Heartburn is a burning sensation and pain in the stomach and / or chest behind the breastbone. It may be accompanied by bloating, gas, nausea, shortness of breath, and / or an acidic or sour taste in the throat.
It often occurs when hydrochloric acid, which is used by the stomach to digest food, backs up into the esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach), causing sensitive tissues to become irritated. Normally, the esophageal sphincter muscle pinches itself shut and prevents stomach acid from surging upward. However, if the sphincter is not functioning properly, the acid can slip past it and into the esophagus. This is gastroesophageal reflux.
Frequent heartburn can lead to long-term problems. It can cause inflammation and strictures in your esophagus. In rare cases, it may even lead to cancer. But stopping the acid reflux can help prevent complications in the future.
Heartburn can be triggered by excessive consumption of spicy foods, fatty or fried foods, alcohol, coffee, citrus fruits, chocolate, or cooked tomato-based foods. Ulcers, gallbladder problems, stress, allergies and enzyme deficiencies are other possible contributing factors.
Here are four simple tips that will help ease your heartburn naturally:
If you find that you are still popping antacids like candy and you're having heartburn more than a couple of times a week, or if you are using antacids for longer than two weeks, it's time to see a professional that can help. They can create a proper meal plan and make additional recommendations as to which herbs and supplements you may take, to help you on your way to good health.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !