The Causes of Heartburn and How to Overcome It

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The Causes of Heartburn and How to Overcome It
The Causes of Heartburn and How to Overcome It

Heartburn is a burning and burning sensation in the chest. This condition is normal and common. However, if it occurs repeatedly to interfere with daily activities, heartburn requires more serious treatment

Heartburn or what is familiarly called heartburn usually occurs in the middle of the chest or just above the stomach. This discomfort is often accompanied by a bitter and sour taste in the mouth. Symptoms of heartburn may become worse immediately after a large meal or when lying down.

Causes of Heartburn and How to Overcome It - Alodokter

Heartburn Cause

Heartburn occurs when the ring-shaped muscle (sphincter) which is the valve between the esophagus and stomach cannot tighten or close normally. Supposedly, this muscle ring can contract after food from the esophagus enters the stomach.

If the sphincter muscle is weak, food that has been mixed with stomach acid can return to the esophagus. This rising stomach acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause a burning pain in the chest.

Heartburn can be triggered by several things, including:

  • Eating in excess of stomach capacity
  • Pressure on the stomach, usually due to pregnancy, obesity, or constipation
  • Eating spicy food
  • Consuming caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, or alcohol
  • Lie down immediately after eating
  • Take certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Smoking
  • Stress and lack of sleep

Not only that, heartburn can also be the result of a hiatal hernia, which is a condition when the upper part of the stomach enters the chest cavity.

How to Prevent and Overcome Heartburn

If heartburn only occurs occasionally, there are some easy ways you can do to prevent or relieve the symptoms, namely:

  • Maintaining a he althy weight
  • Avoiding foods or drinks that can cause heartburn symptoms, such as carbonated drinks, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and fried foods
  • Take over-the-counter medications to treat stomach acid before eating, such as antacids
  • Consuming steeped ginger, because this drink is known to accelerate gastric emptying
  • Avoid late night snacking and large meals, at least 4 hours before bedtime
  • Adjust your chest and head to be about 10–20 cm higher than your waist when you sleep, so stomach acid doesn't go up into your esophagus
  • Eat small portions but often to prevent food buildup in the stomach

If heartburn occurs frequently and interferes with activities and rest, this condition is considered a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD is a condition that needs to be treated with medication from a doctor, even with surgery if it is severe. If not treated properly, GERD can cause inflammation, injury, and bleeding in the esophagus, and can even increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Heartburn is a fairly common complaint and not necessarily dangerous. However, if these symptoms occur more than 2 times a week, do not improve with over-the-counter medications, or cause difficulty swallowing, nausea, and vomiting, consult a doctor immediately for treatment.

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