Heartburn is a burning pain or discomfort in the upper chest and mid-chest, around the neck and throat.
Heartburn is common and should not be a cause for alarm. Many people get better on their own or with the use of over the counter medications.
It will most likely not interfere with your daily activities, but that depends on the body and the condition of the heart.
Symptoms of heartburn include;
1. Pain that increases or worsens when you bend over or when lying down.
2. Acidic taste in your mouth.
3. Burning sensation in the chest, most times at night.
Although heartburn is not a serious health condition, you should see the doctor if you experience it more than twice in a week.
You should also see a doctor if you are not relieved after taking medications and if you have recurring nausea and vomiting. This could be a sign of an underlying illness.
Heartburn occurs when stomach acids get into the oesophagus through the tube in which food is being transferred to the stomach.
Some foods that trigger heartburn:
• Spicy foods
Spicy foods contain a compound called capsaicin which can slow the rate of digestion. When food sits in the stomach for long, it may cause heartburn.
Tomato contains acids, including ketchup/marinara sauce etc. Too much of this acid can cause it to splash back into your oesophagus.
Chocolate is a high fat food. This can relax the lower oesophagal sphincter and may cause acid to escape into the oesophagus.
• Fatty/Fried Foods
Greasy foods prevent the lower oesophagal sphincter from fully tightening. It creates an opening for stomach acids to flow upward.
• Citrus foods
Oranges, lemons, pineapples, limes and any citrus fruit can trigger heartburn symptoms.
• Carbonated/Caffeinated Beverages
Some people get heartburn after taking coffee and any other beverage that contains caffeine. Other beverages, like tea, can also trigger heartburn.
A patient who suffers from GERD may experience heartburn after taking alcohol.