When you eat, a muscle, called a sphincter, at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes and opens to admit food to your stomach. The sphincter then closes to prevent stomach acid from washing back up the esophagus. Heartburn occurs when the sphincter at the end of the esophagus does not close completely. Acid and bile from the stomach then come back up the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
Nearly everyone has heartburn Once in a while. Although heartburn can be treated easily with changes in diet and over-the-counter drugs, it also can be a symptom of more serious problem.
Heartburn that just wonít go away needed medical attention, because it may be a sign of ulcers or other gastrointestin problems.
People sometimes confuse symptoms of more serious diseases with heartburn. If you are over 35 and have never discussed your symptoms with your medic provider, it is important to call the doctor to talk about them.
Signs and Symptoms
Heartburn-like symptoms that occur more often during exercise than at other times, especially if symptoms resolve within minutes of stopping exercise.
Persistent symptoms and over age 35 and have never discussed symptoms with medical provider.
No relief after 2 weeks of self-care.
Occasional mild heartburn.
Self care steps
Donít overeat. Try eating smaller meals, more often. And donít eat within a few hours of going to bed.
Make mealtimes relaxed. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
Lose weight if you are overweight. Often, losing as little as 10 pounds can decrease symptoms.
Loosen or remove tight-fitting clothing when you eat.
Donít lie down for 2 hours after eating.
Sleep with the head of your bed elevated.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, decaffeinated coffee, and any other drinks or foods that regularly cause heartburn for you.
Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (such as Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn), and other arthritis medications except acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra, or a generic).