Heartburn is a digestive disorder and has nothing to do with heart. It is characterized by a burning sensation that is felt within the tummy. Heartburn occurs as a result of acid formation in the stomach.
This acid secreted for easing the digestive process, sometimes rise up into esophagus. This process is called reflux. Since the esophagus does not have protective lining, the acid makes its inner walls inflamed. This painful situation is what is called as heartburn.
Eating heavy meals, swallowing food rapidly without chewing it properly, increased consumption of citrus fruits, garlic, peppermint, onion etc are found to be the major causes of heart burn. Smoking immediately after having a full meal is also found to result in heartburn. As you smoke, the valves relax and acid production is triggered.
Increased consumption of alcohol and coffee are also found to lead to heartburn. Hiatal hernia is yet another abdominal disorder that also makes a person prone to heartburn. In normal cases, people who have crossed sixty year mark suffer from this irregularity. Hernia results in the squirting back of the stomach acid into the esophagus.
Pregnant women are also likely to develop heart burn due to the increased abdominal pressure. The changes in the hormone levels that happen in their body results in the relaxation of the muscle valve and the acid secretion get boosted. Obesity also leads to a higher pressure in the abdomen and consequently results in heartburn.
Sitting in a straight posture and walking around are found to provide relief from heartburn. It is not advisable to bend forward as the acid is likely to reach esophagus easily in that posture. If all other treatments fail, doctors often prescribe an antacid. They help in neutralizing the acid effect.
However, it is not wise to use antacids frequently. It is also advisable to avoid eating meals to the full. Small meals help in bringing down the uneasiness caused by heartburn.