Introduction to constant heartburn
Heartburn is a common occurrence for the many people, but for some it is chronic. People who have constant heartburn have a very serious problem that needs to be treated medically, because it is one of the main symptoms of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes bile to blow back into the food pipe after meals.
For people to understand the condition, it is important to understand what parts of the body it involves. The esophagus is a tube that connects the stomach and the mouth. There is a muscular structure that is called the esophageal sphincter, which is what usually keeps the bile and food that was ingested from coming back up from the stomach.
When the sphincter is malfunctioning, then they contents of the stomach, most notably the stomach acid, will flow back into the esophagus and cause heartburn.
There are other factors that increase the risk of having constant heartburn pain, including overeating or eating very large meals, eating foods that are very acidic or lots of fatty and unhealthy foods, drinking too much caffeine, alcohol and soda, smoking, and being overweight or pregnant.
Obesity and pregnancy can in some cases put pressure on the stomach and effect the way the esophageal sphincter is functioning.
Certain medicines such as Aspirin and ibuprofen can also trigger heartburn in some people.
Heartburn is caused by digestive acids from the stomach entering up into the esophagus, which then irritates the lining of the esophagus.
The stomach can contain this acid because it has lining that protects it from the acidic content, but the esophagus does not, and is therefore easily irritated by the acid.
Symptoms of this occurrence include pain and burning in the chest, usually just below the breastbone, and an acidic taste in the mouth that is very unpleasant.
The pain can last for hours and sometimes it can feel like the person has something caught in their throats.
When people have constant heartburn, it can sometimes be accompanied by a chronic cough as well.
Other symptoms of constant heartburn can include hoarseness, sore throat and laryngitis, which results from the acid eating away at the esophagus.
Sometimes people with constant heartburn can make lifestyle changes to manage it, but most times, if it is already that severe, they will probably need medication to treat it. Sometimes surgery will even be needed in order to treat constant heartburn, since the acid could have already caused a lot of damage to the esophagus which will have to be repaired through surgery.