Having heartburn? Persistent heartburn is one of the very common conditions affecting some tens of millions of people in the United States. Generally, heartburn begins with the burning feelings that start from the stomach and rises up to the throat.
Often times, it is also be accompanied by the sensation of chest pain as the acid reflux from the stomach hurts the tissues of the esophagus. It is this pain that the problem got its name from – the heartburn feeling. Many people also tend to mistakenly think that the chest pain is due to angina, a very common sign and symptom experience before a heart attack. Angina is linked to blocked arteries that bring blood supply to the heart – or better known as coronary artery disease or simply CAD. Read more about coronary artery disease here.
Although heartburn caused by acid reflux is not related to the heart in any way, it is still important that you understand some of the reasons behind the condition of heartburn.
What Are The Causes Of Persistent Heartburn
So what are the reasons for heartburn? Persistent heartburn is usually caused by the inability of the sphincter muscle that surrounds the lower esophagus where it joins with the stomach to function properly. The sphincter muscle works like a valve that prevents acids in the stomach from backing up into the esophagus.
The inability of this valve to close properly is what causes persistent heartburn to occur. Typically, the condition is made worse when one is lying down after eating. The posture of not being in an upright position makes the acids from the stomach to easily move pass the weakened muscle back in to the esophagus. Besides that, anything that puts more pressure on the stomach is also likely to cause heartburn such as being obese or being pregnant.
In addition, there are also many other causes as to why you are getting heartburn in general. Some of the other most common reasons are eating highly acidic foods, eating high fat meal, over eating, drinking alcohol, smoking and even consuming chocolate. Taking certain medically prescribed drugs such as aspirin could also cause heartburn in some people. Apart from that, some diseases such as diabetes and some immune system disorders are also known to link to heartburn.
So, if you are plagued with constant heartburn, the weakened lower esophagus sphrincter muscle is likely to be blamed. Nowadays, there are many over the counter antacids drugs that can greatly help with heartburn conditions. But first, check with your medical doctor to figure out what are the causes of persistent heartburn that you are experiencing now and get advice. Your doctor may know what is best to get rid of the heartburn that you are suffering everyday.