With any illness or disease there are usually a number of risk factors. For examples, exposing yourself to certain chemicals can cause Cancer. The same can be said of Heartburn; there are certain foods and eating habits that can lead to this uncomfortable and often painful condition. Knowing what Heartburn risk factors are will help you to avoid the nasty symptoms associated with it.
Let us start by saying that the term heartburn does not have a thing to do with your heart. It is simply called heartburn because it is a burning pain that travels up the esophagus from the stomach as a result of an excessive amount of stomach acid being produced. One of the most obvious risk factors for heartburn is of course the food you incorporate into your diet. People who eat spicy foods, fatty foods and foods that contain high levels of sugar are often afflicted by heartburn more often.
Being overweight can also cause heartburn as there is added pressure to your stomach and esophagus. Another heartburn risk factor is smoking cigarettes. There is not a lot of information as to why smoking would cause heartburn other than the fact that it irritates the lining of the stomach and lungs. Sometimes when people lie down too soon after eating heartburn can develop. The best rule of thumb is to wait for at least an hour or two after eating to lie down in bed.
It is important to note that heartburn mimics heart attack. The only time heartburn can occur is after food has been eaten. If a person experiences what feels like heartburn four hours before or after a meal a visit to the hospital may be a good idea. Unfortunately, a heart attack can feel exactly like heartburn and vice versa.
Above all advice when it comes to heartburn risk factors is to know your own body. If you know that something tends to cause heartburn, do not eat it. If there is something that you absolutely love and would like to eat once in a while then try using an acid reducer medication an hour before your meal.
Heartburn that happens a couple of times a month is probably not a big deal but if you begin noticing it occurring more than once a week then you may have a chronic problem and should seek medical attention. Heartburn can lead to GERD, ulcers and a number of other complications if it is not treated properly.
According to Food and Drug Administration study started in May Prilosec and Nexium don’t cause any heart problems.
Manufacturer AstroZeneca rised this concern when two small studies compared patients who underwent surgery with patients on a drug regimen. These studies found that patients on a drug regimen suffered from heart related issues more frequently than those with surgeries. It turned out that these studies were biased. Patients who underwent surgeries were significantly yonger when compared to ones who were treated with drugs. So higher rate of heart related issues could be easily described by older age of the patients.
Also FDA looked at 14 additional studies about Prilosec and Nexium and found that those people who took heartburn pill versus dummy pill had lower chance of heart related problems.
Chest pain due to heartburn is often confused with heart attack chest pain.
Below are typical symptoms of heart attack:
Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.
Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.
Paleness or pallor.
Increased or irregular heart rate.
Feeling of impending doom.
So if you have symptoms similar to ones listed above seek emergency help immediately.
Below are typical symptoms of heartburn:
A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours.
Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down or eating.
Burning in the throat — or hot, sour, acidic or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat.
Feeling of food “sticking” in the middle of the chest or throat.
Heartburn may cause chronic cough, sore throat, or chronic hoarseness
So use these two lists to distinguish between these different types of pains. Who knows maybe this can save you a life sometime.
According to following study belching is not the cause of acid reflux. So if you belch more it won’t make your heartburn worse. Researchers measured how many times people with heartburn belch versus people with healthy stomach. Patients with gerd had 287 occurences of air swallow why healthy people had 176. Also patients with gerd had 52 occurences of belching while healthy people had 32. But when researches infused some air into patients’ stomachs it didn’t worsen symptoms of acid reflux. Same happened with healthy people – no increase in reflux at all.So if you belch more today it does not mean your heartburn would be worse.On a personal note I saw quite an opposite connection. When I belch more I have less heartburn… Strange isn’t it?
SOURCE: American Journal of Gastroenterology, August 2006