There is no doubt about the fact that everyone’s main goal in life should be to live a healthy and happy life. After all, we have only one life to live. Unfortunately, our wonderful life contains many indulgences that can be difficult to resist. Among some of these indulgences are foods that aren’t necessarily too healthy for us. Many of these foods can cause many different types of health ailments, of which one of the most dangerous includes instances of heartburn.
A digestive disorder that occurs from the flowing of gastric acid from the backing pressure of the stomach to the esophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux disease, also referred to as GERD. A muscle that is positioned in the bottom of the esophagus opens up to allow food to enter, upon which it then closes for the purpose of keeping it contained within the stomach. This muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter, also known as LES. If this muscle relaxes regularly for long periods of time, the acid will reflux back into the esophagus, which then causes heartburn.
Heartburn is also commonly referred to as acid indigestion. Acid indigestion is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Those who experience heartburn will often feel burning sensations within their chest, and may extend upwards towards the neck and throat. Heartburn can last up to two hours after eating, which is the most common time for it to occur. Heartburn can also be caused by lying down or positioning oneself bending over. There is no age factor for many cases of GERD, as children that are affected under the age of 12 may experience a dry cough or asthma symptoms in pertinence to the ailment. They may also experience trouble swallowing, all of which are potential symptoms of GERD.
There are many things an individual can do to greatly decrease their heartburn problems. GERD can be relieved by making some slight lifestyle changes, most of which are involved with their diet and exercise regiment. Also, the individual should pay close attention to any medications they may be taking, as some drugs may cause irritation within the lining of the esophagus or stomach. Certain foods to avoid are fried foods, foods high in fat, peppermint, alcohol, citric fruits, caffeinated drinks, and sugary drinks. Smoking is another major cause of heartburn, and should be stopped immediately to not only prevent heartburn, but a plethora of other dangerous ailments. If you or a loved one have been noticing any of these symptoms, then it is of your and/or their greatest benefit in contacting a doctor for a diagnosis.