Heartburn is one of the words that we often hear associated with several different digestive problems. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between heartburn and a more serious problem.
If you frequently experience chest pain after dinner and want to know exactly what’s causing it, here are all the facts you need to know about heartburn.
Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart
Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (the barrier between your stomach and esophagus) opens too often or too easily, allowing acid from your stomach to come in contact with the delicate lining of your esophagus, causing irritation.
Even though heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, it mimics some of the symptoms of a heart attack. If you have palpitations, sweating or shortness of breath along with chest pain, contact your GP. damn health can advise members on the fastest way to book an appointment with a medical consultant.
Heartburn is often triggered by certain foods
Eating certain types of food is one of the main triggers for heartburn. About 94 percent of sufferers can link their heartburn to eating certain foods, so to avoid the condition as much as possible, you should try to identify your personal triggers and eliminate them from your diet.
Heartburn is worse when lying down or bending over
Many sufferers report that lying down or bending over worsens the pain caused by heartburn. This often means that eating a large meal just before bed can cause severe pain and even prevent people from sleeping at all.
If possible, always eat at least two to three hours before going to bed to avoid aggravating symptoms.
Lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of suffering from heartburn episodes
Although the cause of heartburn is biological, you can reduce the frequency of heartburn episodes by making a few different lifestyle choices. Losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol have all been shown to relieve heartburn. Plus, they’ll help you feel healthier overall!
Heartburn is more common in pregnant women
Thanks to increased nausea and vomiting and surges in hormones, 40-80 percent of pregnant women will suffer from heartburn at some point in their pregnancy.
Persistent heartburn can be a symptom of a more serious problem
Although rare, episodes of mild heartburn are nothing to worry about. However, if you have persistent heartburn, it could be a symptom of something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
If you have any doubts, always check with a healthcare professional.