About Digestive Disorders
What Is Heartburn?
Heartburn, also called “pyrosis” or “acid indigestion”, is characterized by irritation of the oesophagus caused by gastric acid, creating an unpleasant warm or burning sensation in the chest area. Pain can also gradually ascend up to the neck, throat and jaw, and becomes worse when the afflicted person bends down or lies down .
Despite its misleading name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. However, the pain can sometimes be intense enough to almost feel like a heart attack; moreover, recurring heartburn can be a symptom of heart disease.
Heartburn is generally linked to gastroesophageal reflux, which is the regurgitation of gastric acid, a main symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Globally, digestive disorders affect 20% of American adults on a weekly basis, particularly pregnant women
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What Causes Heartburn?
The main cause of heartburn is a loosening of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the valve that keeps gastric acid in the stomach . Some possible causes :
- Constant pressure on the stomach, which can be caused by obesity, pregnancy, or constipation
- Consumption of fatty, spicy or acidic foods
- Consumption of alcohol or caffeine
- Certain medications
Treating Digestive Disorders
There are many remedies available on the market to ease the pain caused by digestive disorders. If your digestive problems become chronic and start affecting your daily life, a medical consultation becomes imperative to determine if they are a symptom of something more serious .
Preventing Heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux
Here are a few tips to prevent and minimize digestive disorders.
- Eat light meals
- Chew your food well
- Stop smoking
- Do not wear tight clothing that constrains the stomach
- dentify the foods that cause your heartburn and avoid them.
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 Wikipedia, 2013.  Kimball Johnson, MD, WebMD, 2013.  Sharon Gillson, About.com, 2012.