Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms& TreatmentAround 20 percent of Germans suffer from heartburn. The most common cause is reflux disease. This causes the stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. Burning pain in the upper abdomen and back of the sternum, up into the throat and pharynx, is typical. Often sufferers also suffer from sour or bitter belching.
SOS tips: This helps with heartburn
– Drink a glass of milk or eat nuts to neutralize the stomach acid. – Still mineral water or herbal tea soothe the stomach. – Eating starchy foods, such as dry white bread, potatoes or bananas, can quickly relieve heartburn. – Alginates (herbal medicinal products made from brown algae) bind hydrochloric acid in the stomach. A viscous foam forms that prevents food from flowing back into the esophagus. – Take food soda. It reacts with the hydrochloric acid of the stomach and neutralizes it. Chewing gum. This stimulates the flow of saliva. Rising stomach acid is diluted. This stimulates the flow of saliva. Rising stomach acid is diluted. – Adopt an upright posture. In bed, choose a large pillow or raise the headboard. Prevent the reflux of stomach acid.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a typical symptom of the so-called gastroesophageal reflux disease or reflux disease. Other triggers may include irritable stomach, inflammation of the esophagus or gastric mucosa, peptic ulcer, or diaphragmatic hernia.
The muscular tube of the acid-sensitive esophagus transports food from the mouth to the stomach. Hydrochloric acid is produced there to digest food components and kill pathogens. A ring-shaped sphincter between the esophagus. Stomach prevents acidic stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus. If its function is disturbed, heartburn develops.
Causes of heartburn
Heartburn often occurs after eating certain foods. This includes especially fatty foods such as chocolate or roasts, but also caffeinated beverages such as coffee or tea. Alcohol and nicotine also promote reflux. Both relax the muscles and thus also the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus (esophageal sphincter). In addition, cigarettes as well as wine, sparkling wine, beer and liquor cause increased stomach acid production. If both factors, the slackening of the sphincter muscle and increased gastric acid production, coincide, heartburn results.
Medication can also be responsible for the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. Some antihypertensives, as well as antibiotics, osteoporosis and painkillers, and anti-inflammatory drugs from the NSAID group are considered possible triggers. Stress and anger can also lead to heartburn.
Overweight people often complain of the discomfort typical of heartburn, because the increased prere on the stomach, its contents can be pushed into the esophagus. Pregnant women are also often affected.
There are also other triggers for the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. For example, some diseases can cause heartburn. Among others: Irritable stomach, gastritation, diabetes, inflammation of the esophagus, hiatal hernia or a peptic ulcer.
Symptoms of heartburn
Those affected describe the pain as a burning sensation. It is caused by stomach contents rising from the stomach. If the flows back into the esophagus, heartburn occurs. Sod means "the boiling, the simmering" from the word origin and thus describes the pain quite aptly. The typical discomfort is caused by the regurgitation of acid or food pulp. This causes a burning pain behind the breastbone and a feeling of prere in the upper abdomen. If the stomach contents rise up into the mouth, the tooth enamel can be damaged. vocal cords and the mucous membrane of the throat are irritated. The result can be morning hoarseness, throat clearing or coughing. But general symptoms such as a feeling of fullness and nausea can also indicate a reflux disease.
Treatment of heartburn
Who suffers regularly from heartburn, should absolutely let clarify the causes by the physician. If the discomfort is only occasional, an adjustment in diet and drinking habits is often enough to help. If the symptoms occur after a sumptuous meal, a walk in the fresh air often provides relief. In the next few days should then be light. Low-fat food should be consumed.
Over-the-counter medications are available at the pharmacy to alleviate the symptoms. These include the so-called proton pump inhibitors (PPI). They ensure that the release of gastric acid is inhibited. H2 antihistamines (H2 blockers) help by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. A third recommended agent is magnesium hydroxide. The alkaline salt belongs to the group of antacids and buffers the stomach acid. It should not be used permanently because of possible side effects. Alginates are also a good choice for treating heartburn. The remedy covers the stomach contents as a viscous foam and thus protects the esophagus.
What home remedies help with heartburn?
In order to put a stop to heartburn as quickly as possible, some home remedies are also helpful, which everyone has ready to hand. The principle is simple: the stomach acid should be neutralized or diluted. To neutralize and dilute the acidic contents of the stomach, you can drink a glass of milk, still mineral water or herbal tea. If you prefer to eat something, it is best to reach for bananas, dry white bread or rusks. Chewing gum is also an effective remedy, because the stimulated saliva flow dilutes rising stomach acid. Food soda, dissolved in a glass of water, counteracts the discomfort.
Does homeopathy help with heartburn?
Those who prefer to rely on homeopathy for the treatment of heartburn can choose from a number of remedies indicated for this purpose. Here, too, there is no one active ingredient. Especially often these globules are recommended:
– Nux vomica D6: After too much food, coffee, cigarettes and alcohol, it helps to calm the stomach. – Robinia pseudoacacia: If heartburn is accompanied by acid regurgitation and gastric prere, and if a forehead headache also occurs, the remedy can provide relief. – Arsenicum album: If the pain behind the breastbone is very severe, accompanied by great exhaustion, anxiety and a tendency to freeze quickly, it is the remedy of choice.
How to prevent heartburn?
Common triggers of heartburn are fatty foods, coffee, alcohol, fruit juices, citrus fruits, hot spices, nicotine and stress. Who these food-. Pleasure food avoids or. consumed only in moderation, can prevent heartburn. Many small meals throughout the day are recommended, and not eating too late at night. It is also helpful to elevate the pillow in bed, as lying flat can encourage reflux of stomach acid. Those who are overweight should reduce their body weight, because the high percentage of fat in the abdomen increases the prere prevailing in the stomach. So it can easily happen that stomach contents are pushed upwards into the esophagus. Since stress is also considered a trigger of reflux, sufferers can achieve a lot through relaxation exercises.
What are the consequences of heartburn?
If the stomach contents reach up to the mouth, this can damage the tooth enamel. The mucous membrane of the esophagus, vocal cords and pharyngeal mucosa are also irritated. Frequent reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus can lead to its inflammation. Around 40 percent of those affected experience this subsequent problem. If the inflammation persists for a long time, it can cause permanent damage to the esophagus and even lead to cancer (0.1 percent).
Heartburn in older people
Chronic reflux disease usually causes pain. Especially when the hydrochloric acid of the stomach meets the delicate mucous membrane of the esophagus. With age, however, the sensation of pain decreases. Thus also that with the heartburn. If you do not notice that you are suffering from heartburn, you are not doing anything to prevent it. It can be dangerous and lead to permanent damage to the esophagus in the long run. Older people, 65 years and older, are therefore advised to watch out for other reflux symptoms: Bleeding in the esophagus, difficulty swallowing, unwanted weight loss (more than 5 percent), difficulty breathing, and chest pain whose cause is unclear.
A doctor should be consulted if only one of these symptoms occurs.
There are also numerous medications that can trigger reflux. In particular, rheumatism and painkillers, antibiotics, psychotropic drugs, cardiovascular drugs, anticholinergics, steroids, biphosphates, and some agents in the treatment of asthma. Here the treated physician should be asked for advice in case of complaints.
With increasing age, it is particularly important to pay attention to drinking behavior. The sense of thirst decreases. Forgetting to drink enough fluids. This quickly reduces the amount of saliva in the mouth. Thus the natural self-cleansing of the esophagus.
If bedridden persons suffer from reflux of gastric acid, it is often helpful to elevate the head.
Heartburn in young children and babies
Identifying heartburn in young children is not always easy. Some signs point to the symptomatology. For example, when a child
– constantly coughs or is hoarse – often hiccups – suffers from bad breath – swallows constantly – puts on a lot of weight – cries over and over again.
Older children can communicate better if you occasionally suffer from heartburn. You then report pain when eating or have discomfort at night when stomach acid flows into the esophagus.
In babies, cranky and restless behavior – especially during or after breastfeeding – indicates heartburn. If the infant does not want to continue drinking milk after the first sip, despite being hungry, this may also be due to heartburn. Because of the discomfort, babies then not infrequently push their backs through and stiffen. Or they simply push the bottle aside and turn their head away.
FAQs about heartburn
What to do in acute heartburn?
– Drink still mineral water or herbal tea. This soothes the stomach. Chewing gum. This stimulates the flow of saliva. Thus dilutes the stomach acid. This stimulates the flow of saliva. Dilutes thus the stomach acid. – Eat bananas, white bread or potatoes. These foods can bind the stomach acid. – Dissolve food soda in water and drink.
If symptoms persist, a doctor should be consulted.
What is the cause of heartburn?
The triggers for the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, also called reflux, are manifold. Occasional heartburn occurs when you have eaten too much, too fatty or too spicy food. But some medications can also cause heartburn. Obesity can lead to chronic heartburn. As well as diseases such as gastritis, diabetes, esophagitis, irritable stomach, a diaphragmatic hernia or a peptic ulcer.
What helps with severe heartburn during pregnancy?
It is best to drink some milk or eat yogurt after a meal. This protects the esophagus. Nuts or bananas neutralize the rising acidity. Use a higher pillow in bed. How to prevent reflux.
Which foods should be avoided in case of reflux??
Who suffers from occasional heartburn, should eat consciously. This includes the renunciation of certain foods or. Their moderate consumption. This is especially true of coffee, alcohol, fatty or spicy foods. Also carbonated mineral waters. Lemonades are unfavorable. Smoking is also considered a trigger of reflux. The renunciation of cigarettes is therefore suggested to affected persons.
What medicines help with heartburn?
Over-the-counter medications are available at the pharmacy to help treat heartburn. A distinction is made between three groups of active ingredients: Proton pump inhibitors (PPI), H2 blockers (H2 antihistamines) or antacids (magnesium hydroxide). However, if the symptoms occur more frequently, sufferers should definitely talk to a doctor.
Which globules help with heartburn?
For the homeopathic treatment of heartburn, there are different active ingredients to choose from. Among others, these are: Nux vomica D6, Robinia pseudoacacia or Arsenicum album. Which remedy is the most suitable for the individual can be clarified with a qualified homeopath.
Is it allowed to eat fruit with heartburn?
The consumption of low-acid fruits is even beneficial for heartburn. The following types of fruit are among them: Bananas, grapes, pears, plums, apricots, peaches and some low-acid apple varieties, such as Gala, Golden Delicious and Jonagold.