They say prevention is better than cure, but information is sometimes much better. When it comes to heartburn, this seems to hold true. There are several causes of heartburn, and knowing what these are can help prevent you from ever experiencing it.
Heartburn can be triggered by a lot of everyday things. The most prominent causes include being overweight and other lifestyle factors, such as smoking or eating certain foods. Foods such as citrus fruits, chocolates, spicy foods, caffeine and tomato-based dishes are commonly associated with heartburn attacks.
Lifestyle habits can also lead to an experience of heartburn. Apart from smoking, the most commonly noted causes of heartburn include drinking alcohol, being overweight and being pregnant. There are also activities that can trigger heartburn attacks. Among these is putting pressure on the full abdomen after eating huge meals and lying down after eating. A quick cure to this is eating smaller meals more frequently, and refraining from lying down for an hour or two after eating. Other activities that can bring about heartburn are lifting heavy things, bending and excessive movements or rigorous physical activities shortly after eating.
An important thing to note in diagnosing heartburn is distinguishing between esophageal pain (reflux) and cardiac pain (angina). Acid reflux occurs when we eat and food, liquids and saliva travels through the esophagus to the stomach. A small amount of stomach content can be regurgitated back up into the esophagus and then retreat back to the stomach. While normally, this doesn't cause any pain or side effects, when some of the digestive system's apparatus does not work properly, acid reflux occurs. The pain that is generated can manifest as heartburn, and can even lead to esophageal injury.
Heartburn can also point to an underlying disease, like peptic ulcer. Ulcers are lesions on the stomach or duodenum that appear when the stomach lining or duodenum wall is irritated or wounded. Stomach ulcers are also known as gastric ulcers, while those in the duodenum are called duodenal ulcers. Collectively, they are both referred to as peptic ulcers. Ulcers, while they can cause discomfort, are rarely life-threatening. Medications are available and can help decrease the pain caused by ulcers.
Also among the list of the causes of heartburn are hiatial hernias. A hiatial hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes into a diaphragm opening and goes up to the chest. The possibility that a hiatial hernia weaken the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter increases the risk of stomach acid reflux.
Indeed, some of the causes of heartburn can in fact be symptoms for another disease. To avoid heartburn, the first step is acquiring knowledge. Truly, information can be powerful, not to mention helpful.
A proper diet for severe gerd should obviously be designed to reduce the amount of acid built up in our stomachs. The basic definition of gerd is that acid rises up from your stomach into the esophagus. Unlike the stomach your esophagus does not have an appropriate lining to be able to withstand these powerful acids and thus, sometimes excruciating pain and discomfort. The issue is that it is not simply a case of eating the correct foods. It is about combining the correct types of foods with the correct type of eating.
Apart from the awful pain caused by gerd is the frustration of feeling like you can’t eat anything that you like and that you have to stick to bland and boring food unless you are prepared to sit up all night taking Tums, Pepto-Bismol, Zantac, Alka-Seltzer, Pepcid or any of the over the counter ant acids while grimacing and holding your chest. These medications are a quick fix and do not get to the root of the problem.
The truth is that it is actually quite simple to find a diet for severe gerd. What I’ve found is that you can pretty much eat all of your favourite foods as long as you do not combine the wrong ones in the same meal. There are three types of foods as far as our digestive system goes. Foods which go through our system without needing any digestive juices. Foods which require stomach acids to digest and foods that require alkaline digestive enzymes to process them properly.
When you combine foods that require both alkaline and acid digestive processes, what happens is that the different digestive juices neutralise each other and we do not digest the food properly. Sometimes it can take hours and hours and this is where problems start to occur.