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What does heartburn feel like?

Overview | Symptoms | Risk factors | Prevention | Home remedies

What does heartburn feel like?

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What does heartburn feel like?

Heartburn is a term used to describe irritation of the food pipe, that is, the oesophagus. This irritation causes a burning sensation in the middle of the chest, especially after eating. The symptoms last from a few minutes to several hours.

Heartburn, as the term may indicate that it is a condition of the heart, but is not. It is the condition of the stomach and oesophagus. This condition begins when stomach acid regurgitates into the oesophagus. This acid when comes in contact with lining of the oesophagus, it causes irritation and pain, thus called heartburn. If this condition occurs frequently, or there is no relief from antacids, then a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible.

Heartburn can often be confused as heart pain. But these are different medical conditions. In heartburn, there is burning sensation whereas heart pain is like squeezing or pressing type and radiates to left arm, left shoulder, lower jaw and neck as well. Both the conditions differ in signs and symptoms as well.

Symptoms of heartburn

The condition of heartburn (burning sensation) is often accompanied with other symptoms as well. These are:

  • Chest pain
  • Belching / Burning Burps
  • Bloating
  • Burning
  • Fluid
  • Chronic cough, sore throat, or hoarseness

Risk factors for heartburn

Certain foods and drinks as well as some lifestyle habits can lead to the condition of heartburn. These are:

  • Spicy food
  • Onions
  • Citrus products
  • Tomato products (For example: Ketchup)
  • Food rich in oil and fat
  • Peppermint
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Coffee or other caffeine containing drinks
  • Large or fatty meals
  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Pregnancy

Controlling heartburn

Certain measures can be adapted to control or reduce the condition of heartburn. These measures are:

  • Maintaining a proper and balanced diet (especially a low carbs diet)
  • Eat smaller meals
  • Consuming frequent meals
  • Avoid food items that lead to heartburn
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting apparels
  • Decrease the amount of fat intake
  • After a meal, do not lie down immediately (maintain at least a three hour gap before going to bed after having a meal)
  • Don't overeat
  • Avoid or reduce intake of alcohol
  • Quit smoking
  • When lying, raise the head of the bed
  • Avoid sleeping on the right side

Home remedies for heartburn

Certain home remedies can help in the condition of heartburn. These home remedies are:

  • Apple cider vinegar and water
  • Pineapple juice
  • Ginger
  • Baking soda
  • Chewing gum
  • Fruits (Apples, bananas and grapes)
  • Mustard
  • Chamomile tea
  • Aloe Vera juice
  • Vegetable juice (Raw potato, celery and cabbage)
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Licorice
  • Almonds
  • Buttermilk

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