What is Heartburn? – An Overview of this Burning Feeling
what is heartburn

Heartburn is not really a heart condition but is a burning sensation that involves the digestive system and travels up to the chest. This is the reason that people often confuse the symptoms of heartburn with a heart attack since the pain is primarily felt in the central region of the chest. The strong reaction of foods with the stomach acids during digestion is the main cause of heartburn. This reaction pushes some of the stomach acid up the esophagus causing a chemical burn, which results in mild to severe pain.

This reaction pushes some of the stomach acid up to the esophagus causing a chemical burn, which results in mild to severe pain. A mucus layer is also contained in the stomach as well, and the stomach lining is protected from the strong stomach juices by it. While there is no such protection in the esophagus, however, a sphincter muscle is situated near the stomach that is supposed to prevent the stomach acids from entering the esophagus. The weakening of the sphincter muscle allows the contents of the esophagus where the result in burns. This condition is known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
Heartburn is not necessarily caused by GERD, in fact, even people temporarily suffering from a condition referred to as acid reflux can also result in GERD. Eating very spicy foods or too much food can cause the stomach to become overwhelmed. A churning feeling is caused by this due to which people feel the abrupt desire to vomit. Heartburn pain can affect the whole esophagus, including the vocal cords and stomach. Agonizing pain and problem in speaking are among the symptoms of serious heartburn occurrence.

Consuming antacid tablets is the best and a prompt way of treating heartburn. Calcium and carbonates are contained in these tablets, which are “base substances,” neutralize the excess acid produced in the stomach. It is common science that an acid and base combination creates a neutralized substance. Upon reaching the stomach, the antacid tablets essentially cause the excess acid to become water. Alka-Seltzer is one such antacid effervescent tablet, which assists in the elimination of acidic bubbles. Other symptoms of heartburn pain can be treated with pain medications.

In the recent times, over-the-counter and prescription drugs have also been developed through modern advancement and research to serve as a treatment for heartburn. Thus, before consuming problematic foods, people suffering from acid reflux, GERD or heartburn can simply take drugs that are available in the market in order to curb the symptoms of such digestive problems. The stomach’s acid-producing mechanism can be targeted with medications like Prilosec and Tagamet. This reduces the acid production during digestion and minimal acid reaches up the esophagus. Thus, the frequency and intensity of a condition like heartburn are also reduced.

Since heartburn is confused with angina or an actual heart attack, therefore, it is important to comprehend the difference. Heart attack pain is usually even experienced across the back and the left arm, however, heartburn pain is limited to the main chest region. Therefore, those asking, what is heartburn? They can distinguish this condition from a heart attack based on these simple facts.

what is heartburn
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