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Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Almost everyone has experienced the unpleasant sensation following large and fatty meals. The food refuses to digest properly in the stomach. Instead, it rises back up in the upper digestive tract, resulting in a very uncomfortable burning sensation in the throat and chest. The popular term for this phenomenon is Heartburn or Acid Reflux. According to recent research in the field, almost every person in the world suffers or will suffer from acid reflux at some point in their lives, with one in every two worldwide experiencing occasional episodes, and one in every three experiencing chronic acid reflux. According to the World Health Organization, the main cause of acid reflux is the Helicobacter pylori bacterium found in about 78 percent of the population. While it may not be the overwhelming majority of cases in life-threatening medical conditions, acid reflux is certainly something that causes real discomfort and sometimes may indicate a larger underlying problem that should be addressed. Fortunately, there are solutions to acid reflux, both short-term and long-term, that allow overcoming the burning sensation and feeling much better.

Almost every person in the world suffers or will suffer from acid reflux, or heartburn at some point in their lives
Almost every person in the world suffers or will suffer from acid reflux, or heartburn at some point in their lives

What is Heartburn and what is the feeling associated with it?

Heartburn is a burning and discomfort sensation in the chest and throat, which can be temporary or persistent and is usually caused by high and unbalanced acidity levels in the stomach.

The digestive juices found within the human stomach are actually a certain type of acid whose purpose is to break down and digest the food that reaches it. In cases of heartburn, these digestive juices, along with undigested food, rise back up through the upper part of the digestive system, namely the esophagus, which is essentially our food pipe. This is what causes heartburn and it manifests as a sensation of burning and sharp discomfort in the throat and chest, which may persist for several hours after each meal.

Recurring heartburn versus a one-time sensation

For many, heartburn is a one-time occurrence that usually happens after a large and particularly fatty meal, eating late at night, or lying down shortly after a big meal. In such cases, there's usually no need for special treatment, and certainly no need to panic if it happens occasionally, especially if it occurs infrequently and especially if it happens after consuming food you're not accustomed to. On the other hand, if you experience heartburn regularly, even after eating small amounts of non-problematic foods, you may be suffering from a chronic condition. Recurrent heartburn can be caused by several factors, which we will discuss in detail later in the blog post.

Is heartburn always due to reflux?

A common reason for heartburn is reflux,
A common reason for heartburn is reflux,

Indeed, one of the more common reasons for heartburn is reflux, a condition that causes the acidic contents within the stomach to rise back into the esophagus. However, this is not the sole reason for this problem, and several other medical conditions may manifest as the unpleasant sensation of heartburn:

Functional Dyspepsia - Functional dyspepsia is essentially a collection of sensations and symptoms of discomfort and pain related to the digestive system, which are not explained by any specific disease. The various symptoms of functional dyspepsia may include upper abdominal pain, early satiety during meals, as well as a feeling of fullness in the chest and esophagus, and burning sensations.

Esophageal Hypersensitivity - There are situations where the esophagus itself is the problem and the cause of heartburn when it is weakened and sensitive to certain foods beyond normal. This condition results in the return of stomach acids and the sensation of burning, which is effectively heartburn.

Ulcer - Also known as a peptic or gastric ulcer. An ulcer is a lesion that affects the stomach and the duodenum. We expand on this in a dedicated article that you are invited to read in the following link.

Hiatal Hernia - Anatomically, the diaphragm is a group of muscles that essentially separate the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. When the ligaments and muscles in the diaphragm weaken, a situation may occur where part of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity, which is essentially the hiatal hernia. This condition may manifest in various symptoms such as regurgitation, rapid and early satiety, upper abdominal pain, and the most common of them - the return of stomach contents into the upper esophagus, resulting in heartburn. In some cases, there may be no symptoms of a hiatal hernia at all.

Other causes of heartburn?

In addition to these specific situations that may cause heartburn, many other reasons may lead to heartburn. Sometimes it takes a while until these factors are fully diagnosed, and usually during a doctor's visit, they will try to rule out several causes to reach an accurate diagnosis. Here are some more common reasons for heartburn:

Morning heartburn following nighttime eating or prolonged lying down -

Late-night meals might cause morning heartburn
Late-night meals might cause morning heartburn

Morning heartburn is a relatively common occurrence that happens in situations of eating, hefty and late-night meals when the food is not properly digested, or after prolonged lying down, a situation that doesn't allow for ideal food digestion.

Heartburn due to excess weight - Although the exact connection between the two is still not entirely clear, it is found that excess weight and heartburn often go hand in hand. One hypothesis is that excess weight puts pressure on the junction between the stomach and esophagus, leading to a rapid increase in stomach content above the digestive system.

Heartburn during pregnancy - The development of the fetus in the uterus in pregnant women also puts pressure on the digestive system in general, and specifically on the diaphragm and the junction point between the esophagus and stomach, which may manifest in heartburn. Heartburn during pregnancy can be treated by lying on an elevated cushion, drinking herbal tea, and eating small, frequent meals.

Heartburn after meals or due to a fatty diet - Fatty food is digested much slower than other types of food, creating a heavy load on the stomach. This condition may manifest in the weakening of the muscle between the stomach and esophagus, regurgitation of stomach contents, and heartburn. It usually occurs after a large and heavy meal, especially of fatty foods.

Heartburn caused by alcohol, smoking, or caffeine - Alcohol is not easily digested on one hand, and on the other hand, it increases acidity levels in the stomach, as does caffeine found in coffee, black tea, and various carbonated drinks. Nicotine and various chemicals in cigarettes, as well as alcohol, directly cause heartburn by weakening the muscles of the stomach.

Heartburn developing with age - Although heartburn is a phenomenon that can occur at any age, even in children, in later ages, especially from the age of 40 and above, the prevalence of the phenomenon significantly increases and often worsens over time.

What can be done to treat heartburn? All methods of treatment for heartburn

Firstly, it's important to note that if you're experiencing recurrent and changing heartburn, it's crucial to consult with your doctor as soon as possible to rule out more serious underlying issues causing the heartburn. Additionally, chest pains may indicate other problems such as a heart attack, and not necessarily just symptoms of heartburn, so it's advisable to consult with a physician in any case. Recurring heartburn can serve as a red flag, signaling the need for the body to change and improve its lifestyle in several aspects. There are several ways to independently manage recurrent and changing heartburn, as well as those appearing periodically.

lifestyle change

Certain patterns in lifestyle and eating habits, such as those that contribute to heartburn: It is advisable to avoid eating late at night, consume smaller meals throughout the day in an organized manner, and refrain as much as possible from fatty and heavy foods that are difficult for the body to digest. Avoiding sugary foods, fried foods, and oily foods is also recommended. Additionally, if you smoke, it is highly advisable to quit immediately and to limit alcohol consumption as much as possible, while significantly reducing your daily caffeine intake.

Heartburn drug treatment

There are medications for heartburn that may help, but those who take them need to know that there may be unpleasant side effects. For example, Losec, a medication aimed at inhibiting the production of vital digestive acids, may cause side effects such as severe diarrhea, vomiting, or respiratory tract inflammation. Omepradex, which works similarly, may induce nausea, abdominal pain, and even lung inflammation.

Drug treatment for heartburn - effects and side effects

Common drugs might cause side effects
Common drugs might cause side effects

Treatment for heartburn is broadly divided into two types. The first is preventive treatment, medications usually taken before meals, and the second is treatment for existing heartburn, often involving over-the-counter medications. While these medications may assist in certain cases, they often pose significant challenges as they can cause unpleasant side effects. Heartburn medications typically work by reducing acid secretion in the stomach juices. While this can help alleviate heartburn and regurgitation, it often transfers the issue elsewhere in the digestive system. Common side effects of these medications such as Lansoprazole, Nexium, Famotidine, Zantac, and others include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. In more severe cases, side effects such as hair loss, numbness in the hands and feet, vomiting, increased risk of cancer, kidney failure, decreased bone density, depression, and more have been observed.

On the other hand, tablets aimed at treating heartburn by lowering acidity levels in the gut after heartburn occurs may cause headaches and constipation, and in more severe cases, nausea, vomiting, and kidney stone formation. Due to these reasons, natural treatments for heartburn have gained momentum in recent years, as they provide an excellent solution to the problem without exposing users to severe and unwanted side effects.

Natural treatment for heartburn

The significant benefit of natural remedies for heartburn lies in their precise and targeted approach to addressing all the underlying causes of heartburn using natural ingredients. Additionally, premium supplements like Helico Bacstop are free from sugar, lactose, gluten, and common allergens like soy, ensuring they are safe for all users. What ingredients can you expect to find in natural capsules? Take bamboo fibers, for instance, which are packed with antioxidants, potassium, fiber, essential acids, and numerous other elements beneficial for digestive health. Lactobacillus Reuteri, an outstanding probiotic bacterium naturally occurring in the human digestive system, is sometimes found in insufficient quantities, among others. Natural treatments represent a synergistic blend of natural elements that support food digestion, alongside probiotic bacteria whose primary role is to naturally aid the digestive system in functioning optimally. Helico Bacstop aims to treat H. Pylpri bacteria - It contains active ingredients that make it

highly effective against heartburn as well:

  • Lactobacillus Reuteri Pylopass

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus

  • Fibrulin

  • Bifidobacterium Breve

  • Bifidobacterium Bifidum

  • Lactobacillus Rhamnosus

  • Lactobacillus Plantarum

  • Lactobacillus Casei

  • Bifidobacterium Bulgaricus

  • Lactococcus Lactis

  • Salivarius

  •

Grandma's remedy for heartburn: Natural methods against heartburn?

Due to the existence of heartburn since ancient times, there are many grandmother's remedies, some more effective than others for preventing and treating heartburn. Examples of such remedies include plain sesame seeds, high-fat milk, cucumber, plain almonds, licorice, baking soda, and so on. While some grandmother's remedies do indeed help with heartburn, there are others whose effectiveness is not proven and some that only exacerbate heartburn and other digestive issues. For example, when consumed in large quantities, baking soda may lead to an unhealthy excess of calcium in the body.

However, in grandmother's remedies that do help, there are good ingredients that can truly assist some people. These beneficial ingredients are the ones you can find in natural treatments for heartburn. The advantage of natural treatment for the problem is that it contains only the important nutritional components and the most effective probiotic bacteria found in such grandmother's remedies. Thus, those suffering from heartburn enjoy all the health benefits of natural substances alone and a natural and healthy solution to the problem.

Heartburn is a bothersome phenomenon that causes discomfort among men and women worldwide.

Today, there is no need to suffer from heartburn - There are excellent natural solutions, such as Helico-Bacstop, free of side effects, which will help you relieve the heartburn, and prevent complications and discomfort.


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