Hi Medic

Monday, February 13, 2006

heartburn


Heartburn is aburning sensation normally felt around the heart, it is not a
heart problem it is actually a digestive problem .Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. Anyone including infants,children and pregnant women can have heartburn.

Other factors that may contribute to GERD include:
alcohol use
overweight
pregnancy
smoking

Also, certain foods can be associated with reflux events, including:
citrus fruits
chocolate
drinks with caffeine
fatty and fried foods
garlic and onions
mint flavorings
spicy foods
tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, chili, and pizza

Medications
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter antacids, which you can buy without a prescription, or medications that stop acid production or help the muscles that empty your stomachnyone, including infants, children, and pregnant women, can have GERD.
via NDDIC

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