Heartburn: Where It Comes From and How To Beat It

Heartburn is familiar to many of us. This phenomenon is unpleasant, and if it occurs to you regularly, it makes sense to think about the causes and start taking action.

Dr. Lara


What causes heartburn?

Heartburn usually occurs after eating fatty fried foods in combination with partially open muscle pulp between the esophagus and stomach. The stomach needs more hydrochloric acid to digest heavy food, and its excess is "thrown" into the esophagus. In addition to fatty and fried, this effect is also caused by chocolate, sweets, alcoholic beverages, and coffee.

Heartburn can occur with simple overeating of completely harmless food, simply because of the distension of the stomach and its overflow. Heartburn often occurs during long-term pregnancy, as the fetus presses on the mother's stomach.

How do you prevent heartburn?

Small meals Fractional nutrition is the basis of therapy in gastroenterological clinics. It is better to eat 3–5 times a day, and one portion of food should not exceed the size of a palm. It is important to eat slowly, chew carefully, and swallow food in small bites.

Weight control According to statistics, overweight people are 3 times more likely to suffer from heartburn. The reason is in the compression of the stomach by other organs covered with visceral (internal) fat. By normalizing your weight, you can reduce your risk of heartburn by 40 percent. But it is important not to go to extremes and not to go on a strict diet without medical supervision.

Exercise Physical activity relieves stress, but nervous tension provokes a significant increase in sphincter and gullet sensitivity. According to a study by Swedish scientists led by Dr. Magnus Nelson, thirty minutes of training reduces the incidence of heartburn by almost 50 percent.

What if you just had heartburn?

Drink water. Clean water takes literally half an hour to neutralize hydrochloric acid that gets on the walls of the esophagus. Drink half a liter of water in small sips within 30 minutes of experiencing the heartburn.

Readjust your pillow or remove the second pillow. Sleeping in a semi-sitting position will not allow hydrochloric acid to enter the esophagus. If you overeat at dinner, this is a simple and effective solution.

There are plenty of recipes for decoctions of herbs, tinctures, and the use of vegetable juices against heartburn. However, doctors are very skeptical about their effectiveness. Remember that the very onset of heartburn can signal health problems, and it is important not only to relieve the symptoms but also to find out what caused them. Therefore, a consultation with a gastroenterologist can be helpful to you.

Pregnant women are strictly forbidden to take independent measures to fight heartburn. Whatever method seems safest, consult your doctor, and together choose the most appropriate method that will not harm the mother or the baby.

23 March 2021

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