Heartburn

Heartburn is a common digestive problem caused by reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. It manifests as a burning sensation in the chest or upper abdomen. Most people will be familiar with heartburn, especially after eating fatty or spicy foods, and it is especially noticeable when lying down.

Causes heartburn what helps against it Physiotherapy practice Berlin Mitte Christian Marsch
Causes heartburn what helps against it Physiotherapy practice Berlin Mitte Christian Marsch

The culprit is stomach acid that leaks into the esophagus, provided that the ring muscle that normally keeps the esophagus closed is weakened. If stomach acid enters the esophagus as a result, this can lead to unpleasant heartburn. Often, however, other causes are hidden behind the heartburn, which must be found out before a treatment can come about.

The most common symptoms of heartburn

Heartburn is a well-known symptom that many people are familiar with. It often disappears on its own after some time, although some sufferers complain of heartburn that occurs regularly – almost daily.

As the name suggests, it is a burning sensation in the chest that can reach the neck area. The higher the acid rises, the more acidic belching occurs – coupled with a sour taste in the mouth. As a result, you may experience difficulty swallowing, as if you had a lump in your throat. Among them, cough, especially at night at rest, can become an unpleasant companion. Bad stimuli may even cause nausea or vomiting.

Measures against heartburn

The treatment of heartburn depends on its cause. In many cases, it helps to adjust eating habits to keep stomach acid away from the esophagus. After ingesting fatty foods, hot spices and certain drinks, such as alcohol or caffeine, many people suffer from stomach acid in the esophagus.

Heartburn Causes What Helps Against It Physiotherapy Practice Berlin Mitte Christian Marsch
Heartburn Causes What Helps Against It Physiotherapy Practice Berlin Mitte Christian Marsch

The burning sensation is particularly strong when the patient lies down after a meal. To reduce pressure on the stomach, an upright posture is recommended. It is best to stand or at least sit upright. It can also help not to eat meals that are too large, as the stomach is often overwhelmed. Several small meals can be gentler and prevent the expulsion of acid into the esophagus.

Heartburn what helps against it Physiotherapy Practice Berlin Mitte Christian Marsch
Heartburn what helps against it Physiotherapy Practice Berlin Mitte Christian Marsch

If this measure does not help, it is important to consult a doctor to rule out possible diseases and initiate adequate treatment options. Taking medications such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors may provide temporary relief, but should not be considered without a doctor’s recommendation.

In particularly severe cases, surgical intervention can provide relief. These focus on the ring muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally keeps the esophagus closed. If the muscle is weakened or other dysfunction is present, surgery may be considered to strengthen it. This way, stomach acid can be prevented from entering the esophagus and causing heartburn.

Heartburn can affect quality of life in the long run, but through a combination of appropriate treatment and preventive measures, most people can successfully control symptoms.

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