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Facts About Heartburn

You might have experienced heartburn sometime in your life without even knowing what it really is. Heartburn is a feeling that your stomach is burning all the way up your chest. This feeling can happen mostly after eating and laying down, and can last up to several hours or just a couple of minutes. Our GI experts in Orlando help each of their patients to learn more about what heartburn is in order to manage it, and live a healthier life.  


What Can Cause Heartburn?

Having different conditions such as acid reflux, peptic ulcer and hiatal hernia can lead to having heartburn symptoms. There are also several foods and drinks that you incorporate in your daily diet that can cause heartburn such as:

  • Onions

  • Tomato sauces

  • Citrus fruits

  • Alcohol

  • High-fat foods (such as meat, cheese and chocolate)

  • Caffeinated beverages


Poor lifestyle choices can also trigger heartburn, such as: being overweight, smoking and having high stress levels


How to treat heartburn?

Since heartburn is a mostly common and not serious illness, it can be treated easily. First of all, it is recommended to change your lifestyle choices, such as eating better and having a proactive life. Also, heartburn is treated with over the counter medications such as antacids like Tums, Rolaids, Maalox and Gaviscon. It is really important to make sure to follow all the instructions with each of the medications. 


How to prevent heartburn?

You can prevent heartburn by doing the following this:

  • Making sure not to eat right before going to bed.

  • Raising the head of your bed in order to have your head and chest higher than your feet.

  • Waiting a couple of hours before exercising to give time for the food to be processed in your body.

  • Avoid smoking which can weaken the valve that connects your esophagus and your stomach.

  • Making sure which foods in your diet cause heartburn and try to avoid them, and also avoiding eating too much all at once.

  • Sleeping on your left side in order to help your digestive system. 

  • Wearing clothes that are loose fitted 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight which can relieve the heartburn that you might experience. 


What to do if the heartburn gets worse?

For most people, heartburn only happens a few times and it is just a mild pain, which can be treated easily. On the other hand, some people may have chronic or severe heartburn, which means that you should go see your doctor. A couple of symptoms you might experience that you want to watch out for are when:

  • Heartburn turns more frequent

  • The heartburn causes you to vomit

  • You start losing weight all at once

  • You feel discomfort when doing daily activities

  • You take medications and they still don’t help with it

  • You feel discomfort when swallowing 


It is important to talk with your doctor about any discomfort you’re feeling, that might help in treating the condition you might have a lot faster. Here at the Digestive and Liver Center in Orlando we are here to help. Book your appointment with one of our GI experts so they can help you with any issues you might have. The office number you can call is 407-384-7388. 

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