Natural Heartburn Treatments

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Natural Heartburn Treatments | Causes

Natural Heartburn Treatments – Causes of Heartburn and Symptoms

Natural heartburn treatments are simple yet powerful treatments anyone can apply. However, before we look at that, it is important that we understand more about heartburn, its causes and symptoms so that we can appreciate the natural treatments we can use to cure our heartburn. More than 50 million Americans suffer from heartburn.

Heartburn does not happen when our hearts are set on fire. As a matter of fact, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It is a burning sensation in our chest behind the breastbone, the lower chest to be more precise, the most common form of acid reflux. This is often accompanied with a bitter sour acidic taste in our mouth. This either happens after a heavy meal or when we are in sleeping position. Heartburn can last from a few minutes to hours.

Natural Heartburn Treatments - Symptoms of Heartburn

Other than the burning sensation, some folks also suffer from other symptoms like:

1. Sore throat
2. Excessive burping
3. Heavy saliva
4. Dry cough
5. Difficulties in swallowing food
6. Deep chest pains

Natural Heartburn Treatments - Causes of Heartburn

When we consume food, the food will pass through the esophagus and enter the stomach via a muscle called sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. Under normal circumstances, the sphincter would close up once the food enters the stomach. However, if it is not functioning well, or when the stomach is very full after a heavy meal, it allows the stomach juices like hydrochloric acid to flow into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Here’s a list of the causes:

1. Diet

a. Acidic foods such as caffeinated drinks, alcohol and citrus juice increase the acidity in our stomachs and can irritate the esophagus.

b. Fatty foods are harder to digest and remain in our stomachs longer and more time for the digestive juices to regurgitate, ie flow up the esophagus.

c. Foods that can cause the sphincter muscle to relax such as chocolate, peppermint and spearmint allow the digestive juices to escape into the esophagus.

d. Eating food in large portions cause our stomach to generate larger amounts of acid juices. This increases the likelihood of regurgitation of these acids into the esophagus.

e. Sleeping immediately after a meal is not a good idea. By lying down, we set the condition for the digestive juices to escape to the esophagus.

2. Pregnancy

Pressure on your stomach because of the fetus increases the potential for heartburn.

3. Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications

OTC medicines and drugs for asthma, arthritis, heart problems and high blood pressure can induce excessive acid production in our stomachs.

4. Overweight

Being overweight could add pressure on our stomachs and result in heartburn.

5. Smoking

Smoking actually encourages digestive juice production and induces relaxation of the sphincter. These are ideal conditions for heartburn to surface.

6. Tight Clothing

Wearing tight clothes and belts has the effect of adding pressure on our stomachs.

7. Hiatus Hernia

Hiatus hernia is a condition which happens when part of the stomach penetrates the diaphragm into the chest. As a result, the sphincter cannot close properly and acid juices can escape.

Read about effective natural heartburn treatments that have cured many people of their heartburn problems in my next blog.

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