October 3, 2011

Frequent Heartburn

Do you ever feel a painful, burning sensation in your chest, just beneath your breastbone? Perhaps, you are sometimes awakened out of a sound sleep, your throat feeling like it just caught fire.

If these symptoms sound familiar, you are probably suffering from heartburn. Many people suffer from frequent heartburn, a condition that is characterized by symptoms that flare- up at least twice a week.


Heartburn occurs when the acidic juices from digested foods creep into the esophagus, a tube that links the throat and stomach. Because of the tube’s thin walls, the juices irritate its lining, resulting in a burning feeling in the chest.

Individuals who experience frequent heartburn have a weakened lower esophogeal sphincter, a.k.a. as the LES. The LES serves as a barrier between the stomach and esophagus. When the LES is too relaxed, stomach juices leak into the esophagus, causing heartburn.


A person’s diet can contribute to heartburn symptoms. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, or chocolate have a relaxing effect on the LES, which permits stomach juices to pass through the LES. Chocolate has an additional chemical called theobromine that affects LES functioning. Other food culprits that promote LES relaxation are tomatoes, citrus fruits, and peppermint.

Fried, greasy, and fatty foods hamper one’s digestion and sit in the stomach longer. This puts more pressure on the stomach, culminating in a lazy LES that allows acidic juices to seep out. Alcohol, which encourages more stomach acid production, is another possible heartburn trigger.

Consuming a lot of food at one sitting increases LES pressure. WHEN a person eats plays a factor; eating two to three hours before bedtime is not good for heartburn. Lying down after a hearty meal can worsen heartburn symptoms.


Smoking can aggravate heartburn symptoms, the chemicals in cigarettes weakening the LES and restricting blood flow to inflamed tissues. Tight clothes that cling to the stomach can cause flare-ups, the pressure pushing food against the LES and juices up the esophagus.


Fortunately, there are several ways to treat frequent heartburn. Changing one’s diet and avoiding problematic foods are a good start. Eliminating or reducing one’s caffeine and alcohol intake is suggested. One should stay away from greasy and spicy foods, heavy sauces, and red meat. Unprocessed, healthy foods to consume are raw vegetables and nuts, seeds, grains, and flaxseed. Other suggestions include chewing one’s food slowly and putting down one’s fork before feeling stuffed.

Drinking a glass of water every two hours helps alleviate heartburn episodes, as well as neutralizing stomach acids. Incorporating a glass of cabbage juice into one’s diet can offer relief, its juice soothing the digestive tract. Reducing the amount of aspirin and pain relievers can decrease heartburn. Other changes include eating light, frequent meals throughout the day and losing excess weight.

If dietary changes do not reduce heartburn symptoms, medication is another alternative. For more information on causes and cures for heartburn, be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!

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