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My Experience With Heartburn: Can Eating Petai Prevent And Treat Heartburn?

Updated on September 26, 2012
Beware of overeating  as it could become a heartburn trigger!
Beware of overeating as it could become a heartburn trigger! | Source

Heartburn is not a heart attack

All of us could profit from somebody's experiences. I have experienced heartburn. It's a condition in which I felt an unpleasant burning in the chest.

However, not all such a pain is heartburn, it may be a heart attack. How do you know it is heartburn or a heart attack? Well, the symptoms of heartburn are different from a heart attack.

In my heartburn case, the pain was not located in the center of the chest, or the shoulder, or neck, jaw, back. In my case, the symptoms didn't include shortness of breath, sweating, fainting, nausea, and light-headedness. If so, it might be a heart attack.

An expert on heart disease, said, “If you get associated symptoms like sweating and shortness of breath with the discomfort, that’s more likely to be caused by cardiac chest pain, not heartburn."

Back to heartburn.

The above symptoms did not happen with my heartburn. I felt the pain as burning sensation that worked its way up to my throat. And it's accompanied by a bitter taste in the back of the throat. From the chest pain started until it was gone, it had persisted for what seemed like hours.

For me heartburn makes eating and sleeping difficult. When I suffered from my last and the worst heartburn the discomfort lasted a week. I almost could not sleep for three days during the night time. Why? Because the discomfort got worse when I lay down. What a very unpleasant nuisance!

Why I got heartburn?

I am a middled-age man and as far as I remember, never before I suffered from heartburn. Just recently, and due to my fault (and sin of gluttonies) it occurred. My wife likes to cook. Last month she cooked very nice Javanese cuisine, the next day Madurese cuisine, and then Chinese cuisine. Yum-yum... and I just ate up it all in large quantities!

I used to eat anything with no problem. But at that time I was overeating. My stomach showed a sign of indigestion. You know, the heartburn pain is caused by acid acting on food in the stomach.

Technically, this is what happens. Heartburn strikes when stomach acid flows up into your "esophagus", the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. At the top of your stomach, there's something called the lower "esophageal sphincter". Its function is to let food into your stomach. It also should keep what's in your stomach from flowing back up into your esophagus. When it doesn't work properly, due to some reasons like eating too much, acid spills up into your esophagus. The result is, you get heartburn.

What did I do to treat heartburn?

In my case it's simple. As soon as I knew it's heartburn, for the moment I stopped eating foods which were suspected of triggering heartburn. For instance, citrus, tomatoes, fatty and fried foods. One more thing, chocolate. I didn't touch these foods any longer, but once in a while.

Some experts say that alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco must be avoided if you would treat heartburn. Fortunately I do not smoke cigarettes nor drink wine or coffee. So I have no problem with this fair warning.

Apart from all of these items, as I mentioned above, I strongly felt that my experience of heartburn was caused especially by overeating. I usually ate three good meals a day. But from the day I got heartburn on, I have developed the habit of eating smaller, more frequent meals. Instead of three larger meals, I now eat six smaller ones each day. And I eat slowly.

It's not easy to change my terrible eating habits. I have to discipline myself to limit the amount of each meal I eat. No matter how good the meals taste, overeating is a heartburn trigger for me.

This way helps me treat heartburn as it keeps my stomach from becoming too full. As a result it prevents excessive production of stomach acid.

Oh yes, I almost forget. I eat the last meal of the day at least two hours before going to bed. I also avoid late-night snacking. Eating shortly before bedtime will increase stomach acid levels.

I found out that bending over soon after eating, i.e. bending at the waist, would increase pressure on the stomach. Clothing that fits tightly around the abdomen, or tight belts would squeeze the stomach as well. Such a pressure could trigger heartburn symptoms. So I avoid it!

My experience of drinking warm water after a meal seems to dilute and flush out stomach acid. Water also helps with digestion. But don't drink too much water at a time. Rather than large amounts less often I drink water smaller amounts throughout the day.

When I sleep or just lying down, I do it with my head and shoulders elevated. I purposely have my head higher than my stomach to allow gravity to keep stomach contents or acid from spilling up into my esophagus. I always do this when I go to bed. This way helps me feel better and free of heartburn during the night's rest.


Eating petai beans can prevent heartburn from occurring.
Eating petai beans can prevent heartburn from occurring. | Source

Did I take medicine?

Some over-the-counter medications can prevent heartburn. The medicine functions as acid blocker that reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes. Antacids, for example, helps ease the pain.

Medical experts say to take an antacid when heartburn hits. Antacids work quickly on heartburn you may be suffering from. However, if you are taking antacid too often, i.e. more than once a week, you'd better see a doctor about another treatment plan. Or, try botanical "antacid" as I will show you below.

Some time ago a friend sent me an email about the health benefits of "petai". Petai is broad bean I have been told. If you are not sure what petai is, below is a brief information I read from Wikipedia.

Parkia speciosa (petai) bears long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds which have a rather peculiar smell. The beans are popular as a culinary ingredient in countries like Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India, etc. Petai pods are gathered from the wild, or from cultivated trees. Long, twisted, translucent pods emerge in a cluster of 7 or 8 pods. When those pods are mature, within them will reside the petai beans or seeds.

Now, I am not sure if petai trees can grow in Europe or North America as well. But it grows very well particularly in tropical countries like Southeast Asia.

Anyway, among many other things petai can help us keep fit, the bean has a natural antacid effect in the body. We knew already that the pain caused by heartburn could be cleared up with an antacid. So, to prevent heartburn from occurring , I tried eating petai for soothing relief.

Since that time on I myself have made petai a must to add to my diet. At least a few days in a week. I just take 8 to10 petai seeds a day and it seems that it serves the purpose. I eat it when I have breakfast or lunch. The results? Thank God, up to now I have been experiencing no more heartburn!

You see, experience teaches me that changes in diet and eating smaller meals combined with the right medication (in my case: petai) have helped me get heartburn under control.

Finally, I hope that my experience with heartburn, overeating, and petai beans is helpful to you and your beloved ones. If you have any thoughts on this topic that stem from your own experiences, please consider posting them in the comments section below. People who are currently struggling with heartburn issues may find help in your experiences.

Oh yes, the copyright to this article is owned by "LittleMirror". So don't copy and paste, please. I'd appreciate it, thank you!

Disclaimer

The source of this article is from my personal experience, from friends and contacts, from books and the Internet, so whatever the reasons are, I do not claim that the content of the article is totally accurate, reliable, can help everyone or can be applied to everyone's health problem. The purpose of this article is merely to share information with visitors. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding your health concerns.

Thus the information provided in this article is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Never delay in seeking medical advice or disregard it because of something you have read on this article. You are therefore advised to consult your registered medical physicians for the matter of your health or medication.

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