Heartburn causes a lot of discomfort to those who experience it. It occurs when your stomach acid travels back up into the esophagus, thus causing an irritating and burning sensation. Apart from a burning sensation, one would most likely experience chest pain since the fluid tends to linger in the esophagus. The symptoms of heartburn may last for a long time.
Before we can go on to understand heartburn signs and symptoms, here are a few facts:
Acid reflux is a primary indicator of heartburn which leads to a burning feeling in your chest. This is one of the prominent heartburn symptoms. Acid reflux normally occurs after the consumption of certain foods or drinking certain beverages which did not get ingested properly into the system.
Heartburn signs and symptoms generally include difficulty in swallowing, chronic cough, pain in the upper abdomen, sore throat, the regurgitation of anything you just ate or drank (which is the acid being thrown up into the esophagus with stomach fluid), or even persistent laryngitis. It is important to understand what causes a heartburn in order to diagnose it correctly and on time:
A valve, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), located below the rib cage keeps the stomach acid from being sent up the esophagus, leaving gravity to deal with the rest of it. The LES mainly functions to open the tube to allow food to be ingested into the stomach or allowing you to belch. It closes both times automatically. The only reason stomach acid tends to seep into the esophagus or gets thrown up due to some reason is the improper functioning of the LES. The causes of LES malfunction can be anything from obesity, pregnancy, constipation, or anything that tends to put too much pressure on your stomach forcing the valve to open.
Here is a list of symptoms of heartburn:
– One of the most glaring symptoms of heartburn is caused due to acid reflux. Leaving this condition untreated for a long time can lead to what is known as Barrett’s esophagus; this condition results in an abnormal change in the proteins of cells in the lower esophagus. This is often considered as a precursor to developing cancer. Among all the heartburn signs & symptoms, acid reflux is the most disturbing condition which should never be left untreated.
– Another prominent symptom of heartburn is chest pain, which is often also confused with what could be a mild heart attack or other heart disorder. It is imperative to seek medical consultation for prolonged and persistent chest pain.
– Acid reflux can cause a number of discomforts, but the symptoms are worsened while resting. It is only logical that one should not lie down while experiencing such discomforts. Stomach acid is kept down due to gravity, but while lying down, due to a faulty LES sphincter, chances of this acid going up the esophageal tube will increase thereby leading to acid reflux.
– Another sign of heartburn would be that you can experience a bitter taste at the back of your throat due to the stomach acid being thrown up, which can also result in choking under certain extreme cases. Medical consultation is necessary to diagnose and prescribe certain acid supposing medications, of course under the careful supervision and dosage instructions prescribed by your doctor. Heartburn signs & symptoms can be mild or severe, but it should not be taken lightly at all.
– A chronic cough and asthma are also some of the symptoms of persistent or severe heartburn. Since stomach acid gets goes up the esophagus during a reflex, chances are some of it may enter your lungs through the airway and cause wheezing. The amount of acid present in your esophagus may be a cause for concern, which is among the major signs & symptoms of heartburn.
Foods which can help reduce acid reflux and heartburn:
– Green vegetable like beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and cucumbers, among others.
– Ginger is rich in anti-inflammatory properties which is good to help reduce heartburn signs & symptoms
Oatmeal being an excellent source of fiber can help absorb the acid in the stomach to keep the levels in check. Whole grain bread and rice are also a great option when it comes to substitutes.
– Fruits like melons, banana, apples, and pears are foods which do not have a lot of citrus in them thereby reducing the chances of acid reflux.