Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease and acid reflux. However, you should also take note that not all individuals suffering from heartburn experiences acid reflux and vice versa. Heartburn symptoms can be triggered by different causes and this may vary from one person to another. In addition, not all symptoms of heartburn can be noticed in one person. One of the most common causes of heartburn is the excessive production of stomach acid that causes it to flow back into the esophagus. In certain cases, cardiac problems can also trigger a heartburn attack that is why it is important to undergo proper diagnosis in order to rule out heart conditions.
Symptoms of Heartburn
Those individuals who have not yet experienced a heartburn attack or unaware that they are going through it are unfamiliar with how heartburn feels like. What does heartburn feel like? Heartburn is the uncomfortable feeling that you can experience accompanied by warmth and burning sensation behind the sternum. This discomfort may radiate to your neck as well. Most symptoms of heartburn occur after having a meal, lying down after a meal or while sleeping at night.
- Heartburn conditions during pregnancy are also common phenomena. One of the common symptoms of this condition is the burning sensation in the chest, which usually starts behind the sternum and into the throat. Such condition normally occurs after eating and this may last for several minutes, although it may last for an hour in some cases. Just like the burning sensation in the chest, individuals suffering from a migraine attack may also experience a burning sensation in the throat and this could worsen as the individual swallows.
- A bitter or sour taste in the mouth is the common symptom of severe heartburn. This taste is due to the reflux of the acid from the stomach and into the esophagus, which in some cases reaches the throat. When stomach acids or contents from the stomach go back to the throat, this can lead to a bitter or sour taste in the mouth along with nausea and vomiting.
- An individual suffering from heartburn may have trouble when swallowing. This then prevents the food from passing smoothly into the esophagus and to the stomach. The affected individual may experience the feeling of having a food stuck in the throat or a burning sensation on the chest while or after eating, as well as pressure or choking feeling after a meal. However, you should know that swallowing difficulties could also be indications of other health conditions, which is why it is necessary to have the condition evaluated to rule out other serious health problems.
- Chronic cough is another common symptom of heartburn conditions. Based on reports, approximately 41% of all the cases of chronic coughing involve non-smokers or passive smokers. Once the stomach acid goes through the esophagus and is aspirated, this can result to coughing. Aside from coughing, patients may also experience asthma-like symptoms, such as wheezing. Various studies pointed out that there is a great link between asthma and gastroesophageal reflux disease. This takes place when the acid from the stomach reflux into the esophagus and becomes aspirated in the lungs and air passages, thus making it hard for the individual to breathe properly and leads to cough and wheezing.
- In children, the common symptoms of heartburn include arching of the back while eating, vomiting, and coughing, chest pain, wheezing, pain when swallowing and fussiness. It was also observed that children suffering from heartburn have trouble gaining weight. Sores can also be found within the esophagus and this is due to the reflux of the stomach acid.
Based on heartburn symptoms, it is easy to determine that the condition is due to the reflux of acid within the stomach. Therefore, heartburn remedies should involve things that can help make sure that the stomach acids are neutralized and properly kept within the stomach and far from the esophagus. There are several home remedies available for heartburn conditions; however, it is necessary to undergo proper diagnosis first before opting for these remedies.
Among the most recommended remedies for heartburn include lifestyle and dietary changes. You have to make it certain that you avoid consuming foods that can trigger a heartburn attack and stick to the ones that can sooth the condition or provide relief. Baking soda is another popularly used remedy against heartburn. It is also necessary to make sure that you control the portion of your meals and prevent consuming huge meals, especially before going to bed.
Regular exercise is another effective heartburn relief. Take note that an active lifestyle can help you lose weight fast, optimize your metabolism and maintain an overall health condition. If you are a smoker, it would be best to quit this habit to prevent heartburn conditions. Avoiding excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages is necessary as well.