Pain or burning at the entrance to the abdomen, also called heartburn, is a common symptom in adults. We sometimes speak indistinctly of gastroesophageal reflux disease, even if they are not at all synonymous. Here we are going to explain what it is and tell you about the causes of heartburn. Heartburn Authority has highlighted some tips to prevent and manage the condition.
The burning sensation in the stomach area and the manifestation itself, going up behind the breastbone (the chest bone that is in front of the heart), can be trivial to some degree. However, to remedy this, some lifestyle changes are needed.
How and Why Does Heartburn Occur?
When we eat, food goes from the mouth to the esophagus and, after that, to the stomach. There is a muscle ring called the lower esophageal sphincter between these two parts, which prevents stomach contents from returning to the mouth. When, for specific reasons reason, beyond physiological reflux, the stomach acid content rises, you can get a heartburn. The actual reasons for heartburn are still being studied.
Different theories have been considered to explain its causes, such as alterations in motility (movements specific to the digestive tract), changes in acid production, stress, diet, psychological and hereditary factors. You should understand that we are not touching on defined diagnoses, as would be the case for ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel disease, and gallstones. Nevertheless, in all of these situations, one can also suffer from heartburn.
Risk Factors and Causes of Heartburn
As we have already mentioned, the causes of heartburn are still being studied, although some so-called risk factors have been identified. These should be avoided, if possible, to prevent the onset of symptoms. Diet is one of these determining factors. It influences the presence of heartburn in some people and is mainly linked to the consumption of certain products.
This is the case of spices or condiments, citrus fruits, products derived from tomatoes (ketchup), fried foods or foods with high-fat content, mint, chocolate, carbonated drinks, and alcohol. Being overweight can also increase your risk of heartburn. You can see it during pregnancy for the same reason: the already grown uterus pushes the stomach upwards and results in reflux because of bodily changes.
You can consult a doctor or try other possible remedies like avoiding certain foods that trigger the condition or losing weight. It is essential not to use over-the-counter antacids. Always consult a doctor about this. If symptoms become more intense, appear overnight, or last for a long time, professional assessment should be done promptly.