Heartburn is painful and is known as gastroesophageal reflux, a digestive disorder. It occurs when the valve in the esophagus becomes weak or does not work properly. This disorder allows acid to flow into the esophagus from the stomach.
It is considered a disease and can have symptoms such as stomach pain, belching, nausea, and bloating. If these symptoms are accompanied by cold sweats, nausea, tightness in the chest, chest pain, pain radiating to the jaw, neck, and arm; seek emergency care immediately.
Richard Leigh, MD, a retired physician from Fort Collins, Colorado, says that while antacids make your stomach feel better, they’re not healthy. Taking antacids could interfere with the natural digestive process. They could destroy your ability to absorb nutrients. Over-the-counter antacids contain excess sodium, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium. Over a period of time this could cause a mineral imbalance.
The symptoms of too little or too much acid are the same. In fact, in many cases the stomach does not generate enough acids to digest food properly. Before you take an antacid, find out what it is. Dr. Leigh recommends additional hydrochloric acid (the substance needed to break down proteins into amino acids) such as Gas-X Extra Strength before meals. If the problem is too little acid, you will get immediate relief.
If you feel a slight burning sensation, then the problem is too acidic. Drink a glass of milk or a cup of water mixed with 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda to stop the burning sensation.
James Balch, MD, physician at Trophy Club Texas recommends drinking a cup of aloe gel for excess acid and instant relief. The gel helps in the protection and healing of the esophagus. Be sure to buy aloe for internal use.
It would be great not to have heartburn. Here are some preventions.
*Avoid fatty foods; they cause acid to enter the esophagus by weakening the esophageal valve.
*Avoid eating large meals because this will encourage the body to produce more acids.
*Avoid eating four hours before bedtime. Lying down after eating allows acid to flow back into the esophagus.
*Avoid carbonated drinks (colas and beer), tomatoes and citrus fruits. These foods can cause the stomach to produce more acid.
*Spicy foods are another reason why the stomach produces extra acid.
*An ingredient in chocolate is a trigger to produce acid.
* Tight clothing can worsen heartburn (belt, support stockings and pants).
*Avoid spearmint and peppermint after meals, as they can loosen the esophageal valve.
*Being 10 to 20 percent overweight can cause heartburn.
*Smoking can weaken the esophageal muscle.
There are other reasons that can cause heartburn, such as taking aspirin and ibuprofen. Diseases like cancer can cause excess acid and eating processed foods.
Keep in mind that the symptoms of angina and heart attack sometimes mimic those of heartburn. If symptoms persist without relief, get emergency medical help.