The Truth About Heartburn
Most people will suffer from heartburn at some point in their lives. It’s one of those things everyone knows a little – from after eating too much rich food, for example. In most cases, it passes and is entirely normal. But as someone who has lived with acid reflux problems for many years, I know what a problem it can be.
Heartburn can often be a sign of an underlying condition that might prove to be far more problematic than the sheer discomfort it can cause. In today’s guide, I’m going to go through five health issues that might be contributing to your heartburn.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)And Heartburn
Gastroesophageal reflux disease – known as GERD – affects around one in four people. If you experience two or more bouts of heartburn each week, there is a good chance it’s down to GERD. No one really knows why it occurs, although experts suspect it is due to weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter – or LES – valve.
In addition to following a good acid reflux diet, sufferers can also try strengthening their LES valves. There are various breathing exercises to try out which can help you ease symptoms. Check out diaphragmatic breathing, bellows breathing, and Kapalbhati, which is all thought to help.
Not all heartburn is bad news, of course. During the first trimester of pregnancy, women can experience weakening in the LES and, therefore, heartburn. In fact, many women discover they are pregnant as a direct result of seeing a doctor about their heartburn!
The good news is that acid reflux tends to go away for the second trimester – but it will return. By the third trimester, there is so much pressure on the abdomen that food and acid will often come back up, causing heartburn. In some cases, this can be extreme – so see your doctor for some relief from the symptoms.
People can have Hiatal hernias without realizing. Some may only discover the truth when visiting their doctor about heartburn problems. A hiatal hernia is when the stomach starts to bulge through the diaphragm and into the chest. It causes heartburn because it loosens the LES valve, allowing acid to travel up rather than containing it. While Hiatal hernias are not dangerous, they can cause a lot of discomfort.
One of the problems with putting on significant amounts of weight is that it can occur slowly. People just don’t notice their weight gain, and over the months or years can become obese. So, if you are suffering from pain a lot, it could be a sign that you are overeating. Think about the foods you are eating and start cutting out unhealthy fast foods and snacks.
Some people just suffer from slow digestive systems. In these cases, the stomach just doesn’t work as it should and empties itself in entirely the wrong direction. These cases are rare, however, but there is evidence it is more common for diabetics. Researchers think that high blood sugar levels damage the nerves that move food through the stomach system. The result, of course, is pain.
Do you have Heartburn? It is hard to determine the cause at times but there are many conditions that may be to blame.