HeartBurn - Health Center


By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

HeartBurn - Overview

Heartburn as the name suggests is a burning sensation in the chest that one feels just behind the breastbone sometimes. Heartburn pain is often the one which can get worse when a person lies down or bends over for doing something Of course, the occasional heartburn happens to everyone and is nothing to be alarmed about. Most of the people who experience heart burn are the ones that can manage the discomfort of the pain and can use over the counter medications in order to deal with them.

It has been known that heartburn can interfere with the daily lives of people and therefore can emerge out to be something which is far more serious if it is left untreated.

Causes of Heartburn

The major cause of heartburn is the breaking up of the stomach acid and then the backward movement of the same into the oesophagus. Upon the swallowing of the food, the sphincter muscles found in the oesophagus; which is usually a circular band of muscle found around the oesophagus relaxes and therefore, allows the food as well as the liquid to come down and flow towards the stomach. Once this is done, then it closes again.

However, in some of the cases, the oesophageal sphincter goes out to relax abnormally due to weakening and therefore, the stomach acid flows up back into the oesophagus which causes the feeling of heartburn. Also, this back up of the acid can come out to be much worse when a person has bent down or is lying down.

For a person suffering from Heartburn, a lot of complications can arise. This condition interferes with the routine of the person and is known as GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). This condition, when amplified may need a lot of prescription medicines, surgeries and other procedures. GERD can damage the oesophagus can cause serious complications, if left untreated.

Diagnosis of Heartburn

Some of the standard procedures for the determination of GERD are as follows:

  1. X Rays: Often using the sample of barium sallow and GI series, the procedure makes sure that a chalky liquid coats the inside of the digestive tract of the person. Then the x rays of the person are taken and the solution allows the doctor to see the shape and the condition of the digestive system.
  2. Monitoring the amount of pH: in this, the Ambulatory acid is used along with the acid measuring device. The acid monitor then is threaded through the oesophagus of the person and acts as an endoscopic device. Not only that, the probe of the devise is used in order to make sure that there is a transmission of the signal to the computer attached with the devise.
  3. Movement of the oesophagus: a test is conducted to measure the motility of the oesophagus. This test is done by placing the catheter through the nose of the person.

Treatments and Drugs for HeartBurn

Medications are basically used to treat Heartburn.

Some of the major medications that are used are:

  1. Antacids: they vary from drugs such as Maalox, Gelusil, Mylanta and Tums. They provide quick relief to the person, but don’t have the capacity to heal the inflamed oesophagus damaged by the acid of the stomach.
  2. Medications to remove acid production: these are also called the H-2 receptor blockers and are basically medicines such as famotidine, nizatidine etc. Theyd on act as quickly as the antacids, but are great in order to provide a longer relief than the former.
  3. Blockage of the acid production: Proton Pump is used in order to block the production of the acid and therefore, allow the body the time to heal the damaged tissue of the oesophagus.

With the long term use of the proton pump, for the people above the age of 50 or more, there has been found an increased rate in the number of fractures of the hip, spine and the wrist.

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