What to Know About Experiencing Heartburn – Our Guide
At some point or another in your life, the experience of heartburn is something that can come up and cause you to re-evaluate the amount of attention that you give to your health.
Often associated or confused with heart attacks, digestive problems, or deep-rooted illnesses, having a burning sensation in the chest is a condition that no one could wish to go through. The problem with heartburns—as distinctive as they are—is that they aren’t as easy to discern when it comes to telling what’s precisely causing them in the first place.
Interlinked with dozens of different distinct conditions, the collective nature of heartburns makes it quite difficult to assess what the culprit exactly is, resulting in a problematic misdiagnosis.
Depending on the problem at hand, the presence of heartburn is either indicative of a minor problem that will sort itself out or a major issue that needs to be addressed. Regardless of what’s causing the sensation, it’s vital to act accordingly by becoming well-aware of the different causes so that you can do what’s needed to remedy the issue properly.
Not sure about what’s causing your heartburn? We’re here to help
If you’ve been experiencing bouts of heartburn recently but aren’t sure of what’s happening to your body, here’s a quick guide to various potential causes and how to remedy them:
Potential cause #1: Acid Reflux (GERD)
Often linked to most heartburn cases, gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD) is brought up when a burning sensation in the chest becomes far more persistent.
How do you know that you have it?: If the feeling comes about more often, even if you’ve been taking antacids and avoiding spicy or acidic foods entirely, you might be suffering from acid reflux.
What happens when you experience it?: During chronic acid reflux, heartburns are expected to happen at least twice a week because the body tends to leak acid stomach contents without control. This unexpected release of bodily acids occurs because the muscle at the end of the esophagus fails to close as it should, resulting in stomach content that leaks back (or refluxes) right to the esophageal region, causing an irritating and burning sensation.
What are the other symptoms associated with this condition?: Beyond the burning feeling, there are other diseases and symptoms associated with GERD or acid reflux that you can watch out for when confirming their presence. Symptoms, such as belching, sudden excess of saliva, bad breath, and hoarseness in the morning, are crucial signs to watch out for!
Potential cause #2: Barret’s esophagus
Placed on the even more severe end of the spectrum, Barret’s Esophagus is a condition that comes up if the symptoms of GERD or acid reflux have lasted for more than ten years. Because of the damage that is experienced during the continued, sudden release of stomach acid into the esophagus, it will result in a growth of abnormal lining tissue.
How do you know you have it?: Generally, the only way that Barret’s esophagus can be determined is if a thorough medical inspection is conducted. Once all the necessary tests are run, a medical expert can determine whether or not the condition is present in your systems.
What happens when you experience it?: In terms of experiencing the condition, it’s generally the same as the symptoms you’d go through when dealing with acid reflux. The main difference between both these conditions, however, is that the damage caused for more than a decade leaves you prone to a rare type of esophageal cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Dealing with heartburn is never a pleasant task because of how persistent, inconvenient, and painful the symptoms are. Nevertheless, it’s essential to make sure that you understand the root of the problem so that you can act accordingly. By following this guide, you’ll be able to effectively fight the problem by understanding what’s causing it and seeking proper, adequate treatment right away!
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