Heartburn

Friday, November 26, 2010

Almost everyone has heartburn sometimes. Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat. It happens when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about heartburn, and some things to avoid to prevent heartburn, in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

The lower esophageal sphincter acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. When we swallow food, this muscle relaxes to allow the food into the stomach. It then closes tightly to protect the esophagus from acidic stomach contents coming back up. When this muscle fails to close properly, the acid-containing contents of the stomach can travel back up into the esophagus, producing a burning sensation commonly referred to as heartburn.

Improving your eating habits can reduce heartburn. After eating, keep an upright posture. Eat moderate portions of food and smaller meals. Eat meals at least three to four hours before lying down and avoid bedtime snacks.

Certain foods are linked to heartburn. Try limiting or avoiding:

Spicy and fatty foods

Alcoholic beverages

Mints, such as peppermints

Tomato juice

Citrus juice

Chocolate

Coffee

Colas, and

Tea

If you have persistent heartburn, let your physician know. You may have more serious stomach problems.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.