A question on many people's minds is "What is heartburn? Why do folks mistake it for heart failure?" For the layperson, chest pains mean coronary failure and a rushed trip to the hospital. Unfortunately, heartburn's symptoms have chest pains, too and therein lies the problem. A chest pain does not a heart attack make, so let's take a look at how to tell them apart.
What is heartburn? Heartburn is really part of a more complex syndrome, colloquially called acid reflux and formally called GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. A simple way of explaining it is the sphincter muscle that controls the influx of food into the stomach is defective and releases food and digestive acids into the esophageal tube and the throat.
It feels like a biting, stinging pain in the thoracic area that can disappear in a flash or can linger for a longer period. It's usually accompanied with a nauseous feeling and a "stone in the throat" that causes difficulty in swallowing. Sometimes the sufferer vomits out food or yellowish bile.
One thing that differentiates coronary failure from heartburn is that there is no biting sensation but a pressing feeling that makes it laborious to breathe. You feel dizzy and the pangs are not just centered in the chest but disperses to the upper limbs.
Any person with a previous history of elevated blood pressure should know what is heartburn and what is heart failure so as not to panic but also to be able to take care of himself. This is an important question to ask the MD so he can put you through the whole retinue of tests to eliminate any problems, hidden or previously undetected. A detailed medical history followed by a check of the blood pressure and then a session on the EKG machine. Never be embarrassed to ask such a question, no matter how silly it may sound to you, because a thorough check-up may reveal a mild heart attack that the unfortunate person may have thought was just an acid attack.
The questions "what is heartburn?" and "What does heartburn feel like?" should be followed by "How can it happen?" The main trigger to the symptoms is an unhealthy diet full of fat, spice, acid, caffeine, and chemicals. Anyone that has heartburn problems should really avoid any of these foods. Most sufferers actually refuse to make any changes despite the obvious benefits it can bring them because it's hard for them to make the adjustment. They profess not to mind what is heartburn so long as they can keep on doing what they like.
It is a popular belief that taking baking soda for heartburn can be beneficial for you. And if you ask any expert on the topic what is a good natural remedy for heartburn they will tell you that baking soda for heartburn is one the top natural remedy. But it can be dangerous if taken more that it should be or taken over a long period of time.
Because it is just like any conventional antacids that your doctor gives you, and if you have paid attention to what your doctor said, you would know that it should not be taken in excess.
When taking it in excess or when taking it regularly or over a long period of time it can cause severe discomfort to your stomach and eventually pain. You see, antacids and baking soda reacts the same when consume. It neutralizes the acid in your stomach. And when you take baking soda for heartburn excessively, your stomach will lose all the acid it needs for digestion. And to compensate, the stomach will work harder to produce more acids.
However, taking baking soda for heartburn is still a very good way to get relief, but keep in mind that it contains a lot of sodium which is not really good for your body especially if you suffer from high blood pressure.
There are a lot of other proven natural remedies that you could try instead, here are just some of them:
1. Chewing gum or sucking hard candy is a great alternative. By doing this after every meal, it helps in producing more saliva which helps in pushing the stomach acids down from your esophagus and also helps in digestion process, which in turn helps in decreasing the acid productivity.
2. Another good alternative for antacids is papaya. Papaya contains natural enzyme that helps in reducing acid and helps in breaking down foods as well. Taking them in slices as desserts are best or if you like, you can take them in juices too after each meal. However if you happen to dislike papayas, taking pills can also work.