What are the Symptoms of Heartburn or GERD?
Heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is not a disease but a symptom of burning discomfort in your chest, usually associated with an acid taste in the mouth. It is also referred to as indigestion or dyspepsia and is associated with drinking and eating.
What causes heartburn?
It is caused by the reflux of the acid contents of the stomach back up the oesophagus (gullet) and sometimes into the throat. It may be caused by a ring of muscle at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach does not close fully, and may be associated with a hiatus hernia.
Factors that bring it on are:
· Particular foods (e.g. cabbage, onions, cucumber, curries, pastries – especially pies and pasties, fruit cake)
· Certain drinks (e.g. wine- especially red wine, beer carbonated drinks, coffee)
· Eating too fast
· Rich or big meals
· Chewing gum long and hard
· Stress and anxiety
· Old age
· Certain drugs (e.g. antirheumatism drugs, aspirin)
· Obesity (a common factor)
What tests are done?
Tests may not be necessary, but if it persists or your doctor is concerned about an ulcer, X-rays may be taken or a tube called a gastroscope may be passed down into the stomach to inspect it.
How can it be prevented?
· Bolt your food down
· Eat standing up
· Eat fatty foods (e.g. pastries)
· Eat spicy foods
· Eat large or rich meals
· Bend over for work
· Strain at toilet
· Drink wine with meals
· Eat foods that ‘ burn’
· Drink coffee or alcohol late at night
Dos - Heartburn Remedies (The GERD Diet)
· Eat in a slow and relaxed manner
· Eat sitting down
· Avoid foods that ‘burn’
· Eat small or moderate meals
· Squat rather than bend
· Keep your bowels regular
· Avoid stress : relax!
· Reduce your alcohol intake
Gastrointestinal Tract Absorption of Nutrients
What is the Treatment for GERD?
Attending to the above preventive advice can bring heartburn relief
· Learn what brings on your heartburn and deal with it
· Take antacids when you feel your heartburn coming on and before bed at night.
· Make sure that you get to your ideal weight, should you be overweight
· Your doctor may prescribe other medicine to help
Please seek Medical attention as soon as possible if you are unsure of you or your family's health condition.
Diarrhea Treatment, Learn what is Gastroenteritis, Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Heartburn or GERD
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Gastro-oesophageal Reflux or heartburn can also occur in children, causing abdominal pain.
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Should you encounter any medical problem that you are unsure of, always consult your doctor or health care provider for assistance and medical advice.
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