It is very unlikely that there are people who had never felt a burning sensation in the stomach that is known as Heartburn. Nowadays, 40% of adults are periodically experiencing its symptoms (although the disease gets younger by the year) and it is almost impossible to foresee their appearance: one can be suddenly struck by them on a very important meeting, when you’re hanging out with friends, while driving in the bus or while camping.
When heartburn strikes, it causes very unpleasant burning sensations that reduces ones efficiency and makes him/her to think only about getting rid of this state ASAP. What exactly causes heartburns? How to get rid of heartburn? What can you do if the heartburn struck you at home or while camping? You’ll find answers to these and other questions in our article.
Is heartburn a disease or a symptom of something more serious?
Although burning sensations are nasty and may disappear on their own they shouldn’t be ignored, because they are considered as a signal of malfunctions in the gastrointestinal tract. Heartburn is often a symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease (when the system chronically ‘throws’ the acid into the stomach or the contents of the duodenal). This ‘insertion’ actually causes heartburn. Nowadays the disease is widespread around the world due to the wrong vision of healthy lifestyle and synthetic food products.
How come the contents of the stomach get inside the esophagus?
The contents of the stomach shouldn’t normally get inside the esophagus, because there is a sphincter between them. In case of Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease (which is considered as pathology), the contents of the stomach somehow get inside the esophagus and this phenomenon still puzzles the scientists around the world.
Some people say that if the 20th century is considered as a century of the gastric and duodenal ulcers, the 21th century can be rightfully called ‘the century of the Gastroesophageal Reflex Disease’ and modern science had already identified several factors that can provoke this disease.
Factors that cause heartburn:
- The first and the most important factor that provokes heartburn is fast food. It is rightfully considered as extremely harmful due to the fact that all of its components are fried and the oil on which the fast food products are prepared is refreshed not as often as it is supposed to be. Fast food is often consumed with hamburgers, hot dogs, doner kebabs, etc., and it takes a lot of time to digest them (white bread is especially hard to digest and it ‘travels’ in our stomachs for a lot of time). Besides, the digestion makes the pressure inside the stomach to rise, which makes the stomach to throw in its contents into the esophagus;
- Fast food consumption also provokes heartburn, because we also swallow a lot of air with the food. Teach yourself to eat slowly and enjoy your meal;
- Drugs. There are certain types of drugs that can provoke heartburns, especially those that are used to treat hypertensions (they relax the sphincter);
- Pregnancy. Pregnant women often suffer from heartburns as the fetus grows and alters the pressure inside the abdomen;
- Diaphragmatic hernia ‘ a large hole in the diaphragm, which is located near the esophagus. This hole can also cause heartburn.
There are also other factors that can provoke heartburn, which are unknown to the modern science, but the way we eat is one of the main ones. Fried, smoked, peppered, spicy food, especially with added preservatives, colorings and flavor enhancers is very harmful. Apart from that, scientists had proven that such food is one of the key factors of esophagus and stomach cancers.