Sunday, April 5, 2009

Heartburn Has Nothing To Do With The Heart

Many people have experienced heartburn at some point in their lives. You have either had too much to eat or ate something you probably should not have and paid the price with having heartburn. Yet the name is a misnomer. In reality heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It actually is more a problem with your throat or esophagus and the cardiac sphincter which is why many people think of it as being associated with the heart but the only thing it has to do with the heart is the proximity of the pain you experience around the heart area and not the heart itself that is in pain.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning sensation in your throat that is very painful. It is usually in the area of the chest around the heart and can be associated with acid reflux. The pain can start in the chest and spread to the neck and jaw. It can be the cause of a chronic cough or asthma like symptoms. Heartburn symptoms can vary with each person and during each episode. It can be very confusing to some people experiencing heartburn because it can be very similar to other heart related problems and symptoms.

A professional should be consulted if the problem continues or appears to worsen. While the most common heartburn symptom is a burning sensation in the chest there are other symptoms to be aware of such as difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, chronic hoarseness, or a feeling of some food stuck in your throat.

Heartburn Treatment

There are many different types of medications that can alleviate heartburn. The best medicine for heartburn is prevention of it before you even experience an episode. If you know you are prone to having heartburn the best thing to do after eating is to stay upright. Many professionals suggest sitting in a chair, keeping your head raised and not lying down until well after you have digested all your food. A professional may suggest you sleep with your head raised or in a sitting, upright position if you experience persistent heartburn episodes.

The idea is to raise your entire upper body and not just your head. Care should be taken in the size of meals that are eaten as well. It has been found that eating large meals an produce excessive stomach acid which can trigger heartburn. Eating small meal more frequently will reduce the amount of stomach acid produced. You should also keep track of what foods can cause heartburn episodes. Avoiding foods that can trigger heartburn is a great way of preventing an episode from happening.


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