Acid heartburn is a burning discomfort felt in the lower part of the mid-chest, behind the breast bone, and in the mid-abdomen. It is an intense episode of heartburn that can actually mimic the chest pain brought about by angina or a heart attack. Though acid heartburn actually has nothing to do with the heart, emergency wards around the world could confirm there is much confusion - and if you are uncertain by all means get to a hospital!
Acid heartburn is not a disease. It is the same as any other kind of heartburn which in itself is not considered a serious medical condition. Heartburn is a fairly common digestive problem and if you only have the occasional episode there is nothing to worry about. If however, you have recurring discomfort you may have GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Acid reflux disease occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Your stomach has a protective lining and contains acid to aid in digesting food - your esophagus does not have a protective lining so when it is exposed to acid, it can become inflamed and painful. Generally this occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter muscle – the natural valve that keeps stomach acid in the stomach – relaxes or does not function properly.
If you experience acid heartburn a couple times a week it could be GERD and you should see your doctor about the condition. Your doctor may refer you to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the stomach and intestines. Depending on the severity of your GERD, treatment may involve one or more of the following: lifestyle changes, medications, or surgery.
Most symptoms can be relieved by taking over-the-counter medications for heartburn such as Tums or Pepcid AC. Long term exposure to some of these medications can increase levels of heavy metals over time - so if your acid heartburn becomes more frequent it is important to seek medical help with correct medications, lifestyle changes and some natural remedies.
Changing your lifestyle takes discipline and planning but may alow you to manage your acid heartburn without expensive and ongoing medications. Eating several small meals each day instead of three large meals is most beneficial and of course avoiding acidic foods obviously helps. Do not eat within three hours prior to going to bed. Quit smoking and drastically cut back on alcohol consumption. If you are overweight try to shed a few pounds - weight loss can have a dramatic impact on reducing the symptoms of acid heartburn.
Acid Heartburn: References
By Mortin - Copyright 2010
Last modification 10/02/2010