Why, Do You Know, Why Reasons

Do you know the 'why' reasons, or, do the 'whys' often bother you for scientific explanations? For instance, you do know that stars twinkle, but do you know the reasons why, and how? Or, do you know the 'why' reasons behind falling in love? Or, do you know the reasons why dogs bury bones? Probably many of you don’t! Why Corner – the 'why' blog, answers these 'whys' for basic knowledge, with real reasons for the 'why' facts. So, just know them all here if you have the 'why' urge, that is!

Sep 17, 2007

Do you know why we have heartburn?

Prof. Know Why answers:

Before you start thinking something else, let me clarify what is heartburn! Heartburn has nothing to do with ‘heart’. Also known as pyrosis, heartburn is a form of indigestion. It is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus below the breastbone, caused by regurgitation of gastric acid.

Now let’s see how we have heartburn! Heartburn happens when acid from your stomach gets forced upwards into the oesophagus (gullet). This is called acid reflux. The stomach wall is coated with a layer of mucus that protects it from digestive acid. The oesophagus does not have this protection, so any acid that leaks up, irritates and damages its lining. This causes the burning pain associated with heartburn.

But why do we have heartburn? Heartburn is becoming the single most important factor behind the rise in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that nowadays largely affects the urban population, mostly due to their long working hours, erratic lifestyle, bad posture (the way you sit and stand) and bad eating habits.

Foods that may cause heartburn are:

  • Alcohol (especially red wine) and Tobacco (in any form).
  • Caffeinated and carbonated beverages like Coffee, tea, cola and soda.
  • Chocolates and ice creams.
  • Citrus fruits and juices; tomatoes and sauces.
  • Spicy foods; fatty foods; dry foods like peanuts.
  • Red pepper; peppermint and spearmint.

Remedies: Drink lots of water and maintain a proper diet. If heartburn occurs when lying down, raising the head with pillows or sitting up frequently may provide some relief. Doctors treat heartburn with antacids or H2-receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors (in that order).

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2 comments:

~Deb said...

I've been taking Acifex for the longest time right now, because I have acid reflux disease and it seems to never go away. Once I stop taking the medication, it'll be a month or two before I start back up again. My diet is good, I eat fish, chicken, nothing really spicy, but the only thing I do wrong is, I love my martinis, wine and coffee. I can't stop.

I have also heard that pills such as Acifex, as well as OTC drugs like Zantac, can reduce your level of calcium and make your stomach stop producing the needed acids that help your stomach to digest.

What are your thoughts about this? Are antiacids and stomach medication more harmful than they are helpful?

Great write up! I can TOTALLY relate!

netbobz said...

Hi Deb, seeing you after a long time! Well, coming to your query, most of the medicines that we consume (for any disease)normally have some sort of side effects in the long run, if not early. And regular consumptions of certain drugs might lead to some other problems in the future. So it's always advisable to try and do without them as far as possible, like changing one's diet (as in this case). Or you may try out some yogas and exercises instead, to get relief.