Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms and TreatmentIf the pain builds up like a wave, then subsides, and the esophagus burns from the bottom up, it's usually heartburn. The annoying discomfort is widespread. Can be attributed to a variety of triggers. Reflux diseases are the focus of the search for causes. In addition, there are other diseases that can promote heartburn. Constant heartburn should definitely be clarified. Therapeutic approaches focus on everyday adjustments. Over-the-counter medications from the pharmacy or prescription drugs can be used as a supportive measure. A balanced intestinal flora should always be considered with heartburn.
– Heartburn is most noticeable following sumptuous, sweet, fatty or acidic foods and can occur in conjunction with a feeling of prere, nausea, hoarseness and stomach pain. – A functional impairment of the corresponding sphincter or a miscolonization of the intestinal flora can promote heartburn. – Medications, such as acid blockers, can provide short-term relief. However, the symptoms often return after weaning. – In addition to treating the underlying cause, a change in lifestyle also makes sense. – Proven heartburn home remedies are u.a. Baking soda, milk and healing clay. – With high-quality microbiological preparations such as Innovall ® AID, the body can be supplied with selected, supportive strains of bacteria
What is heartburn?
Heartburn, also known as pyrosis, is a burning pain that occurs behind the breastbone. The discomfort can spread high into the chest and throat area. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid rises (med.: reflux) and irritates the mucous membrane of the esophagus. Not always, but often heartburn is coupled with acid regurgitation. People who suffer from heartburn are not always able to interpret the symptoms correctly. Pyrosis can lead to severe pain behind the sternum. Therefore be confused with heart attack symptoms. Heartburn, even at night, is like a chameleon, it can manifest itself very differently. The following question is therefore particularly interesting: "How does heartburn feel??"
Heartburn can trigger pain behind the sternum.
Heartburn is very unpleasant for sufferers. However, the symptoms are not the same for everyone. While some experience pain behind the breastbone, others describe it more like a burning sensation. In addition, a feeling of prere may occur in the upper abdomen. It is not uncommon for acid regurgitation to occur as well. But belching without acid is also possible. Stomach acid can flow into the pharynx and mouth. Coughing or sore throat can then be the result. Heartburn and nausea can also occur together. So symptoms of heartburn are quite individual. For this reason it is important to clarify the complaints thoroughly. If heartburn occurs more frequently, it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
If too much gastric acid is produced in the stomach, heartburn is practically foreseeable. The reason: The rising stomach acid can irritate the mucous membrane of the esophagus unhindered. The typical heartburn symptoms are the result. However, not only the symptoms, but also the causes of heartburn are multifaceted. However, there are a few suspects that are particularly often associated with the uncomfortable discomfort. First and foremost lifestyle habits. The reflux disease.
When heartburn occurs, stomach acid rises into the esophagus.
Very often everyday habits are in the foreground, if it concerns heartburn and causes. In fact, there are behaviors that promote corresponding symptoms. Greasy, lavish, sweet or sour meals can literally kick the can down the road. Many sufferers report that a sudden increase in abdominal prere (coughing, bending over, lifting a heavy load) promotes reflux of stomach contents up the esophagus and heartburn results. Luxury foods are also a frequent cause of heartburn. Thus caffeinated beverages, alcohol and tobacco consumption can fuel the problems. In addition to consumer products, the state of the mind is also a determining factor. A hectic daily routine can lead to stress, nervousness and mental strain, making it easier for heartburn to develop. The stomach needs space. Excess weight and tight clothing can subject the stomach to increased prere and cause stomach acid to rise into the esophagus. 1
The esophageal mouth, resp. upper esophageal sphincter, is the narrowest part of the esophagus and is located between the esophagus and the stomach. If there is a dysfunction of this sphincter, a so-called. (gastroesophageal) reflux disease may develop. 10-20% of the western population suffer from it. Normally, the esophageal sphincter has the important job of preventing stomach contents from rising into the esophagus. But it does not always fulfill its function as a gatekeeper. Why he neglects his task, can often not be determined. However, it is certain that there are certain factors that promote reflux, i.e. the backflow of stomach acid. Alcohol and nicotine have a relaxing effect on the sphincter. In a deeply relaxed atmosphere, it no longer closes as tightly as it should. In addition, stimulants can boost stomach acid production, which also makes heartburn more likely to occur. 2,3
Heartburn during pregnancy is not uncommon. In fact, very often people are looking for tips on "heartburn and pregnancy". The explanation is simple. During pregnancy there is an increase in prere in the abdomen. This makes heartburn particularly likely in advanced pregnancy.
Heartburn can also be a side effect of some medications. 4 Drugs that dilate blood vessels and reduce muscle tension can cause the esophageal sphincter (the junction between the stomach and esophagus) to relax. This can cause stomach acid to rise into the esophagus and lead to heartburn. Also to be mentioned are cardiovascular drugs, asthma medications and selected psychotropic drugs such as neuroleptics. These medications can cause discomfort in the digestive tract. Thus also heartburn promote. Special medications taken for rheumatism and pain can also stimulate acid production in the stomach. Common substances such as ibuprofen or diclofenac are therefore also suspected of causing heartburn. Antibiotics (especially tetracyclines) can also cause the unpleasant burning sensation behind the breastbone. By the way: Many drugs can affect the intestinal flora. Also trigger heartburn in this way.
There are a number of diseases that can be blamed for heartburn. Partly they represent however also a consequence, if strong heartburn torments concerning.
The most common conditions that trigger heartburn include:
If there is a hole in the diaphragm, part of the stomach may shift as a result. As a result, it becomes constricted, which allows the stomach contents to be pushed up into the esophagus.
Diabetes can have a negative effect on nerve control in the esophagus. Then it is no longer possible to transport the food pulp as usual. Heartburn can be the result.
In addition to irritable bowel syndrome, irritable stomach syndrome can also torment sufferers. Various upper abdominal complaints occur. Pain, feeling of prere, nausea, vomiting and heartburn, among other symptoms.
Gastritis is not uncommonly prolonged. Triggered by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori or by irritating substances such as alcohol or nicotine. Stress can also lead to gastritis. Pain, loss of appetite, or heartburn may be noticeable.
So-called esophagitis is a special case, because it can both trigger heartburn and be a consequence of the complaints. The sensitive mucous membrane in the esophagus can be affected by foreign bodies or bacteria.
Diverticula are protrusions in the wall of the esophagus. You may experience belching of stomach contents. be associated with heartburn.
The condition is rare, but can cause significant discomfort. As the contractility of the esophageal wall muscles is reduced, food can no longer be transported properly and the sphincter at the entrance to the stomach can only do its job incompletely. The food does not reach the stomach properly, which can lead to belching and heartburn.
6. Overacidity (hyperacidity)
Acidosis occurs when the stomach produces too much acid, which can then rise into the esophagus. acidosis u.a. also in gastroesophageal reflux disease (Ab.(GERD) lead to symptoms such as heartburn.
Constant heartburn: Beware of complications!
Heartburn is often taken lightly. After all, it is a widespread condition that many people have come into contact with. However, frequent, chronic, regular heartburn can also be a symptom of a serious disease or have serious consequences. For example, esophagitis can occur, leading to ulcers and scarring if left untreated. The development of Barrett's esophagus cannot be ruled out. Is considered a precancerous condition due to tie changes. This increases the risk of developing cancer. 5 Anyone who regularly suffers from the discomfort should therefore not just rely on home remedies for heartburn, but get to the bottom of the cause and have themselves examined by a doctor.
Heartburn: when to see a doctor?
Constant heartburn can be an unpleasant experience, so sufferers are quite quick to seek relief. If the symptoms are severe or occur more often than twice a week, it is best to consult a doctor. Persistent pain is also a case for the doctor. He can find out, for example, whether a reflux disease is present. However, if the causes of heartburn can be quickly identified (e.g., a stomach ulcer).B. due to improper diet) and can be easily corrected, a visit to the doctor is not necessary. In this case it is enough to make changes in everyday life and to rely on gentle remedies against heartburn.
Good to know!
Heartburn is very common with reflux disease. An associated irritating cough, a busy voice, hoarseness and an unpleasant taste in the mouth can indicate the disease.
Heartburn with coughing and hoarseness indicate a reflux disease.
Heartburn: Diagnostics at the doctor
Diagnosis always begins with a discussion between the doctor and the patient, also known as anamnesis. The physician can get to the bottom of the complaints by asking specific questions. The following questions may come up:
– Since when does heartburn occur? – How often do the symptoms become noticeable? – Do the symptoms intensify when lying down? – If other symptoms occur, such as stomach pain or nausea? – Does it come to pain depending on meals? – Do stress or medication play a role? – If there are underlying diseases such as diabetes or severe obesity? – What is the diet like?
The doctor has already collected important information about the heartburn in the patient. If it is clear that the disease is reflux disease without complications, drug treatment can be initiated. If there are accompanying symptoms such as painful swallowing, repeated vomiting and anemia, further clarification is highly recommended. With further examinations, constrictions in the esophagus, ulcers and serious precancerous lesions can be diagnosed. The following examinations are frequently performed for heartburn:
An endoscope is used to view the esophagus and stomach.
To gain insight into the esophagus and stomach, the doctor can insert an endoscope into the esophagus through the mouth. Tiny cameras attached to the instrument allow the esophagus and stomach to be assessed. In this way, ulcers, inflammations and stenoses can be identified. It is also possible to take a tie sample during endoscopy.
Esophageal prere measurement:
Doctors can measure the prere in the esophagus with esophageal manometry. For this purpose, a probe equipped with prere sensors is inserted into the esophagus. The patient gradually drinks water while the probe is slowly withdrawn. In this way it is possible to assess the functioning of the esophageal muscles.
Here again a probe is used. This time it is pushed into the esophagus through the nose. It is positioned directly in front of the entrance to the stomach. Remains there for 24 hours. During this period, it regularly measures the acidity in the lower section of the esophagus. The physician can then later assess the acid reflux.
This examination is similar to the previous one. However, the reflux of non-acidic stomach contents can also be determined here. Sometimes even this can lead to the annoying discomfort.
Heartburn treatment: What to do about heartburn?
Heartburn is often harmless. However, the annoying symptoms can lead to complications. To prevent this, frequent heartburn should not only be clarified, but also treated. Various treatment options are available for this. The question: "What helps against heartburn?" should always be answered individually. Finally, it matters whether heartburn can be attributed to specific risk factors (pregnancy, illness, dysfunction) or whether it is caused by unfavorable living conditions. As a general rule, regular heartburn should always be examined by a doctor.
What helps against heartburn? Prescription and over-the-counter medications
There are numerous home remedies, especially for heartburn. They do not always have the desired effect. Then the use of drugs can be useful. Patients who turn to their doctor with the question: "What helps against severe heartburn?" are often recommended so-called proton pump inhibitors or acid blockers. These are remedies for pronounced heartburn that lower the pH level in the stomach. In addition, antacids, H2 receptor blockers (H2R-A) or prokinetics may be indicated. However, these heartburn remedies should also always be taken with nutritional-. Behavioral modification to be combined. 6
What to do against annoying heartburn? 4 Remedies that promise relief
1. Proton pump inhibitors
A very commonly recommended heartburn medication is proton pump inhibitors for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other acid-related conditions. 7 The so-called acid blockers are able to slow down an enzyme in the body to help reduce stomach acid production. Studies show that proton pump inhibitors can provide relief from heartburn. After all, studies have shown that 45 out of 100 people report that their symptoms have been significantly reduced by taking these heartburn tablets. Acid blocker agents include u.a.:
If symptoms or inflammation are present in the esophagus because there is a constant reflux of stomach acid, proton pump inhibitors can alleviate the corresponding symptoms. Apparently, they succeed better in many cases than H2 receptor blockers. But there's a downer, too, because proton pump inhibitors can reach their limits when it comes to "what helps with heartburn". There is evidence that stomach acid may rise into the esophagus during the night's rest despite proton pump inhibitors. 6
Good to know!
Acid blockers have long been considered well tolerated and harmless. Long-term use of acid blockers, however, may possibly cause. make more problems than solve. When reflux patients discontinue proton pump blockers, acid production may be greater than before for a short period of time (hypergastrinemia). This is called the "rebound effect": the excess acid causes heartburn symptoms to increase briefly after discontinuing the medication. These rebound symptoms are why acid blockers can be addictive. Sufferers must endure more severe symptoms for some time when discontinuing them. >> Read more about proton pump inhibitors (risks, side effects and impact on the microbiome) here
People with infrequent mild heartburn after eating too much or drinking too much alcohol may benefit from antacids. These are agents that neutralize the acidic juices in the stomach and esophagus. However, according to studies, they do not seem to be particularly suitable for severe cases of treatment. They are then rather to be regarded as an alternative in case of intolerance of conventional drugs. 6
Good to know!
Antacids can be purchased without a prescription at the pharmacy.
3. H2 receptor blockers (H2R-A)
H2 receptor blockers (H2R-A) function to prevent histamine from binding in the stomach. In this way, a greater release of gastric juice is counteracted. 8 H2 receptor blockers have been convincing in studies. Thus, they were able to reduce heartburn in 14 out of 100 patients.6 For those affected, it is interesting that proton pump inhibitors can keep acid production much better under control. For this reason, H2 receptor blockers are used less frequently and predominantly for minor complaints. 9
Good to know!
Many H2 receptor blockers can be purchased at the pharmacy without a prescription. For higher dosages, however, a doctor's prescription is necessary.
Prokinetics have two tasks. One is to reduce reflux into the esophagus. On the other hand, they are used to assist the emptying of the stomach. 10 However, since valid studies on efficacy in reflux disease are lacking, prokinetics are not generally recommended. 11
Good to know!
Prokinetic drugs are prescription drugs. Corresponding medications are therefore not available from pharmacies without a prescription.
A prescription is required for higher dosages.
Tablets for heartburn: watch out for side effects
Proton pump inhibitors sound tempting for patients with severe heartburn. However, possible side effects should be taken into account. Heartburn and nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain are quite possible. Also swallowing difficulties and headaches cannot be excluded. Long-term use may increase the likelihood of bone fractures. In addition, it is debatable whether related medications contribute to intestinal infections or pneumonia. H2 receptor blockers may be associated with headaches or nausea. 6
If undesirable bacteria are not killed by the reduced gastric acid, they can colonize the intestine and cause infections (z.B. Clostridium difficile infections). The altered pH value in the stomach can also have an influence on the intestinal flora (microbiota) and thus be the cause of dysbiosis (imbalance of the intestinal flora). Some studies indicate that proton pump inhibitors increase the risk of heart attack and liver and kidney damage. 12
Heartburn, what to do? The best tricks – simple and fast
About 20% of the population living in this country repeatedly suffers from reflux symptoms such as heartburn. 13 What sufferers do about it? Some rely on medications. However, these often do not solve the problem permanently. Should not be used in the long term. After the heartburn medicines were stopped, it goes off again with the complaints. A much more lasting solution offers an adapted nutrition with heartburn. In addition, there are other tips that can be used to reduce the agonizing symptoms in the future.
Trick 1: The heartburn diet
Of course, diet plays a decisive role in unpleasant heartburn. Finally, in many cases, it leads to the uncomfortable symptoms in the first place. In general, everything that triggers heartburn should be avoided. These are usually very rich, fatty, sweet or sour foods. Here, a heartburn-flexi diet is particularly recommended. This means that sufferers leave out those foods that lead to "overacidification". While some experience heartburn primarily after eating sweets, others may not tolerate late, hearty meals. To get an overview of the triggers, an individual food diary is useful. In it can meals. to hold down complaints.
Trick 2: Reduce prere
That obesity can cause heartburn comes from extra weight pressing on stomach. Who suffers from heartburn and overweight, has good chances to eliminate the annoying esophageal discomfort by losing weight with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise. Also loose outer clothing may not be missing in the tips against heartburn. The stomach loves to be able to spread out. Depending on how full it is, it needs space. Tight clothing that unnecessarily constricts the organ can make heartburn more likely to occur. In the best case scenario, fluent. Loose-fitting clothes set.
The stomach needs space.
Trick 3: Reduce stress
Stress is the enemy of health. Although there is also positively experienced stress, the so-called "eustress", as a rule only the stress that triggers negative effects in the body makes itself felt. Among the consequences of stress can also be heartburn. Then it is necessary to decelerate the everyday life. Regular breaks and time for relaxation should be planned absolutely also. It is best to mark a fixed day in the calendar for this purpose. Relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation or yoga can also help to breathe through.
Trick 4: Abstaining from stimulants
Even if it sounds hard and is difficult at first, giving up stimulants can provide a decisive answer to the question: "What to do about heartburn". As mentioned above, nicotine, alcohol and caffeinated beverages can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The result: stomach acid that rises into the esophagus and can cause serious problems. It helps many sufferers to turn to substitute activities instead. Man is a creature of habit, but that does not mean that he can not change his daily routine. For example, the morning coffee could be replaced by a tea for heartburn.
Trick 5: Home remedies for heartburn
Many sufferers ask themselves the question: "What to do with severe heartburn??". There are actually some home remedies for heartburn that can help with this question. After all, they are usually very well tolerated and besides inexpensive. There are many recommendations:
– Soda for heartburn – milk for heartburn – healing clay for heartburn
Of course, heartburn home remedies that help acutely, i.e. as quickly as possible, are in particularly high demand. In many places soda is recommended against heartburn. Natron (sodium hydrogen carbonate) is best known as a use of baking soda. Natron against heartburn helps because it neutralizes the stomach acid and thus has a relatively fast-acting effect. Attention! The home remedy sodium bicarbonate should not be used too frequently, because this can cause an imbalance of pH in the body. The consequences can be stimulation of gastric acid production (acid reflux), bloating, belching and flatulence, because when sodium bicarbonate reacts with the gastric acid, the gas carbon dioxide is produced.
Milk helps with heartburn.
With regard to heartburn home remedies (acute), it is also recommended to treat heartburn with milk. The professional association of German internists e.V. Actually states that patients can benefit from a certain fluid intake. Heartburn + milk or water therefore seems to be a helpful combination. 14 However, some heartburn geplates report exacerbation with milk.
>> Read here the pros and cons of milk for heartburn
In addition to milk and baking soda for heartburn, other home remedies such as pressed potato juice or teas may be suitable for use. Who is looking for answers to the question: "Heartburn, what helps??" is, learn more here
>> Home remedies for heartburn
Microbiotics: effective heartburn remedies?
Medications, such as z.B. Antibiotics or acid blockers, exert a direct influence on the delicate balance in the gastrointestinal tract. Especially with prolonged intake, the composition of the intestinal microbiota (intestinal flora) can shift, and not for the good. 15 Proton pump inhibitors (acid blockers) are very often prescribed for heartburn. Can also have a negative impact on the intestinal flora by lowering the pH in the stomach. Gastrointestinal infections, z.B. with Clostridium difficile, can be an unpleasant consequence. 16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25 In addition, an imbalanced colonization of intestinal bacteria can promote heartburn. For this reason, it can be useful to enrich the microbiome with selected probiotics to accompany a drug therapy. The good news is that there are high-quality microbiological preparations, such as Innovall® AID, which can be used to supply the body with selected strains of bacteria. It is particularly interesting that the helpers contained in the intestine can multiply and thus have a positive influence on the intestinal flora. The naturally occurring bacterial cultures in the human intestine in Innovall® CDI are specially adapted to the needs of the intestine at increased risk of Clostridium difficile infections and, through the use as a capsule, easy to integrate into the antibiotic intake schedule.
1. What helps against heartburn?
Heartburn, especially if it occurs regularly, should be treated in the long term. First and foremost, this involves reviewing one's lifestyle. Tight clothing, obesity, stress, heavy meals or those that contain sweet or acidic foods can promote heartburn. In addition, underlying diseases should be excluded. Lifestyle changes, medications and selected home remedies are suitable for treatment.
2. What to eat for heartburn?
Light foods such as whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, potatoes, low-acid fruits such as bananas, and low-fat oils such as olive oil are especially recommended. When it comes to vegetables, cucumber, spinach and carrots can be helpful for heartburn.
3. Heartburn, what helps fast?
Heartburn – what helps quickly varies from patient to patient. Among other things, short-term use of baking soda can be helpful. However, this should not become the norm as it can cause acid reflux, bloating or diarrhea if taken frequently. Other home remedies, such as milk or healing clay, are also recommended to "quench" the acidic environment.
4. How does heartburn feel?
Heartburn is perceived differently. While some experience a burning sensation behind the breastbone, others feel a stabbing pain. Acid regurgitation and stomach pain can also occur in combination with heartburn.
5. What helps for heartburn during pregnancy?
Heartburn and pregnant are a classic. Here heartburn home remedies are recommended in particular, in order not to stress the unborn child. Milk and special tea can be used, for example.
6. How heartburn develops?
Heartburn occurs when acidic stomach contents rise into the esophagus. Occasionally, the acidic "soup" makes it all the way to the throat and mouth, which is particularly unpleasant. The causes of heartburn are manifold. In addition to underlying diseases, functional disorders of the corresponding sphincter between the esophagus and stomach can also be considered.
7. How long does heartburn last?
How long heartburn lasts is very individual. First aid measures include baking soda. Heartburn should be able to be effectively combated with it in order to shorten the heartburn duration. However, heartburn. Baking soda not a long-term solution. If heartburn occurs repeatedly, a doctor should be consulted for advice.