Heartburn is actually a symptom of a certain type of medical condition called GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The condition is also sometimes referred to as acid reflux. It is characterized by burning and painful sensations in the chest, which usually occur just below the breastbone.
About Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Contrary to the popular belief, this medical condition does not have anything to do with the heart. It is related to the esophagus, which is a tube like organ which connects the stomach and the mouth. The burning sensations may sometimes radiate to certain other parts of the body such as jaw, throat, neck and others. This symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease is often accompanied by certain other types of symptoms such as an acidic taste in the mouth and abdominal bloating. The main cause of heartburn is the aforementioned gastroesophageal reflux disease. It occurs when the valve-like muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter starts malfunctioning. When this muscle does not function properly it lets the stomach acids back into the esophagus. The lining which protects the stomach from the acids is not present in the esophagus, so that is why the irritation occurs. The risk factors which may be associated with this medical condition include consumption of carbonated beverages, alcohol, caffeine, highly acidic foods and such. Certain medical conditions may also be associated with heartburn and they include pregnancy and obesity.
Home Remedies for Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Heartburn is usually treated with medicaments such as proton pump inhibitors, alginates, antagonists, famotidine, Omeprazole and antacids. One should not rely on such medications for prolonged periods of time so that is why it is a better option to use certain other types of home remedies which may be equally efficient. The simplest way of getting rid of heartburn is to ingest plenty of water once the initial symptoms start kicking in. There are certain types of fruit which may also be of great help for all those who suffer from the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and they include almonds, bananas and papaya. Other efficient home remedies which can be used for the treatment of heartburn include baking powder, sodium carbonate and vinegar. These also should not be used for prolonged periods of time because they can cause certain complications. Some people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux use licorice extract, almond and Aloe Vera juice in order to relieve the symptoms.