eating and living habits
- Overeating, fatty foods: This habit causes the digestion of food to slow down, food stagnates in the stomach for a long time, producing gas, thereby causing pressure. When there is pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, gas and stomach acid are pushed from the esophagus – throat causing heartburn.
- Eating foods that cause heartburn: These are foods that are too acidic, spicy, hot, alcoholic or carbonated drinks, mint tea, strong tea, caffeinated beverages, fishy, cold or too sweet foods, … This food group will stimulate the stomach to increase acid secretion, pushing excess acid from the stomach to the esophagus causing heartburn and indigestion.
- Improper exercise: Exercises such as weightlifting, sit-ups, banana tree planting or running too hard, etc. cause pressure on the abdomen and chest. When the pressure on the stomach will cause stomach acid to back up into the esophagus causing heartburn.
- Use of drugs: Some drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs of the NSAID group, Glucocorticoids can cause the protective mucus layer of the stomach to thin, in which case the acid can come into contact with the stomach lining. This can cause the stomach to contract disorderly, pushing food and acid back up the esophagus causing coughing and heartburn.
Causes of diseases
- Gastric ulcer: This is a disease that makes the digestive process more difficult, abnormal acid secretion increases, and stomach contractions are disturbed. At this time, gastric juice is refluxed, causing heartburn, nausea, indigestion, …
- Gastroesophageal reflux: Appears due to 3 causes: Abnormal increase in gastric acid secretion, contractility disorder of gastric motility and functional impairment of lower esophageal sphincter. Patients have a burning sensation because acid and digestive enzymes in the stomach back up, which will erode the lining of the esophagus. Accompanied by symptoms of belching, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, chest tightness, pain spreading to the back.
- Stomach cancer: A disease that causes impaired digestive function, nausea and vomiting, heartburn, heartburn, bitter mouth, …
- Gallstones: When the secretion of bile does not meet the body’s needs, the amount of fat and excess food cannot be fully digested, causing the patient to have reflux, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, …
- Heart attack: The nerve impulses of heart attack patients are often very sensitive. Disturbance of contractions in the stomach and push back gastric acid up the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Causes of pregnancy
- Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, increased levels of the hormone progesterone slow down the stomach’s digestive contractions and decrease the muscle tone of the lower esophageal sphincter. These two things cause food to stagnate for a long time in the stomach, produce gas, and escape into the mouth causing heartburn.
- Fetal development: In the last months of pregnancy, the fetus has grown, putting pressure on internal organs. This compression causes the stomach to be raised, gastric acid back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Some remedies for heartburn
When experiencing heartburn, the patient should adjust the amount of food, divide meals, avoid overeating. You should only eat about 60% of the food and eat more snacks. Such a small meal will help reduce pressure during digestion in the stomach, limit gastric reflux and heartburn or indigestion.
In addition, the patient also needs to eat on time and should not eat dinner too late. The habit of eating at the right time will give the stomach a stable circadian rhythm, avoiding abnormal gastric acid secretion. And don’t forget to avoid late-night meals, because this habit is easy to digest, produce gas, increase acid secretion, cause indigestion, heartburn.
Avoid psychological stress
The state of pressure, stress has a negative impact on the digestive system, not only causing heartburn but also many other diseases such as indigestion, peptic ulcer, gastric perforation, diarrhea, dry mouth, boredom. eat, … So you should pay attention to the balance of life, work, and rest in moderation.
Periodic health examination
Heartburn is a condition with many causes, so to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of heartburn and have the right treatment for you, it’s important to have regular checkups. Patients need to adhere to the treatment regimen of the doctor, take the medicine according to the prescription and do not arbitrarily buy, use the drug or change the dose, the time of taking the medicine without the doctor’s prescription.
Note in eating habits to reduce heartburn
Add more bananas : Because ripe bananas contain less acid, it will not affect the physiological acid in the stomach. In addition, bananas can also create a thin layer of mucus on the lining of the esophagus, which will avoid the effect of stomach acid reflux.
Chew gum: Helps increase saliva production. Because saliva is alkaline, it helps to neutralize stomach acid, reducing heartburn and burning episodes.
Eat alkaline vegetables: Like broccoli, celery, asparagus, … helps neutralize the amount of acid in the stomach. At the same time, the fiber in vegetables also helps to improve digestive function.
Use aloe vera tea or grind aloe vera with honey: These are drinks that help reduce burning, control heartburn caused by reflux.
- Avoid foods that cause heartburn such as sour, spicy, hot, greasy foods, drinks containing caffeine, alcohol, gas, too sweet, etc.
- Elevating your head or sleeping on your left side also helps relieve heartburn.
- Practice breathing: When you have heartburn, you should breathe deeply and slowly. You can practice deep breathing for 30 minutes a day to help reduce the amount of acid refluxing from the stomach into the esophagus.
For pregnant women, if heartburn is accompanied by other abdominal pain symptoms, you should immediately refer to stomach pain tips for pregnant women to overcome the above situation quickly and effectively.
Heartburn is not a disease, but it can be a sign of many related dangerous diseases. Therefore, you should pay attention to the occurrence of heartburn and burning episodes, then check your health soon for appropriate treatment solutions.
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