When gastric acids enter the esophagus, we tend to get a burning feeling in the upper chest region, which is generally called heartburn. Scientifically, when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close in the appropriate manner, we get heartburn.
When you get an uncomfortable warm and burning feeling in the chest region, usually just behind the breastbone or sternum, you may have heartburn. This burning sensation is in waves and can distinguish itself from the other pains by this characteristic. During this burning sensation, the pain generally gets worse when you lie down or bend over. Also, you will find that heartburn is more commonly felt after you consume a heavy meal. Scientifically, heartburn is referred to as pyrosisor acid indigestion.
Causes of Heartburn
Any foods that help to relax the lower esophageal sphincter or LES can cause heartburn. Here is a list of foodstuffs that can cause heartburn:
Food Item 1- Drinks
Tea and coffee are considered the triggers of lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. These drinks contain caffeine, which is the primary chemical that causes the relaxation of your lower esophageal sphincter.
Food Item 2- Chocolate
Most of us cannot resist the temptation of chocolate, even if there is heartburn after consuming it. Chocolate contains a primary chemical called theobromine, which is considered to trigger lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. Theobromine is commonly found in plants such as cocoa, tea and coffee plants.
Food Item 3- Fried and Fatty Foods
Fried and fatty foods slows down the digestion and thus these foods remain in the stomach for a longer duration. This load of food puts increased pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which in turn allows reflux of the stomach contents.
Food Item 4- Tomato and Tomato-based Products
It is a known fact that tomato and any tomato-based products trigger the lower esophageal sphincter relaxation. So, if you are suffering from frequent bouts of heartburn, you should avoid the excess consumption of tomato or tomato-based products.
Heartburn can happen to anyone and at all ages. There are some diseases that have heartburn as their symptoms hence it is very important to identify the causes of heartburn. ‘Prevention is better than cure’—if suffering from heartburn, make sure that you avoid the aforementioned foods to a large extent. The above foods in moderation will not have a large effect on the heartburn, but it is best to refrain from them. Most doctors will prescribe antacids for the treatment of heartburn, however, you need to understand that antacids are for interim relief and the underlying condition may not go away. So, a detailed diagnosis is very important if you want to keep a check on heartburns.
Common Medications for Heartburn
The most common medications given by doctors are proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers and antacids. All these categories of medications are very effective in controlling the heartburn problems, but the doctor might prescribe only one category of medication for you initially. The proton pump inhibitors are considered to be the most effective medications for heartburn, but they are generally the final line of medications that are used by the doctors.
You can also find many over the counter medications available in the pharmacy store, but it is best to get the heartburn condition diagnosed properly. You may have to make a few alterations to your diet or eating habits so that you do not have the reoccurrence of heartburn.