September 19, 2011
Burning esophagus is also known as heartburn, pyrosis and acid indigestion. It is classified as a burning sensation in the chest originating just behind the breastbone in the esophagus. The sensation usually rises in the chest and spreads to the throat, neck and in some cases even to the jaw. Those who suffer from occasional heartburn should not be alarmed; over-the-counter medications and changing your lifestyle can be just the remedy required. Those who experience more severe heartburn should make changes to their lifestyle and seek more intensive medical help.
In most cases heartburn is associated with the regurgitation of gastric acid which is also one of the significant indicators of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Burning esophagus is also an indicator of ischemic heart disease, so doctors have to be sure that they don’t misdiagnose patients who think they have gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Symptoms of heartburn include: a burning pain in the chest that is usually experienced after eating and tends to occur at night, pain that sharpens whenever you bend over or lay down. You should seek immediate medical attention when you experience acute chest pain and other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, pain in the arm and/or jaw as well as chest pain. Chest pain is especially important as it could mean that you’re having a heart attack. You should be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor if your heartburn flares up more than twice a week, if you have trouble swallowing or if your symptoms continue despite using over-the-counter medications.
There are certain kinds of drink and food that have been known to cause heartburn. The include: alcohol, chocolate, black pepper, coffee, fatty food, ketchup, fried food, orange juice, onions, mustard, peppermint, soft drinks, tomato sauce and vinegar.
Antacids such as Maalox, Gelusil, Tums, Rolaids and Mylanta can provide you with rapid and temporary relief, but antacids alone will not heal an inflamed esophagus that has been eaten away by stomach acid. Overuse of these over-the-counter medications can cause unfortunate side effects such as constipation or diarrhea. Medications called H-2 receptor blockers include cimetidine (Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac 25, Zantac 75, Zantac 150), nizatidine (Axid AR) or famotidine (Pepcid AC). While these don’t act as quickly as antacids do, the relief they provide is longer. Even stronger versions of H-2 receptor blockers are available in prescription form.
For those who subscribe to an alternative medication lifestyle, there are some natural remedies that can help with heartburn. Aromatherapy, gentle exercise, hypnosis, music, massages and relaxation techniques can all be used to combat heartburn.
Lifestyle changes that can reduce heartburn include: maintaining a healthy weight, avoid tight clothing, eating smaller meals, avoiding food and drink that trigger burning esophagus, not lying down after meals and elevating the head of your bed. These small changes can have a large impact on your heartburn flare-ups. For more information on soothing and/or eliminating a burning esophagus be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!
Talk with your doctor today if you experience constant and acute heartburn as it may be an indication of a more serious medical condition.