When the chest feels hot, warm or there is pain that begins underneath the breastbone and travels up into the throat, this is known as heartburn. This is also referred to as indigestion. This can lead to sore stomach, or vomiting. This is not actually something that is caused by your heart, though many times people feel as though they are having a problem with their heart when they have heartburn.
When a person has heartburn, they may have issues with burping, swallowing, bloating or nausea. These issues can last up to two hours or longer. Due to the heartburn, the person may have a hard time with sleeping, may cough, have asthma, choking or even wheezing episodes. Heartburn is often made worse if eating big meals, lying down or bending over. In most cases, once a person stands, they feel better. Heartburn is something that most people have had trouble with, and will continue to have on and off throughout their lives. Especially for women who become pregnant, as the growing uterus puts more pressure on the stomach.
When the juices from the stomach and food back up into the esophagus, heartburn occurs. The causes of this include:
- The valve between the stomach and the esophagus is not working properly
- Certain foods can lead to heartburn happening such as peppermint, chocolate, fatty foods, fried foods, coffee, alcohol and carbonated drinks.
- Pressure from over eating, obesity, tight clothing, strained bowel movements, pregnant, and exercise
- Smoking and the use of tobacco products
- Medications such as ibuprofen, prednisone, potassium, antihistamines and sleeping pills can cause this issue
- Having a hiatal hernia can cause this as it causes the muscles to separate between the lungs and the abdomen
- Stress can lead to the stomach acid becoming more pronounced and for the stomach to empty slower
How heartburn is treated is going to depend on how severe this is. Many people find that using at home treatments and over the counter medications can help with mild to moderate heartburn. If heartburn becomes more frequent or at home measures are not helping with heartburn, then they may want to visit a doctor.
Relax and consume your food gradually.
As an alternative to eating a lot at once, which can increase acid reflux, consume enough only until you’re full (compared to eating until you are overly full). Be certain to be seated and take your time while eating a meal; try to actually taste and relish each mouthful.