Suffering from heartburn can be extremely uncomfortable and hard to live with. Many people suffer from the occasional bout of heartburn after eating something that did not settle well with them, however there are many people who suffer with chronic heartburn after eating just about anything. Whether it is the occasional case of heartburn or more frequent heartburn it is important to know what the symptoms are so you are not mistaking heartburn for another medical condition.
Symptoms of heartburn are usually caused by acid reflux. This is not always the case however acid reflux can cause many painful symptoms. The reason that heartburn got its name is because at times it may feel as if there is a burning sensation up around the heart. This symptom can be very confusing for someone who has never experienced it before. Heartburn can mimic the same feeling as a heart attack so if have any suspicion that you may be suffering from a heart attack you should seek medical help immediately.
Heartburn symptoms usually begin shortly after eating and can last anywhere from minutes to hours. Lying down or leaning forward after eating a meal can make the sensation worse and food may actually rise up the esophagus and into the throat. Pressure, burning and discomfort are all caused by acid coming back up the esophagus and causing pain. A sour or acidic taste may linger in the back of the throat during the times in which heartburn is occurring. Feeling like there is food caught in the throat or chest and having a difficult time swallowing can also be a result of heartburn.
If you have some or all of these symptoms along with the chest pain, chances are you are experiencing the classic symptoms of heartburn. However if your chest pain is accompanied with dizziness, pain in the neck, shoulder or arms, or a cold sweat, you may be suffering from a heart attack.
Although heartburn can occur often, most of the time it can be related to eating something spicy or greasy. For those who suffer from acid reflux eating certain types of food can bring on a big case of heartburn and indigestion. Foods that are spicy or acidic are really big triggers for heartburn. Foods that are high in fat, greasy or fried also take much longer to digest therefore have a tendency to cause heartburn. Other foods to avoid include chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, garlic, onions, peppermint and fruit juices.
If changing your diet does not do the trick in alleviating your heartburn then taking some over –the –counter medications or prescription medications may be necessary. There are several types of medications that you can purchase at your local pharmacy that can control heartburn symptoms. If you cannot find any relief with the over –the –counter medications then talking to your doctor about your severe case of heartburn is a good idea. Your doctor may prescribe you with a stronger medication that can help your food digest quicker or help to lessen the amount of stomach acid your body is producing.
Along with changing your diet and trying different heartburn medications, you should also avoid smoking since those who smoke tend to suffer from more acid reflux problems. Smoking weakens the esophagus muscle allowing food to flow back up and out of the stomach. Also avoid lying down for at least two hours after eating meal. Give your food time to digest before attempting to go to bed for the evening. Try to lessen the amount of stress in your life as well since stress can upset the stomach and cause even more digestion problems.
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