The party table sags, the delicacy continues, then the upper abdomen starts to burn – recognize the heartburn that becomes dangerous


A fire in the chest is not necessarily a sign of falling in love. Quite often it is heartburn.

Heartburn – like other intestinal pain – is usually recognized by the fact that it cannot be pointed with a finger. The pain or burn only feels somewhere. The burn may be more on the abdomen, near the heart or even in the throat.

About one in ten suffers from heartburn every week, occasionally even more. Because the ailment is so common and usually harmless, it can be difficult to know when it requires treatment and when it doesn’t.

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The general advice is that if heartburn is occasional and can be treated with self-medication, there is no need to worry.

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Sour at the festive food

Heavy and greasy food is easily irritated, so the festive seasons add to the effort. In practice, foods high in protein and fat slow down gastric emptying and cause more heartburn than usual.

Food digests in the stomach with the help of stomach acids. If the food melts slowly, the stomach acids will also have to linger longer in the stomach than usual. At the same time, acids can also replace the esophagus, causing the symptoms of heartburn.

Some have easier access to acid from the stomach to the esophagus, making some heartburn more sensitive than others. The position also affects. If you eat grilled food and throw it far away, it’s pretty sure you’ll start to heartburn.

Medication relief

Heartburn is treated with lifestyle changes. While waiting for them to work, they can be relieved with over-the-counter heartburn medications.

Antacids neutralize the hydrochloric acid in the gastric fluid and facilitate burning for up to a couple of hours at a time. They form a protective surface that prevents acids from irritating the wounded mucosa. Some drugs directly affect and reduce the secretion of stomach acid.

Long-term use of almost all heartburn medications has drawbacks.

The use of over-the-counter products should also be discussed with your doctor if you have kidney or heart failure, high blood pressure or are taking medicines for antimicrobial or osteoporosis.

Heartburn can be used as a cure. Long-term treatment is not good if you don’t even know what is being treated properly.

Heartburn can also be examined by gastric endoscopy, gastroscopy. The need for a weekly heartburn medication is a reason to go for research.

When the need for medicine is constant, medications do not help, or heartburn is associated with weight loss or vomiting, more serious causes can be ruled out.

When is Reflux Disease?

If heartburn is regular and continuous, the cause is often reflux disease. The sphincter in the lower part of the esophagus does not work as it should, and the acidic contents of the stomach enter the esophagus and even the trachea.

In addition to heartburn, reflux disease can include constipation, nausea, and bloating. It is sometimes accompanied by coughing fits when the acidic contents of the stomach irritate the trachea.

Treatment is similar to that for milder heartburn: lifestyle check and heartburn medications as needed.

If a young person would otherwise have to take heartburn medications for the rest of their lives, tightening of the lower esophagus will also become a viable treatment option.

The expert is Ari Rosenvall, a specialist in general medicine.

This article appeared in Good Health. As a subscriber, you can read all numbers free of charge from the digilehdet.fi service.


Source: Hyvä Terveys by www.hyvaterveys.fi.

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