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How To Relief Ourselves From Heartburn

Apr 2, 2008
The truth is almost everyone has heartburn sometimes. It is so common that more than 10 percent of the population is experiencing its symptoms at least once a week. Despite of the name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. So, if it is so common what is causing it? What we know as heartburn is the most common symptom of a condition called gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux. The painful or burning sensation we feel from heartburn is caused by regurgitation of gastric acid. When you eat a specialized muscle, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), is responsible for allowing food to pass into the stomach. Once LES has allowed food to pass, it closes quickly to prevent the return (reflux) of food and stomach juices back. The problem is LES muscle does not always work like it is supposed to. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES muscle is either relaxed inappropriately, or is weak. If this happens, stomach juice is allowed to back up, or reflux, into the esophagus which creates heartburn. When this is happening regularly, the result is a chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

If you are not sure what exactly heartburn feels like, the symptoms are a burning pain behind the lower breastbone that may radiate upward toward the neck, also sensation of food or liquid coming up into the throat, or mouth (regurgitation) is possible when bending over or lying down. Usually bitter or acid taste may accompany the symptoms above.

In case you are wondering how serious heartburn can be, the answer is in most cases it's not serious. Of course there are cases where it could be life threatening, but it's really very rare. Most of the time severe heartburn can be a negative factor on daily activities and productivity, also can lead to further complications. The good news is that with understanding of the causes of heartburn, most people can find relief.

Here are some advices to keep in mind so you can control heartburn. Since heartburn is often caused by the food you digest, try to avoid eating larger meals. Make a habit of eating smaller meals, but more frequently. There are some type of foods you can try to avoid. Those are coffee and alcohol, fried and fatty foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomato sauce and ketchup. If you are a smoker, stop the cigarettes, or at least smoke less, that will be beneficial not only for the heartburn, but for the whole body.

Of course there is a wide variety of medications, available free over the counter or with a prescription. A group of them is called Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPI. PPIs are very effective and safe drugs used to treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and ulcers. One of those drugs is Nexium. Nexium acts on the cells in the stomach that make acid, called parietal cells, reducing the amount of acid produced. The lining of your stomach contains millions of these special cells that produce acid via acid pumps, also known as proton pumps. Reduced amount of acid in the stomach can prevent heartburn.

With all this information you are ready to relief yourself from heartburn, probably not once and for all, but at least when you need it.
About the Author
Nick Afferman of USCentralMeds.com For more on heartburn and Nexium please visit: Nexium Side Effects
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