Usually, heartburn feels like a burning sensation in the center of your chest, behind the breastbone. Typically, this happens when you lay down, bend over, or after eating. It can last from a few minutes to several hours and may be accompanied by a sour taste in your mouth. You may also experience burning at the back of your throat and even fluid at the back of your throat. The pain can also be felt when you exercise on a full stomach. Burping or bloating may be worse. And you can sometimes feel like food is ‘sticking’ in your throat.
It is caused by the digestive acid moving from your stomach into the tube – the esophagus – that carries the food to the stomach. The sphincter muscle at the lower end of the esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, permitting the stomach acid to back up. If something you ate produced too much acid in the stomach, then you may get an occasional bout of heartburn.
Consistent and frequent acid reflux is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Potentially this is a serious condition, and it will not abate on its own. Untreated, the condition can lead to inflammation and cancer. Possibly the patient may have a hiatal hernia which increases the risk for GERD.
Heartburn is a symptom, not a disease and has nothing to do with the heart. Indigestion and heartburn are not the same thing, even though they have similar symptoms. Indigestion is caused by foods irritating the stomach lining and heartburn is the result of acid reflux.
- Taking antacids, such as Quick-eze, is the quickest relief. An over-the counter medication, Quick-eze helps neutralise stomach acid.
- Eat cautiously and slowly. Allow the stomach acid to process the food.
- Avoid soft drinks.
- Don’t lay down immediately after eating.
- Sleep on an inclined position.
- If you smoke – quit.
- Monitor what foods can trigger an attack such as spicy foods, chocolate, alcohol or coffee.
- Refrain from consuming food at least 3 hours prior to bedtime.
- Recently I obtained a prescription from my Dr for Sozol. I took this tablet every day for a month and went from daily heartburn issues to never having one single bout of heartburn. Since discontinuing the medication, the acid reflux has been less. Remember though that our bodies mechanism and metabolisms are all different and what may work for one patient may not necessarily work for another.