Heartburn is an unpleasant sensation manifested by pain and discomfort behind the breastbone, burning sensation and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. The reason for this is the throwing of acidic contents, which under normal conditions remains in the stomach, into the esophagus, which has an alkaline mucous membrane reaction. It is the thin layer of mucus on the walls of the esophagus, which cannot protect the thin and delicate mucosa from the effects of gastric hydrochloric acid for a long time, and leads to the development of ulcers and erosions and the appearance of pain and burning.
The causes of heartburn are both functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, for example, inaccuracies in nutrition and excessive physical activity, and bad habits that cause a weakening of the tone of the gastric sphincter, and diseases of the stomach and esophagus. Violations of the diet and food composition occupy a leading position in the causes of heartburn, but it should be remembered that heartburn and the constant ingress of acidic contents into the esophagus can cause the development of esophagitis (inflammation of the esophageal mucosa) and tumor diseases of this part of the digestive tract. Therefore, patients with persistent heartburn and hiatal hernia should be under the dispensary supervision of a gastroenterologist.
Most often, heartburn occurs after errors in nutrition, at night and in the supine position, therefore, patients with a predisposition to this unpleasant symptom should use measures to prevent the occurrence of pain and burning.
If heartburn becomes a single manifestation, then it is enough to adhere to a reasonable diet and not overeat at night. If the manifestations of such an unpleasant symptom become frequent or occur when taking certain medications (antidepressants, sleeping pills, birth control pills, antihistamines and antispasmodic drugs), and are also accompanied by weight loss and constant weakness, then a doctor's consultation is required. This will prevent the deterioration of the condition and timely detect diseases that are dangerous to the health and life of the patient. During the examination, it is necessary to perform an ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity and an endoscopic examination of the gastrointestinal tract.
To prevent heartburn, patients are advised to eat fractional, small portions of food, chewing food thoroughly. Complete elimination of alcohol, limitation of carbonated drinks, coffee is recommended. The last meal should be a few hours before bedtime and it is not recommended for patients to go to bed within 2 hours after eating. If necessary, the doctor prescribes drugs that eliminate the cause of heartburn, but they can be taken alone only once. With systematic heartburn, a doctor's consultation is required.