Letting Go of Heartburn
We are what we eat. Because of this food dogma, the effects will depend on the intake. The truth about overeating and lavish drinking of liquor may result to hyperacidity, acid reflux or heartburn. Heartburn, when not treated, can result to a more serious and deadly complications, like heart failure or attack.
Did you experience a ‘burning feeling’ when you suddenly wake up at night? There were times when you feel like vomiting because of this feeling. It is a clear indication that you have heartburn.
In the USA alone, there are many kinds of prescriptive drugs that will hamper the harmful effects of heartburn.
The most popular counter non-prescriptive medicine to reduce heartburn or acid reflux is Kremil-S or Zantac. I used to take this pill during my radio days due to the intense burning feeling in my esophagus and my stomach.
Milk of magnesia is also effective to hamper the hyperacidity in the stomach. Most of my colleagues onboard ship will drink soda water in order to reduce heartburn.
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Heartburn in the USA
A survey by the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) found that 75 percent of nighttime heartburn sufferers have symptoms severe enough to wake them up or keep them from falling asleep. The discomfort was so intense that it affected 40 percent of the respondents’ ability to work the following day.
Researchers have found out that nighttime heartburn may cause more damage to the esophagus than daytime heartburn. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that people who experience nighttime heartburn symptoms are 11 times more likely to develop esophageal cancer than those who do not.
That’s why frequent indigestion should be reported to your doctor. I’m sure, all of us suffer occasional attacks of heartburn, which occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.
But recurrent bouts, especially at night, could be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Undiagnosed, GERD can inflame the esophagus lining and cause esophagi is. Bleeding or ulcers can develop. Scarring from inflammation may narrow the esophagus, causing food to get stuck, and damaged esophageal cells can turn into a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
That’s what happened to me. With heartburn, I incurred peptic ulcer. Luckily, my sister who graduated as midwife was working as medical assistant in our family doctor, so I got the right medication that lessen the effects of this stomach discomfort.
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National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse 2 Information Way Bethesda, MD 20892-3570 301/654-3810 www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/nddic.htm - Offers patient information and educational materials.
The American Gastroenterological Association 7910 Woodmont Ave., 7th Floor Bethesda, MD 20814 301/654-3810; www.gastro.org - This association provides late-breaking news, tips and practical information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle through good digestive health and proper nutrition.
Digestive Health Resource Center-www.gastro.org/ - offers variety of digestive health topics, including heartburn.National Heartburn Alliance www.heartburnalliance.org - This site offers a community of support for heartburn sufferers by providing education about the causes and effects of heartburn, as well as solutions that offer relief.
National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases www.niddk.nih.gov/health/digest/pubs/heartbrn.htm - You can find an array of useful explanations about digestive conditions at this online community.WebMD www.my.webmd.com - WebMD links to Web sites with information about GERD, its symptoms and treatment options. Type in a search for “heartburn.”
Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Acid Reflux: Nutrition You Can Live With, by Elaine Magee. John Wiley & Sons, 2002 (paperback) - The author, a dietitian, explores the link between acid reflux and nutrition and offers a host of specific recommendations - what to eat, what to avoid and healthy recipes.