What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a common occurrence in many of us, but what exactly is it and how do we differentiate it with other diseases that have similar symptoms? Find out in this article!

What is Heartburn?

Even though the name has the word “heart” in it, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Heartburn happens when irritation occurs in the esophagus, a muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach,  that is caused the stomach acid.

Have you ever felt a painful burning feeling within your chest area or throat?  This  may just be a sign that you are experiencing heartburn. Most people can deal with heartburn discomfort by themselves with lifestyle changes and with the help of over- the-counter medicines.

Source: verywellhealth

What Causes Heartburn?

There are a lot of factors that can lead to heartburn or even make it worse.

One of these is our eating habits. Eating a large portion of food can lead to heartburn because the stomach cannot handle the amount of food taken in. Eating or snacking before going to sleep is also a viable cause because there is not enough time for the stomach to digest the food properly.

Lifestyle habits are also major factors. Wearing tight clothes, stress and being overweight can add to the risk of experiencing a heartburn.

Heartburn As A Symptom

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and other diseases (which are discussed in the latter part of the article) have heartburn as a symptom. This is why special attention is needed so as not to confuse your condition for something else. Heartburn happens when the stomach acid rises back up to the esophagus, which causes burning pain behind the sternum or breastbone. Most of the times, the pain that occurs during acid reflux is mistaken as the pain during a heart attack.

The pain of the acid reflux can either remain in the lower chest or it can spread out to the back of the throat like water-brash, more known as heartburn. If ever the acid reflux is near the voicebox, there is a possibility that it will cause coughing episodes and hoarseness on the voice.

Heartburn vs. Acid Reflux vs. GERD

These medical terms are usually interchanged, but they actually have different meanings. A heartburn has nothing to do with the heart because it occurs in the digestive system. It happens when the stomach acid goes up the esophagus and causes irritation which starts the pain you feel around the chest area.

Acid Reflux is a medical condition that has a range of mild to serious in its severity. It only becomes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) if you are diagnosed to have long-term Acid Reflux since this is the more acute form of acid reflux.

Source: Malladi

If you are still unsure of what condition you may have, make sure to visit your general physician and get a check up! For those who want to look for new or other doctors within their vicinity, then you can visit SeeYouDoc and browse through their various registered doctors.