These days, heartburn is a complaint more commonly known by sufferers as acid reflux. This is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract (digestive system) and even though this condition is often known by different names, they have similar symptoms. In order to assimilate the food we eat, our stomach dissolves it with a strong acid. It is the result of hydrochloric acid that is trying to flow back up the esophagus that causes the heartburn./p>
The stomach contains a valve which opens to allow food into it which should then close so stomach fluids cannot go back up the esophagus. The problems start when for some reason this valve does not shut and the stomachs digestive juices are allowed to flow back up (acid reflux) causing the feeling of heartburn. Medical science prefers to call the condition: gastro esophageal reflux disorder. Although the real cause of acid reflux disorder has not yet been found, it is thought that eating the wrong foods could be to blame; factors that include overeating, can also put a strain on the stomach and contribute to the disorder.
When anyone eats a large amount of food it creates an additional burden on the stomach muscles. As this pressure builds up, the lower esophageal valve starts to weaken and can eventually open, allowing food and acid to move up into your esophagus causing that unpleasant burning feeling centered in the chest. Since this valve protects your esophagus from your stomach acid, you need to take care this valve does not allow digested acidic food to pass back into the esophagus. If this is a problem you have to live with then you should eat smaller meals during the day which will help the situation. The importance of your stomach's health cannot be underestimated for long term good health. The reason for this is the stomach digests the food we eat into the nutrients required for continued good health.
A short term solution may appear to be the drugs that are easily purchased over the counter but guidance is needed. The problem is these ‘short term' remedies can create other problems as they interfere with the natural functioning of the digestive system. The long term approach to reduce the stomach problems and acid reflux is to adjust how you consume food and drink. The idea is not to overload your stomach, which will give it time to recover. Once you reduce or eliminate your heartburn disorder, you can start to eat some of the foods that you had to eliminate.
Other factors can also create a predisposition for acid reflux and these include:
* Regular smoking
* Allergic reactions to certain types of food
* Too much alcohol
* Taking a nap after eating
As you can tell, most of these factors can be overcome by practicing some behavioral modifications and a change in lifestyle, The number of heartburn episodes that occur should diminish. It only requires a little effort on your part to dramatically reduce the number of occasions when you suffer the pain of acid reflux; you may even cure the disorder completely. Whether you decide to take this and your doctors advice is really up to you!
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