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Video: Heartburn: Causes, Treatment And Prevention
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
In cases of gastritis, ulcer and colitis, the right diet plays a major role in ensuring digestive comfort, adequate nutritional intake and a normal lifestyle. But in this article, we will focus on another inconvenience related to digestion that affects more and more people around the world, around 10% of the French population. This is the heartburn that we are talking about. Although these do not represent a health hazard, they can interfere with daily activities. It is therefore necessary to relieve them by taking simple antacids or, if the burns persist, by adopting a suitable diet. But what is heartburn due to, how to avoid it and which remedies to prefer to deal with it? The answers are to be explored in the following paragraphs.
Heartburn is a burning sensation located in the upper part of the abdomen. These are symptoms that may be associated with ascending retrosternal burns and acid regurgitation. In this case, we are talking about heartburn which is the clinical sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is common and affects all age groups, especially infants. It usually occurs after food intake and is often favored by lying down. Gastroesophageal reflux disease may manifest either as epigastric discomfort (without regurgitation or heartburn) or as a burning sensation.
The main symptoms to watch out for
• A feeling of burning / bitterness / acidity in the upper part of the stomach;
• A bitter or sour taste in the throat and in the mouth;
• Acid lifts;
• Stomach pain which can last from a few minutes to a few hours;
• nausea or vomiting;
• A feeling of poor digestion (heaviness or heaviness in the epigastric fossa);
• abdominal bloating;
• Transit disorders (constipation or watery stools).
Heartburn: what to do?
In general, heartburn is not a health hazard. It is still advisable to seek medical advice. In order to eliminate the burning sensations, treatment should be considered on an individual basis. For example, if it is a patient suffering from stress, psychological support may be offered in parallel with drug treatment. Certain clinical situations or associated symptoms necessarily require a medical consultation, either with the attending physician or with a gastroenterologist:
1. Appearance of burns after 50 years:
3. Weight loss or loss of appetite;
4. A history of digestive tract disease;
5. Heartburn more than twice a week, persisting for several days;
6. Severe epigastric pain, accompanied by nausea and vomiting:
7. Fever or deterioration of general condition;
8. Persistence or worsening of symptoms after a few days of treatment.
What is heartburn caused by?
Heartburn can have multiple origins which are sometimes difficult to identify. To digest food, the stomach uses gastric juices. Too much acidity can inflame the walls of the stomach and sometimes the esophagus, causing burns. This happens, for example, in the event of an overly large meal, when the subject is distressed or has not chewed the food sufficiently.
The most common causes of epigastric burns are:
• A diet that is too rich, too acidic or spicy;
• Taking certain medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which can inhibit cyclo-oxygenase - an enzyme that controls the secretions of mucus and bicarbonates - the main protective factors for the stomach;
• Stress stimulates the secretion of stomach acid, which exacerbates the sensation of heartburn. In addition, stress worsens the severity of symptoms and plays an important role in the perception of pain;
• Tobacco and alcohol also stimulate acidic gastric secretions;
• Obesity is associated with an increased risk of heartburn and esophageal cancer;
• Helicobacter pylori bacteria;
• During pregnancy, hormonal changes slow down digestion, which can cause fluids to flow from the stomach to the esophagus, causing heartburn and gastric reflux;
• Certain foods can also promote heartburn.
Diet and heartburn
It is important to take into consideration that certain foods can be responsible for the onset of heartburn. These include fatty foods, overly spicy foods, citrus fruits, fruits, coffee, raw vegetables, and carbonated / cola drinks. You should also avoid thick meats, whole milk cheeses, pastries and cold meats. The method of food preparation should also be taken seriously: frying and breading should be avoided!
However, certain foods and products can help reduce heartburn. The foods in question are:
• Flat water; it activates salivation by preparing the stomach for digestion;
• The fibers contained in cereals, fruits and vegetables; they protect the intestine and improve digestion;
• Foods rich in antioxidants that help fight heartburn;
• Lean meats: chicken, turkey, veal, rabbit;
• Fish, shellfish and seafood;
• Yoghurts; cooked cheeses;
• Licorice, turmeric, and marshmallow help relieve the lining of the digestive system by protecting tissues from acidity. Licorice, for example, is very effective in treating digestive disorders and ulcers. Marshmallow, on the other hand, is known for its softening properties, which can treat different types of inflammation and irritation.
Heartburn and pregnancy
Almost three quarters of women suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes which slow down digestion. These inconveniences are common in pregnant women and usually appear during the 2nd trimester. Heartburn may get worse as you become pregnant. In some women, these ailments can occur even early in pregnancy. In order to relieve the symptoms, it is advisable to avoid the following foods:
• Spicy or sour foods;
• Fatty and fried foods;
• Onions and garlic;
• Citrus fruits;
• Coffee and tea;
• Soft drinks;
To limit or calm heartburn during pregnancy, just a few tips are enough:
1. Do not neglect exercises which stimulate digestion and relieve discomfort;
2. Wear loose clothing to avoid pressure on the abdomen;
3. After a meal, wait at least 1 hour before going to bed;
4. Consider placing an extra pillow under your head and shoulders when you lie down to elevate your head;
5. Eat more frequently but in smaller amounts;
6. Chew slowly;
7. Hydrate yourself outside of meals;
If taking these steps doesn't help, you can take antacids. As an alternative, you can turn to unconventional medicine such as: homeopathy, ayurveda, acupuncture, yoga and meditation (if you are anxious), sophrology etc.
Heartburn: Grandma's Remedies to Try
1. Lemon balm is one of the effective herbs in relieving heartburn. It decreases the production of stomach acids, thus helping to protect the walls of the stomach and intestines.
2. Licorice has long been used in herbal medicine to aid digestion. In terms of the mucous membranes, it is prized for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it increases the secretion of gastric mucus, thereby diluting the acidic contents of the stomach. This is how licorice reduces heartburn and abdominal pain. The plant also helps prevent and treat gastric ulcer, as well as duodenal ulcer caused by Helicobacter pylori.
3. Other plants effective in relieving irritations of the mucous membranes lining the digestive system are: marshmallow, elm, mullein, mallow, plantain and nopal.
4. Turmeric is very popular in herbal medicine and in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine as a rhizome with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric helps treat digestive problems, including heartburn. You have the choice of taking turmeric in the form of capsules or even infusing fresh grated turmeric (2 grams in a cup of hot water).
5. Essential oils can also help relieve heartburn. For example, a simple massage on the stomach and solar plexus with essential oil of clementine, diluted in a vegetable oil, will be enough to soothe the burning sensation. Other essential oils, such as peppermint and Roman chamomile are also very effective in relieving acid reflux, but internally. Consult a specialist who will advise you on the dosage and duration of treatment.
6. In case of epigastric burns, baking soda is a very effective express remedy. Just dilute a teaspoon in a glass of water and drink this preparation immediately. The appeasement will not be long.
7. Aloe vera is a natural antacid that works great for any type of acidity, including heartburn and ulcers. We can directly swallow 2 tablespoons of oral aloe vera gel, without meals, morning and evening, for two weeks.
8. Alkalizing by nature, apple cider vinegar is effective in soothing any type of acidity. It is enough to drink the following preparation in the morning on an empty stomach, for two weeks: 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar + lukewarm water.
9. Herbal tea from dried fennel seeds is a miraculous potion that relieves stomach acidity and improves digestive function in cases of bloating. It suffices to prepare an infusion of 1g to 3g of dried seeds in 150 ml of boiling water for 10 minutes. After filtration, you can drink 2 to 3 cups a day, without meals.