If you have a sharp pain in your chest, especially after eating, then you might be experiencing a common issue called heartburn. Most symptoms associated with heartburn should go away in a short time with proper treatment. However, if you notice that they are lingering for an extended time, then you should visit our doctor to determine if there are any other issues that need to be resolved or monitored.
When you eat, the muscles in your stomach are supposed to prevent food from getting back into your esophagus. If this doesn’t happen, then acids located in your stomach and some of the digestive fluids can reflux back into your esophagus, causing what is known as heartburn. If heartburn continues over time, it can begin to damage the lining of your esophagus.
There are a few risk factors that can cause heartburn, but the symptoms are often easily treated with medications that you can get over the counter or from our doctor. Caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods often cause an increase in the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach, which can then lead to reflux. Drinks that are carbonated as well as some medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, can cause more stomach acid to develop. If the muscles of your stomach are working as they should, then you likely won’t experience symptoms of heartburn. However, even if the muscles work properly, there are still times when reflux can occur if you overeat or if your diet includes a lot of foods that you normally don’t eat. Foods that have a high fat content can lead to heartburn. You can also experience more heartburn when you’re pregnant or if you’re obese as the added pressure pushes on the muscles in your stomach and makes it easier for reflux to occur.
One of the ways that you can treat heartburn is to eat smaller meals that don’t have a lot of fat or spices in them. You should also avoid eating before you go to bed as the muscles in your stomach will naturally contract and then cause reflux to occur because your body is flat instead of standing straight. Try to keep your head propped up while you’re sleeping to decrease heartburn at night. You can also get medications from our doctor that coat your stomach and esophagus, preventing the burning sensation that you experience. Medications are also available in retail stores and pharmacies.
Visit Enhanced Wellness Living in Ridgeland to learn more about heartburn and how it can be treated. We are proudly serving residents in the Jackson, Ridgeland, Bolton, Brandon, Canton, Clinton, Madison & Vicksburg, Mississippi area. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!