Dec 3, 2012

What Causes Chronic Heartburn And What You Can Do About It

Studies have shown that chronic heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, affects 1 out of every 10 people in the U.S. at a rate of at least once per week.

How To Calculate Your Frequency Of Heartburn Episodes

It is just as important to determine how often you suffer from heartburn, as it is to know the foods that cause heartburn. Do you experience chronic heartburn every single day or just once a week?

You should create a basic weekly report and write down every time you experience heartburn symptoms and try to identify the foods that cause heartburn for you as an individual. You should also record any activity that you were involved in prior to and during a heartburn episode, like exercise or sleep.

Also, be sure to include any medications taken prior to having heartburn, as well as any medications taken to curb your heartburn and how effective they were.

How Many Types Of Heartburn Are There?

There are actually three groupings for describing heartburn frequency:

1)    Occasional heartburn or episodic heartburn basically refers to predictable and occasional flare-ups that can be tamed by using OT treatments like antacids.

2)    Frequent heartburn refers to heartburn episodes that hit you at least twice a week that often cannot be controlled with just lifestyle and diet changes or antacids.

3)    Persistent or severe heartburn consists of long-lasting discomfort that is painful and occurs just about every day or is even a problem all the time. A physician should treat this level of heartburn, as it is possibly gastroesophageal reflux disease, better known as GERD, which occurs when acid rises up from the stomach and literally burns the esophagus. Chronic heartburn is the most frequent symptom of GERD, but other symptoms may include a lump in your throat feeling, regurgitation, swallowing difficulty and/or pain.

What Are The Foods That Usually Cause Heartburn?

Everybody is different and, although some common foods cause acid reflux, like chocolate, onions, garlic, spicy foods, etc.  your heartburn triggers may be something completely different. Keeping track of what you may have eaten prior to an episode of heartburn can help you to pinpoint your specific food triggers.

Besides certain foods that cause heartburn, what you drink can also cause chronic heartburn. For many people, coffee, citrus juices, soda and alcoholic beverages can cause an episode of heartburn or even gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Avoiding all food and drinks that trigger heartburn episodes can alleviate the symptoms considerably. If you know that it has caused an episode of chronic heartburn in the past, just steer clear of it.

Many heartburn sufferers find that they get heartburn after eating Italian, Mexican, or other spicy foods. So, avoid eating spicy meals. It may sound somewhat bland, but will save you a lot of pain.

How to Get Rid of Heartburn

There are quite a few name brand and generic remedies for heartburn. OTC antacids are a good place to start acid reflux treatment, and they can be taken only when you find yourself having a heartburn episode.

They also provide calcium, so they do double duty, and they taste pretty good, too. If you find that those are not enough to curb your chronic heartburn, try a once daily solution like omeprazole magnesium, which seems to work for many heartburn sufferers.

Foods that should be added to an acid reflux diet are crackers, white or brown rice, some cereals; and buttermilk is a good drink for heartburn. Avoid carbonated beverages, as they cause gas, and if you forget and drink some, take a gas relief pill, so that the gas doesn’t exacerbate your heartburn.

Don’t eat too close to going to bed. Allowing 2 to 4 hours should be sufficient, but stay upright during that time. If you find that you suffer at night from heartburn, raise your head and shoulders with a special pillow, or raise the head of your bed with blocks or bricks. Simply raising your head up, so that you are not lying completely flat, often alleviates chronic heartburn symptoms.

Related Articles On Chronic Heartburn

In my research on this subject I came across some interesting articles related to chronic heartburn which I would like to share with you.

Surgery Without Incisions for Chronic Heartburn and Reflux Now Available at Crossgates River Oaks

Tens of millions of Americans suffer with daily heartburn or other symptoms of reflux such as regurgitation, chronic cough, hoarseness and dental erosions. Until recently these people faced either lifetime of daily medications, and often incomplete resolution of their symptoms, or the risks of invasive surgery. Now they have a better option. The new Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication procedure, or TIF, using the innovative EsophyX® device is performed completely without incisions and is now available from Dr. William Bowles of Rankin Surgical Specialists in Brandon. Read more…

Acid Reflux From Chronic Heartburn May Damage Teeth


Besides making you uncomfortable, acid reflux can damage your teeth. To help with acid reflux, drink Evamor Alkaline Water to help bring relief and rinse the acids from the teeth.


Study reveals extent of harm that GERD can cause in the mouth, but some preventive measures exist.
By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 8 (HealthDay News) — If you have chronic heartburn, it’s not only your esophagus that you should be worried about. New research reveals how the condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can severely damage your teeth thanks to an influx of acid into the mouth.

The study, which followed patients over six months, found that almost half of those with the condition suffered much worse tooth wear and erosion than healthy people. The disease can ultimately lead to thin, sharp and pitted teeth. Read more..