If you have frequent heartburn and you think it is too much acid, it is highly unlikely to be the cause of your reflux problem, because over 90% of adults who suffer from reflux, have normal or below normal levels of stomach acid. It is a fact that as we age, our acid levels decline and by age 50 we only have 15% of the stomach acid we had at age 25.
More alarming is that 35% of us, over 65, produce no stomach acid at all. That could explains why calcium deficiencies is such a common health problems of older adults. Since stomach acid is essential for the proper calcium absorption.
How long does a heartburn last?
Most symptoms last from 2 to 3 hours depending on circumstance.
What does heartburn feel like?
These symptoms are often associated with heartburn:
- A Burning or pain in the chest or below the breast bone
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Stomach pain after eating
- Sour and bitter taste
- Overly full
- Belching, burping, nausea
- Increased burning when bending over, lying down, or eating
- Cough, sore throat, hoarseness
- Feeling like something is stuck in the throat
Is my heartburn a disease?
Virtually every adult has experienced heartburn. The duration of heartburn, pushes the diagnosis of acid reflux and the damage it causes, into the disease category. If it is an occasional acid reflux symptom and it is remedied with a lifestyle change or eating habit or Tums, that should not be a cause for alarm.
When acid reflux goes beyond a feeling of discomfort and is present after every meal, drastic measures may need to be done. The use of over-the-counter or prescribed medication to decrease the production of stomach acid may be needed. But, please see a doctor and get the proper tests done to determine what your acid level is and how best to treat the condition. Remember if you are over age 50, it maybe a sign of a low acid condition and you DO NOT want to be treated for a high acid symptoms which would make your overall health worse.
Quick tips to relieve your heartburn feeling
Symptoms can be managed by simply changing some lifestyle habits or avoiding certain triggers. Below are some tips to help you relieve your symptoms:
Eat smaller portions throughout the day
Excessive food in the stomach creates higher amounts of pressure, leading to increased chances of stomach acid escaping through the esophageal sphincter.
Avoid trigger foods
Certain food can increase the amount of acidity in the stomach, referred to as trigger foods. Trigger foods increases acid production and makes symptoms worse.
Some trigger foods include:
- Fried foods
- Foods that contain artificial sweeteners
- Citrus fruits
- Caffeinated products
Control your stress
Be it from your work or due to problems at home. Stress can wreak havoc on the body, causing the production of stress hormones that can increase acid reflux symptoms. The gut and the brain are connected by a complex network of nerves that control everything from muscle concentration to the amount of acid produced thus having an excessive amount of emotional stress can be linked to fluctuations in hormone levels.
It may be due to your medication
One of the side-effects of the medication you currently take. Certain medication used for the treatment of high blood pressure has shown to induce acid reflux symptoms. Your birth control pill has also been implicated. Even smoking is known for relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to acid reflux.
When to see a doctor?
It is never a bad idea to get expert advice of professional espically when there’s a problem with your body. Having heartburn for a longer period of time can actually lead to life threatening complications. If you experience the following symptoms alongside your heartburn, it’s recommended to see a doctor right away.
- Large amounts of vomiting
- Forceful vomiting
- Vomit that is yellow or bloody or looks like coffee grounds
- Difficulty breathing after vomiting
- Mouth or throat pain after vomiting
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
More Information is available
You should also read my other articles on Heartburn | Did you know there a 2 kinds and Why We Need Stomach Acid because this article only presents some of the many symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and if you do not get any relief doing any of these fixes or cures and want some VERY important information!