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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Heartburn? Follow Natural Remedies

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a symptom that rarely has anything to do with your heart. It occurs when you feel a burning sensation in your chest that is often accompanied by a bitter taste in your throat or mouth. Symptoms of heartburn may get worse after you eat a large meal or when you are lying down. In general, the symptoms of heartburn can be treated successfully at home. However, if frequent heartburn makes it difficult to eat or swallow, your symptoms may be a sign of a more serious medical condition.


What Causes Heartburn?

Heartburn typically occurs when contents from the stomach back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that carries food and fluids from the mouth into the stomach. Your esophagus connects to your stomach at a juncture known as the cardiac sphincter. If the cardiac sphincter is functioning properly, it closes when food leaves the esophagus and enters the stomach.

In some people the cardiac sphincter does not function properly or it becomes weakened. This leads to contents from the stomach leaking back into the esophagus. Stomach acids can irritate the esophagus and cause symptoms of heartburn. This condition is known as reflux.

Symptoms of heartburn can be made worse by other health conditions or lifestyle choices including:

·         Smoking
·         being overweight or obese
·         consuming caffeine or alcohol
·         eating spicy foods
·         lying down immediately after eating
·         talking aspirin or ibuprofen
·         taking certain medications

When Should You Call Your doctor?

Many people occasionally experience heartburn. However, if you experience frequent heartburn (more than twice a week) or heartburn that does not improve with treatment, you should contact your doctor, as this could be a sign of a more serious condition.
Heartburn is often associated with other gastrointestinal conditions, such as ulcers (sores in the lining of the esophagus and stomach) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Contact your doctor if you have heartburn and develop any of the following symptoms:

·         Difficulty swallowing
·         pain when swallowing
·         bloody stools
·         shortness of breath
·         pain that radiates from your back to your shoulder
·         feeling dizzy or light-headed
·         sweating while having chest pain
Heartburn is not associated with a heart attack. However, many people that have heartburn believe that they are having a heart attack. You may be having a heart attack if you have the following symptoms:

·         severe or crushing chest pain
·         difficulty breathing
·         jaw or arm pain

How Can the Symptoms of Heartburn Be Treated?

If you experience occasional heartburn, there are several home remedies and lifestyle changes that can help alleviate your symptoms. Lifestyle changes or modifications can help reduce your symptoms and include:

·         Take 4-5 small meals at regular intervals. 
·         Avoid fasting. Avoid overeating 
·         Avoid lying down after meals for at least 1/2 – 1 hour.
·         Take dinner at least 2 hours before retiring to bed.
·         Stop smoking. Avoid alcohol.
·         Avoid fizzy drinks like cola and edibles containing baking soda
·         Avoid excessively fatty and spicy food
·         Maintain a healthy body weight.
·         Limit fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, caffeine, and other irritating foods.
·         Maintain good posture, especially while seated.
·         Avoid working out, bending, or stooping on a full stomach.

What Are the Complications of Heartburn?

Occasional heartburn is typically not a cause for concern. However, if you get this symptom frequently, you may have a serious health problem that requires treatment. If you do not get treatment for your heartburn you may develop additional health problems such as an inflammation of the esophagus.

Dr. Sunit Shukla is an established consultant in this field. You can know more about him on:
To book an appointment with our consultant, you may call on 022 67676767 or

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