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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November 12, 2010

Quick Ways to Ease Heartburn

Sometimes before the cure for heartburn can do any good, you need to know more about what triggers heartburn first.

The antacid manufactures have made billions of dollars through the years promising heartburn sufferers quick ways to relief.

Problem is, they don’t work, never have and in fact Swedish scientists proved years ago antacids even make heartburn worse.

In fact it was the antacid manufacturers that invented acid rebound.

If you’ve never heard of acid rebound it’s because they don’t really talk about that one very much. You might hear your doctor mention it just before he up grades you to a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) product, but otherwise you probably won’t.

Acid rebound is like heartburn on steroids.

Because antacids don’t cure heartburn, they can make the cause of your heartburn worse, which then leads you to getting hooked on even more expensive and dangerous heartburn treatments.

Acid rebound happens when you stop taking proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medications like Prilosec. It’s basically a worsening of your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. This worsening of your heartburn is caused from your stomach acid producing cells going through withdrawal of the PPI drugs.

Unfortunately, for many heartburn sufferers the only answer for acid rebound is to go back on the medication that caused it and that’s NOT a situation you want to put yourself in, is it?

Even using these dangerous antacid and heartburn medications for as little one month can trigger acid rebound and worsen any gastro-esophageal reflux (GERD) symptoms.

Here are some other pharmaceuticals that can worsen your heart burn:

  • Aspirin
  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Antihistamines such as Benadryl
  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline
  • Heart medications such as Procardia, Inderal, Tenormin, and Cardizem
  • Anti-anxiety medications such as Valium or Ativan
  • Osteoporosis medications, such as Fosamax
  • Steroid medications such as prednisone
  • Chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy for cancer
  • Nitrates and nitroglycerin
  • Anticholinergics such as Antispas and Robinul
  • Narcotics such as Demerol
  • Iron supplements
  • Theophylline
  • Synthetic? or corn derived Vitamin C

One of my favorite remedies for heartburn is to drink alkaline water “in-between” my meals all day long. You can spend thousands on a machine to do it, or you can alkalize your water with coral ocean mineral tea bags or sprinkle some Himalayan or Celtic sea salt in your water bottle.

These ocean minerals are almost identical to the molecular structure of your blood and bones. Keeping your tissues and organs replenished with “ionic” minerals is a great way to preserve a healthy stomach acid environment.

For a quick and easy way to relieve heartburn try fresh ginger tea, warm lemon juice and water or raw apple cider vinegar. Personally all that in a cup of warm tea sounds good to me.

You were born to heal,

Todd M. Faass?

Health Ecologist

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October 26, 2010

GERD Exercises

I’ve been successfully helping people with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) for going on 4 years now and the natural remedies I suggest have been helping everyone I know of who has tried them.

Lately I’ve noticed there are a lot of people who are interested in any kind of exercise to help rejuvenate and strengthen their Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), which is the flap in your throat that’s supposed to keep stomach acid down below.

Unfortunately once acid reflux becomes chronic GERD, that esophageal sphincter has been quite damaged by all the gastric acid pushed up against it and through it.

In spite of the fact that natural remedies and lifestyle changes do help people and do promote their own healing processes, once this flap has been burned by GERD, it needs special nurturing.

So I started studying how people who have been on feeding tubes are rehabilitated, I thought this might give us some clues. Fact is feeding tubes are very helpful for people who have difficulty swallowing, but sometimes after a long treatment they have to relearn how to switch back to eating orally, like normal.

It was here I found some exercises that may help people recovering from Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

There is a study that proved swallowing pudding helped patients who had difficulty with the upper esophageal sphincter (UES), which is the flap that keeps air from getting into the stomach. Something about the simple act of swallowing seems to have natural strengthening benefits.

The difference with the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is its designed to keep the gastric acid away from the throat. It only makes sense to consider any advancement in this area because there isn’t a whole ton of info on the subject.

Additional exercises for GERD would be to walk after eating, chew food for extremely long periods of time and learn to breathe deeply while in any position.

Another suggestion would be to swallow tablespoons of pure aloe vera gel. You can’t really exercise the lower esophageal sphincter, but strengthening the upper flap is a start and the aloe vera will accelerate the healing of chemical burns that have inflicted the lower flap.

That’s what GERD does, it attacks that lower flap and because it can’t be exercised per se, like the upper flap, it can be nurtured in several other ways.

So keeping the digestive system at an optimum level will be the best exercise you can do to help rehabilitate this lower flap.

Keep eating less than what fills you up, supplement with living enzymes and probiotics and I suggest juicing celery, cucumbers and apples will also help. The trick with apples when you juice them is to peel the skin and eat that first. The apple skin contains natural enzymes that digest the malic acid and sugars in the apple. If you just juice the apple, most juicers will discard the skin, which is unfortunate if you don’t know to eat it first.

You can also get expensive cold-pressing juicers that don’t separate the fibers necessary for proper health and digestion.

So exercises for GERD would be stretching, deep breathing and walking. A good therapy is to swallow healthy food sources with a dense or gelatinous quality, such as clear gelatin, pudding and aloe vera gel.

You were born to heal,

Todd M. Faass?

Health Ecologist

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