January 3, 2011

Where Does Your Heartburn Hurt?

If you are someone who hasn’t ever had heartburn, or are experiencing heartburn for the first time, you may be asking, where does heartburn hurt? Generally, heartburn sufferers feel pain in the upper chest area, which can radiate upwards toward the neck.

Heartburn happens when stomach acids are allowed to escape the stomach, and enter the esophagus, which causes pain, and a burning sensation. The lower esophageal sphincter is a sort of one way valve meant to let food into the stomach, and keep it there, along with all the acids and enzymes meant to aid in the digestion process. If this muscle relaxes too much, or is damaged in some way, those acids can make their way up into areas they were never meant to be in, resulting in heartburn.

Heartburn pain can vary from mild to severe, and can be accompanied by burping, reflux, which just means the acids made their way all the way up to the mouth, hiccups and general indigestion.

Heartburn has a wide range of causes, and targeting some of them can keep heartburn at bay for most people. First of all, a simple lifestyle change can help eliminate heartburn pain quickly. Eating large meals can cause heartburn by putting too much pressure on your stomach, which causes it to overproduce acid. So, rather than eating two big meals every day, try four or five smaller meals to help your body digest a little easier. Additionally, don’t eat too close to bed time. Laying down allows acids to easily migrate out of the stomach, so stay upright after eating for as long as possible to let gravity help your body keep digestive fluids where they belong. Also, try changing your fashion habits. Wearing clothes that are tight fitting can constrict your stomach, putting pressure on sensitive areas, which leads to heartburn.

Another habit that can lead to heartburn pain is smoking. The nicotine in tobacco is shown to cause the body to overproduce stomach acids. If you have too much acid in your stomach, it can easily escape into areas that will cause pain. Smoking also inhibits your body’s ability to heal, so any damage done by excess stomach acids won’t heal as quickly.

Stress can also lead to heartburn pain in the chest and neck areas. Similar to nicotine, stress causes an overproduction of stomach acids. To combat this, calm down. Try some deep breathing, take a meditation course, count to ten, put on some relaxing music, add some light exercise to your daily routine, whatever it takes to de-stress your life. If you feel yourself getting stressed out, something as simple as taking a deep breath can save you from pain later.

Food is another common cause of heartburn pain. Everyone has different triggers, but in general spicy foods, onion, garlic, caffeine, alcohol and citrus fruits are a few common ones. Try tracking what causes your pain and avoiding those foods if necessary.

Heartburn pain is an uncomfortable problem for millions of people. To find out more about where heartburn hurts and the causes of heartburn pain, visit today.


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