Heartburn is one of the symptoms of acid reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). However, it is important to note that not everyone with acid reflux suffers from heartburn and vice-versa. Its symptoms can be triggered by a number of causes in different people, and one of the most common ones is the rise of stomach acid back into the esophagus.
In some cases, cardiac problems may also trigger similar symptoms. Hence, it is important to be evaluated for cardiac problems before one is evaluated for gastrointestinal problems. At the same time, it is important to note that this condition has nothing to do with the heart.
How Do You Feel?
A heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling of burning and warmth behind the sternum, which can sometimes also be felt in the throat. Most instances occur after meals, or when one is lying down after a meal, or maybe even at night while sleeping.
- It is one of the most common symptoms. Some people may suffer from a burning sensation in the throat. This sensation can be felt high up in the throat as well.
- This is often caused due to irritation when the stomach acids reflux back up into the throat.
- Sour or bitter taste in the mouth is one of the severe indications.
- This may be caused due to reflux of stomach acids in the esophagus and may often reach the back of the throat.
Pain while Swallowing
- One may experience trouble while swallowing when food does not pass smoothly through the esophagus into the stomach.
- The person may experience a sensation of food sticking in the throat or burning in the chest after eating; or he may have feel choked or have pressure in the chest during or after eating.
- Often, the burning sensation worsens while swallowing.
- However, this can also be an indicator of other conditions, hence, it is better to have them evaluated.
- People may also experience chronic coughing if they suffer from this disorder.
- It is seen that about 41% of chronic coughing cases are non smokers.
- When the stomach acid enters the esophagus and is aspirated, it gives rise to coughing.
- Along with coughing, some patients may also suffer from wheezing or asthma like symptoms.
- A number of studies point to the fact that there is a close link between Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and asthma. This happens when stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus and is aspirated into the lungs and the airways, which makes breathing difficult causing the patient to wheeze and cough.
- In children, some of the signs include aching of the back when they are fed, chest pain, coughing, vomiting, wheezing, fussiness, pain while swallowing, etc.
- It is also seen that children who suffer from this condition may find it difficult to gain weight.
- Sores can be formed in the esophagus due to the reflux of stomach acids.
Since most instances of heartburn are caused due to stomach acid reflux, its cures involve ascertaining that the stomach acids do not make their way into the esophagus. There are a number of home remedies which can be used to treat the condition.
- Follow a diet free from fried and fatty food.
- Baking soda can be used for temporary relief.
- Patients are recommended to have smaller meals and have their dinner about two to three hours before they hit the sack.
- If possible, go for a walk after meals, as it will help to get rid of gas and bloating.
- Regular exercise will also help in curbing the condition.
- Smokers are advised to quit smoking, and drinkers should cut down on their alcohol intake as well.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.