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Heartburn Symptoms Can Be Dangerous. Here's Why

May 1, 2008
It may surprise you, but heartburn is one of the most common medical ailments in western countries. Data points to about 15 million Americans who endure heartburn symptoms daily; over 60 million people in America also experience these symptoms every month.

Even if healthy individuals can sporadically suffer from heartburn, it is when it occurs twice a week or more, meaning persistently that it is considered to be the result of a medical problem known as acid reflux or, as doctors call it, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Heartburn is recognizable as a burning in the throat or the chest area, often times with a sour taste or bitter taste in the throat.

What is in your stomach is normally enzymes for digestion, stomach acid and related contents, which can all aggress the lining of the esophagus to cause burning and discomfort. GERD is the result of the lower esophageal sphincter (also called the LES - a "muscle-valve" closing off the stomach from the esophagus) not shutting properly. Stomach contents then finds its way back to the esophagus and causes heartburn by refluxing up to the esophageal lining.

Indigestion syndrome, dry, recurring coughs, voice alteration and hoarseness are all symptoms of gastro esophageal reflux disease. So are chest pains that feel like a heart attack, a sensation of globus pharyngis (the throat developing a lump at the back) and otalgia (ear pain). In relation to all of this, it is clear that heartburn is not the only symptom of GERD, even if it is the most often noticed.

Ignoring GERD can induce peptic stricture, where the lower end of the esophagus narrows because of injury and subsequent scar tissue. Peptic stricture often causes glutitional problems and patients have the impression of food getting blocked in the lower throat. For this reason, peptic stricture victims may lose body mass because they eat less. These symptoms often occur, and neglect of acid reflux can also provoke the development of different and severe complications.

When the esophageal lining is repeatedly attacked by leaked stomach acids, the human body tries to compensate by growing more cells like the ones in the intestinal lining. This is a way of achieving relief from heartburn symptoms. It is called Barrett's esophagus condition, and is a further grave complication of acid reflux. Males over 45 having been victims of heartburn symptoms for over 10 years are the most probable victims of a cancer then developing. Even if Barrett's esophagus itself is not fatal, one in fifty patients then proceed to a lethal form of cancer known as esophageal adenocarcinoma, a direct result of the foregoing.

Solutions of medication have a tendency to neglect fundamental internal causes of acid reflux. Temporary relief for GERD related suffering is all that these prescribed or over the counter medicaments will bring, as they only target the acid production as a way to decrease heartburn.

This is why medicine that works on the symptoms of GERD will almost surely be unsatisfactory as a valid long-term solution for acid reflux victims. The complex condition of acid reflux is set off by several hidden variables, including lifestyle and environmentally connected criteria, diet habits, inherited genetic traits, excess acidity and toxins in the circulation, poor digestion and so on.

Remedies of the holistic kind use a combination of the right lifestyle changes and specific diet changes with use of particular vitamin and herbal supplements, including removal of toxins and Candida control protocols.

Did you hear how your painful symptoms of heartburn could be fully and completely eliminated by following a holistic, all-natural plan? The holistic method is the only one that will get rid of your acid reflux by solving the fundamental problems to effect permanent and durable prevention.
About the Author
Jeff Martin is a certified nutritionist and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Heartburn No More . To Learn More About Jeff Heartburn Symptoms Visit: Heartburn Symptoms
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