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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Heartburn

Almost everyone has heartburn sometimes. Heartburn, also called acid indigestion and pyrosis, is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

If you have heartburn more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). With GERD, the muscles at the end of your esophagus do not close tightly enough. This allows contents of the stomach to back up, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.

Scheme of digestive tract, with espohagus marked [highlited]. Attribution: Olek Remesz (User:Orem/galeria). Permission: CC-BY-SA ver. 2.5, 2.0, 1.0


Pregnancy, certain foods, alcohol and some medications can bring on heartburn. Treating heartburn is important because over time the stomach acid or reflux will damage the soft tissue of the esophagus, which can lead to a more serious condition called Barrett's esophagus. Over-the-counter medicines may help. If the heartburn continues, you may need prescription medicines or surgery.

If you have other symptoms such as crushing chest pain, it could be a heart attack. Get help immediately.

External Links

Acid Reflux - American College of Gastroenterology.
Heartburn - Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Diagnosis/Symptoms
Heartburn or Chest Pain: When is it heart attack? - Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Upper GI Series - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Treatment
Antacids and Acid Reducers: OTC Relief for Heartburn and Acid Reflux - American Academy of Family Physicians.
Drugs to Treat Heartburn and Stomach Acid Reflux: The Proton Pump Inhibitors - Consumers Union of U.S.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Therapy
Turmeric - National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Related Issues
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Heartburn, Dyspepsia: What's the Difference? - International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.
Possible Increased Risk of Bone Fractures with Certain Antacid Drugs - U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health Check Tools
Heartburn - DSHI Systems.

Anatomy/Physiology
Esophagus - Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
Throat Anatomy - Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Clinical Trials
ClinicalTrials.gov: Heartburn - National Institutes of Health.

Organizations
American College of Gastroenterology.
American Gastroenterological Association.

Children
Have You Heard of GERD? - Nemours Foundation.

Women
Your Pregnant Body: Heartburn and Indigestion - March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation. 



DISCLAIMER
These statements have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Information conveyed herein is based on pharmacological and other records - both ancient and modern. No claims whatsoever can be made as to the specific benefits accruing from the use of any herb, essential oil, dietary and/or nutritional supplement, home remedy, or therapeutic regimen. Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog has provided this material for general information and education purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for or to take the place of medical advice. If you have a medical emergency call 9-1-1. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed health care professional. The mention of any product, service, or therapy is not an endorsement by Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog. Any mention in the Holistic Lifestyle Community Blog of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.

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