What Is GERD And Heartburn

GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The Oesophagus is a part of the digestive tract that carries the food from the mouth to the stomach. The esophagus contains a sphincter that regulates the passage of food in and out of the esophagus. Sometimes the opening and closing of this sphincter are spontaneous which causes the food along with the digestive acids to rise into the esophagus.

When these acids along with the food keep rising into the esophagus from time to time, it leads to the condition known as GERD. The GERD symptoms and the heartburn symptoms are closely related and connected to each other and a close watch on these GERD symptoms and heartburn symptoms is required for the control of this disorder.

GERD Symptoms

When the digestive acids from the stomach keep rising into the esophagus, it is called acid reflux. This acid reflux causes a burning sensation in the heart and the throat. This burning sensation is called heartburn. Heartburn is one of the most common GERD symptoms. The other GERD symptoms include pain in the themed chest, pain in the breastbone, pain in the mid-abdomen, nausea and vomiting, etc. The other common GERD symptoms are a dry cough, asthma symptoms and also they face trouble swallowing.

Causes For Heartburn

The walls of the stomach are protected from the digestive acids by a mucous lining. However, this is not the case in the esophagus. When these digestive acids enter the esophagus due to acid reflux, it causes a burning sensation which is one of the heartburn symptoms and also one of the GERD symptoms.

The common causes of heartburn are eating gas-producing foods and fatty/oily foods that digest slowly, pregnancy, wearing extremely tight clothes, especially tight waistbands, tight belts and slimming undergarments, sleeping on a full stomach, as happens when you have dinner around bedtime, bending down often, certain types of foods, smoking or chewing tobacco, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, excessively spicy foods, stressful conditions and some types of medications.

Heartburn Symptoms

As pointed out earlier, the acid reflux into the esophagus causes a burning sensation which is referred to as heartburn. Heartburn is, therefore, a symptom of another disorder in addition to being a disorder on its own. There are several heartburn symptoms that are quite evident and are used for the diagnosis of this disorder. Some of the common heartburn symptoms are burning feeling in the chest, burning sensation in the throat, sour and bitter tastes in the mouth, swallowing difficulties, chronic coughing and wheezing. These heartburn symptoms are important for the diagnosis and treatment of heartburn as well as GERD.

Heartburn Treatment

Heartburn is a serious problem that affects a lot of people worldwide and affects their everyday activities. The treatment of heartburn includes the diagnosis based on the heartburn symptoms such as burning sensation in the stomach, chest, and throat. Once the heartburn symptoms have been identified, the first line of defense for many people includes the use of antacids and other drugs that neutralize stomach acids. This is done to mainly to neutralize the heartburn symptoms.

GERD Treatment

The treatment of GERD is a bit more complex than that of normal heartburn and in addition to the analysis of the GERD symptoms it also requires some lifestyle changes such as reducing obesity, cutting down on chocolates and foods that cause discomfort, avoiding smoke, drugs, and alcohol, reducing stress, avoiding excessively hot or cold foods, etc. These measures help to fight the GERD symptoms which in turn would help to reduce the effect of the disorder.