Things that can make heartburn worse
What is heartburn?
Despite its name, heartburn doesn't affect the heart.
• Coffee (both regular and decaffeinated) and other
Heartburn is a burning feeling in the lower chest, along
with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth. It
usually occurs after eating a big meal or while lying
down. The feeling can last for a few minutes or a few
• Tomato products • Chocolate, mints or peppermints
What causes heartburn?
• Fatty foods or spicy foods (such as pizza, chili and
When you eat, food passes from your mouth down the
esophagus; to enter the stomach, the food must pass
through a valve-like opening between the esophagus
and stomach. This opening acts like a gate to allow food
• Aspirin or ibuprofen (one brand name: Motrin)
• Certain medicines (such as sedatives and some
Usually, this opening closes as soon as food passes through. But if it doesn't close all the way, acid from your stomach can get through the opening and into your
Can heartburn be serious?
esophagus. This is called reflux. Stomach acid can irritate the esophagus and cause heartburn.
If you only have heartburn now and then, it's probably not serious. However, if you have heartburn frequently, it
What is hiatal hernia?
can lead to esophagitis (inflammation involving the lining of the esophagus). If esophagitis becomes severe, it can lead to narrowing (and subsequent swallowing difficulty)
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach
is pushed up through the diaphragm (the muscle wall
between the stomach and chest) and into the chest.
If you get more than occasional heartburn, it may be a
symptom of acid reflux disease, gastroesophageal reflux
disease (GERD), an inflamed stomach lining (gastritis),
What factors add to heartburn?
Many things can make heartburn worse. Heartburn is
What can I do to feel better?
most common after overeating, when bending over or when lying down. Pregnancy, stress and certain foods can also make heartburn worse. Other factors are listed
You might be able to avoid heartburn by making some
changes in your lifestyle. The list below provides some
Tel : (905)472-8911
Tips on preventing heartburn
Tests might include X-rays to check for ulcers or an endoscopy to check for other conditions. Your doctor
may also check for H. pylori
, a bacteria that can cause
Place 6- to 9-inch blocks under the legs at the head
Try to eat at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
What about medicines for heartburn?
Several kinds of medicine can be used to treat
• Avoid tight clothes and tight belts.
heartburn. Examples include ranitidine, omeprazole
• Avoid foods and other things that give you heartburn.
(brand name: Prilosec) and lansoprazole (brand name: Prevacid). To find out what medicine is right for you, talk with your doctor.
Will antacids take care of heartburn?
Is heartburn associated with heart attacks?
Antacids neutralize the acid that your stomach makes. For most people, antacids that you can get without a prescription (over-the-counter) give fast, short-term
No. But sometimes pain in the chest may be mistaken
for heartburn when it's really a sign of heart disease.
However, if you use antacids too much, they can cause
Call your doctor if:
diarrhea or constipation. Look for antacids that contain both magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide.
• You have trouble swallowing or pain when
(One causes constipation while the other causes
diarrhea so they counteract each other.) Some brands of
antacids include Maalox and Mylanta. Follow the
What if my symptoms get worse?
• You have pain going into your neck and shoulder.
• You break out in a sweat when you have pain in your
If lifestyle changes and antacids don't help your
symptoms, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may want
• You have heartburn often (more than 3 times a week)
you to take prescription medicine or schedule you for
Tel : (905)472-8911
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