What is Heartburn?
When someone experiences heartburn, he or she usually experiences it as a burning sensation in the chest or in the upper abdomen. The pain is a common complaint of many and affects approximately 7 to 10 percent of the U.S. population every day (Kern et al., 2004). Heartburn is usually associated with regurgitation of gastric acid from the stomach and is usually a chief complaint of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Unfortunately, the simplicity of the definition stops there. Because while everyone has regurgitation of gastric acid from the stomach, not everyone has heartburn — and not everyone who does have heartburn has acid reflux disease.
The difference between heartburn and GERD is that GERD is a condition that develops when the reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms and/or complications (Vakil et al., 2006). What muddies the waters even more, is that less than half of the naturally occurring reflux events is repo...
Heartburn is one of those symptoms that seriously commands your attention. First off, it can really hurt. Odds are good that your skin has rarely felt as fiery as your belly may feel during an attack of heartburn. Secondly, while it doesn't actually involve your heart, heartburn can give you the sense that something is amiss deep among your vital organs.
Heartburn can be a problem that you should bring to your doctor's attention. But as painful as this common condition can be, it's also something that you can also help treat and prevent on your own.
Heartburn arises when the contents of your stomach move the wrong way. The food and drink you swallow is supposed to only travel south from your mouth, but during heartburn, food, drink, and stomach juices move upward past the "doorway" between your esophagus and stomach. Your esophagus isn't as naturally protected against this harsh material as your stomach lining, thus it causes pain.
If heartburn strikes you often e...
Is it acid reflux or bile reflux? Q: I had been experiencing a lot of heartburn but that seems to have decreased with Nexium . I still however, get a lot of regurgitation of liquid into my throat. Is this acid reflux? A: As your heartburn has improved, while the regurgitation can still be related to acid, you may also be refluxing bile. While this is more common in patients that have had prior surgery of the upper gastrointestinal tract, it can also occur after gallbladder surgery, ulcer disease and previous damage to the pylorus (of the stomach). Bile reflux is frequently associated with acid reflux, and can cause damage to both the stomach ( gastritis ) and the esophagus ( esophagitis ). Causes and Treatment The treatment of bile reflux typically involves medication that either results in an increased flow of bile through the digestive tract ( such as Urso ), or that binds the bile ( Carafate ). You should check with your doctor about the possibility of you having ...
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