Heartburn involves the regurgitation of stomach acid into the throat that can cause discomfort. Whether the individual is diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or infrequently experience symptoms of heartburn after consuming spicy foods, it can be unpleasant.
Symptoms of heartburn
- Burning sensation in the throat and chest
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
- Frequent burping
There are several relief measures to deal with the symptoms of heartburn. Just remember to consult a doctor if the heartburn occurs regularly. Lifestyle changes and prescription medications can help manage the condition as well as prevent episodes of heartburn.
The individual must be comfortable as possible when the burning sensation strikes. Remember that heartburn tends to intensify when pressure is applied on the stomach since this will cause the stomach acid to flow back and weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a muscle at the base of the esophagus that allows food and drink to travel to the stomach. Normally, this muscle closes tightly to keep the stomach acid in place. When it is weakened, it can open up or loosen, thus allowing the acids to reflux to the upper part of the digestive tract. If you want to learn more about these measures, all you have to do is to register for first aid training today.
This can be prevented with the following measures to be observed after a meal:
- Loosen or remove tight belts
- Avoid wearing tight-fitting skirts or pants
- Wear comfortable, flowing tops that do not constrict the abdomen
Take note that relief will not occur immediately and other additional steps must be taken. Nevertheless, the removal of the external pressure from the stomach can help.
The individual must avoid reclining after eating since it increases the risk of acid reflux that leads to heartburn. It is best to stay upright for at least 3 hours after meals to prevent the symptoms. The individual should be conscious of his/her position when indications of heartburn manifest such as scratchy or burning throat.
Try to sit straight or stand after a heavy meal. By correcting the posture early, it can help prevent the symptoms. In addition, you can adjust the timing of the meals or bedtime if late-night heartburn occurs.
A piece of chewing gum can help once the indicative sour and acidic taste of heartburn occurs in the mouth. In a study conducted, chewing gum will stimulate salivation and can also increase the concentration of salivary bicarbonate. A high concentration of the substance in the body can minimize or prevent the symptoms of acid reflux.
It is important to note that stress can increase chronic heartburn or trigger symptoms among those who do not usually experience GI problems. Reducing the level of stress can also relieve heartburn among those who suffer from mild cases of acid reflux.
Quick relief for heartburn can be provided by over-the-counter antacids. These medications are available in liquid or chewable tablet and works by neutralizing the stomach acids by coating the stomach with calcium, magnesium, aluminum, bicarbonate or hydroxide.
A doctor must be consulted first before using an over-the-counter antacid if he/she currently takes prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to prevent undesirable drug interactions.