Heartburn is a condition where you will feel an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest. And, you have to remember that although the pain caused by heartburn is felt in the chest, this condition is in no way related to the heart or any heart related diseases.
Basically, heartburn is a digestive condition where stomach acid refluxes and comes in contact with the esophagus.
A lot of people experience heartburn at least once every month. However, if you continue experiencing heartburn every day, then you are suffering from a chronic or severe type of heartburn, which can prevent you from living a normal life.
Chronic heartburn is also a sign or symptom of a more serious condition called GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Frequent heartburn will prevent you from living normally. It will limit your daily activities and it can also lead to further complications, such as ulcers in your esophagus and Barrett’s esophagus.
You need to understand heartburn in order for you to treat it properly.
Today, around 30 percent of the adult population in the country experiences occasional heartburn. Around 10 to 15 percent of the adult population experiences the condition every day.
So, what are the symptoms of heartburn that you should watch out for?
Well, you basically need to watch out for that burning feeling in the chest. The sensation may also spread up into the throat, jaw, and even on the back. Because of the location where the pain is felt, heartburn is often mistaken for chest pain caused by a heart attack. However, you need to remember that you should never try and second guess yourself when you feel chest pain for any reason.
It’s also easy to mistake a heart attack for heartburn, which is why you have to seek medical attention immediately after feeling any type of chest pain. Never rule out a heart attack as a cause of chest pain even if you frequently experience heartburn.
In most cases, heartburn will occur 30 to 60 minutes after meals. The pain will worsen if you lie down or when you bend forward. The pain will also get worse if you strain to pass stools. The best thing that you can do is to stand upright, swallow saliva or water, and take antacids.
If the stomach acid travels beyond the esophagus and makes its way into your mouth, you will experience a bitter or sour taste. This is called regurgitation and is common after eating meals especially when you lie down, bend over, or strain.
You need to keep in mind that frequent heartburn means exposing your esophagus to stomach acid for long periods of time. Your esophagus may get damaged and this may lead to difficulty in swallowing. In more serious cases, you may even lose weight and become frequently dehydrated.
In rare cases, you may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in your stool. However, these are uncommon but you still have to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms.
These are basically the symptoms that you have to watch out for. Heartburn is not really that serious if you only experience it once a month. But, if you experience it every day, it may be time for you to seek medical help.