Do you get heartburn after eating your favorite foods? Does it wake you up at night? You are not alone. People have been suffering with heartburn symptoms for hundreds of years. Throughout that long history, people have also been trying to decrease the pain and symptoms associated with heartburn.
The first written record of a heartburn treatment dates back to the first century, when Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist who died chasing the eruption of Vesuvius, wrote down his solution for the fire within: “coral powder.” Coral powder, says Dr. M. Michael Wolfe, chief of gastroenterology at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, contained calcium carbonate, an ingredient still found in some antacids today.
Heartburn can be a very common symptom that affects over 60 million people at least once a month, with many of them experiencing daily symptoms. It can be experienced as a burning sensation that radiates up through the stomach to the chest and throat. Despite its name, heartburn does not affect the heart. It is very common to have symptoms after a big meal or after eating certain foods, bending over or lying down on the back. Heartburn is caused by stomach acids rising into the esophagus. The majority of people, who experience this symptom, will experience it more at night. However, certain foods can increase the symptoms associated with heartburn.
Stress can also play a big role in heartburn. “When you are under stress you are more bothered by it,” said Dr. Lin Chang, an associate professor of medicine at UCLA and co-director of the Center for Neurovisceral Sciences and Women’s Health. “There’s also some evidence that if you’re under stress you actually increase your acid secretion as well.”
Heartburn is the main symptom associated with Acid reflux or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Other GERD symptoms can include pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, bloating, burping or nausea after eating. However, people can have these symptoms and not have GERD.
Many people take over-the-counter (OTC) medications for relief of heartburn and don’t give it much thought. The OTC options are Antacids and H2 blockers. OTC – Antacids neutralize the acid in the stomach. They can provide fast, short term relief. OTC – H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes. These do not reduce symptoms as quickly but relieve the symptoms for a longer time than antacids. Both of these OTC medications require continued use and will only treat the symptoms as they appear. If you are taking antacids on a regular basis it could be more serious and you should consult your doctor.
Many people find that they do not need OTC medication for their heartburn symptoms. They are able to manage the symptoms by decreasing the foods that may be contributing.
Some common foods that can increase heartburn symptoms are:
Garlic and Onions
Other tips that may help heartburn symptoms:
· Try not to over eat and eat slower.
· Eat smaller meals more frequently.
· Avoid high fat foods.
· Stay upright for at least 45 minutes after eating.
· Eat at least 2- 3 hours before heading to bed.
· Elevate your bed 6 inches at the head.
There are many options out there to reduce the symptoms associated with heartburn. If you are suffering with this symptom, you have options and don’t have to live with the irritating symptoms.
At Advanced Allergy Treatment Centers of New England, we can help to relieve a variety of digestive symptoms, some of which are commonly associated with heartburn. We offer an advanced therapy that can help to relieve or significantly reduce they symptoms associated with heartburn and acid reflux. It is a non-invasive treatment that does not include needles, supplements, or medications. It is completely pain free and available to all ages, including infants. If you suffer from heartburn symptoms, please call our office today at 603-894-0656 and find out how we can help.