Although many people think heartburn is related to heart it has nothing to do with it and your frequent doubt, can heartburn last for days is not true unless and until you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). To quickly give you an idea about what it is let us get into detail.
What Is Heartburn?
It is a pain of the esophagus-a tube that links the stomach and throat and it is caused due to stomach acid. There is burning uneasiness in the upper abdomen or below the breastbone.
It turns worse after eating or when one bends down or lay down. Pregnancy is also one reason for increased heartburn as pregnancy and heartburn are interlinked due to indigestion problems.
What Causes Heartburn?
It happens when the acid of the stomach goes back into the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Usually, when one swallows, a group of muscles around the esophagus bottom relaxes and allows liquid and food to get down into the stomach, and again the muscle gets rigid.
When this relaxation and getting rigid of these groups of muscles become weak or abnormal heartburn occurs.
Symptoms Of Heartburn
- Soon after eating a person can experience a burning pain in the chest. The same pain can also happen at night.
- Pain that increases while bending down or lying down.
- Acidic taste or bitter feeling in the mouth.
- Stuffy nose
- Trouble swallowing
- Gastric discomfort
What Does Heartburn Feel Like?
The pain associated with it is burning, sharp, or such as a tightening feeling. Few people describe it as a burning sensation that travels up around the throat and neck or as uneasiness at the rear of the breastbone.
Can Heartburn Last For Days?
Usually, the symptoms last for an hour or 2 depending on the cause of the heartburn.
Not so severe heartburn after consuming a spicy and heavy meal is normal and will end when the food is digested.
Heartburn may also occur again after hours from the time it first appeared when one lies down or bends.
However, if the heartburn is common and appears a few times a week then it’s the result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and this is the condition for your when to see gastroenterologist question.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn?
Ways are many but choosing the one that best suits your trigger is the key. Here are common ways to get rid of heartburn.
- Identify food triggers and stay off from eating.
- Eat fewer quantities and rely on the mini-meal type of eating.
- Stay away from eating late during the night or just before hitting your bed.
- Avoid smoking & drinking, drinking here connotes both carbonated drinks and liquor.
- Check your weight and maintain BMI.
- Don’t rest for a minimum of 2 hours after consuming your supper or lunch.
When To See A Doctor?
Seeing a doctor is a must when you experience severe chest pressure or pain especially when it occurs with other signs and symptoms like pain in the jaw or arm and breathing difficulty.
Besides The Below Conditions Need A Doctor’s Help
- When you have heartburn more than 2 times a week
- Presence of symptoms despite using over-the-counter medicines
- Facing difficulty while swallowing
- Suffering from consistent vomiting or nausea
- Weight loss due to eating difficulty and poor hunger
Heartburn Foods To Avoid
- High-fat foods increase acid refluxes, examples include dairy and oily foods
- Tomatoes and citrus fruits like oranges & limes
- Chocolates, they have methylxanthine that relaxes smooth muscles
- Onions & garlic
- Mint & its products
- Caffeine as it triggers morning refluxes
Home Remedies For Heartburn
Home remedies are many but remember 2 thumb rules: Eating less and avoiding high-fat foods & maintaining a healthy lifestyle filled with physical activity & devoid of smoking & drinking. Other home remedies include.
- Eating vegetables low in fat & high in fiber.
- Intake of ginger
- Having oatmeal for breakfast as it is complete and high in fiber
- Eating more of non-citrus fruits
- Seafood & lean meat
- Egg whites, lean meats, and healthy fats
Before you sum up there are 2 more things you should know as these 2 are most confused;
- Heartburn vs. acid reflux
- Heartburn vs. nausea.
In the first case, heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and both are not the same while in the later both are the symptoms of indigestion, and nausea can be the result of heartburn.
Well, this is what heartburn is and a detailed answer to can heartburn last for days?
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.