Does Your Morning Coffee Cause You Pain or Discomfort?

 

Does your morning coffee cause you pain? Are you frustrated whena night out dining with friends ends in discomfort instead ofrelaxed conversation? Do you carry antacids with you every day?

Heartburn is more than just a nuisance. It can detract fromenjoying a meal, force you to change your routine and hang overyour every decision - what to eat, what to drink, when to laydown.

What is this monkey on your back and how can you find relief?

WHAT CAUSES HEARTBURN?

Heartburn occurs when the acid content of the stomach makes itsway back into the esophagus. A burning sensation and even abitter taste are experienced by heartburn sufferers.

If you are suffering more than twice a week you may have acidreflux disease - also known as GERD. Why is this important?

Not all heartburn is caused by GERD (Gastroesophageal refluxdisease). Occasional heartburn can be caused by a variety offactors but if you have regular episodes there are things you cando to help.

WHAT CAN I DO?

If you have regular heartburn the first thing you should do isstay away from regular use of antacids. Antacids can relieve thepain of occasional heartburn, but because they are designed toneutralize the acids in your stomach they can cause the stomachto create MORE acid - a cycle called 'acid rebound'. Somemedications can also cause diarrhea or constipation or evenincrease the risk of food poisoning by inhibiting the growth ofgood bacteria.

Watch out for trigger foods such as caffeine, alcohol, citrus, chocolate, minty, spicy or tomato-based foods as well as fatty orfried foods, onions or garlic.

Being overweight or smoking also increases the risk of GERD andlifestyle changes may help to control the symptoms.

Activities such as lying down after a meal, bending forward, lifting heavy items or eating large meals can bring acid refluxon. Avoiding these activities after a meal, eating smallerportions and raising the head of your bed several inches mayhelp.

Some natural products such as orange peel extract are beingresearched for their abilities to curb heartburn.

WHO IS AT RISK?

Anyone. But it should be noted that pregnant women, children, overweight individuals and smokers are all likely candidates.

Young babies have immature digestive systems. National DigestiveDiseases (NDDIC) says that most children outgrow GERD by the timethey are one year old. However, because the symptoms are painfulprecautions like frequent burping and keeping the infant uprightfor 30 minutes after eating can reduce the occurrence.

Older children may have to take similar precautions in diet andactivity as adults. You should always consult your doctor whenyou suspect GERD to avoid future complications.

Being overweight or pregnant increases the pressure in theabdomen. 25% of pregnant women experience heartburn at some timeduring their pregnancy.

If you suspect GERD it is important to contact your doctor asthere can be harmful side effects of persistent heartburnincluding scaring of the esophagus, asthma, erosion of the teethand even increased risk of esophageal cancer. Frequent, persistent heartburn can also be a symptom of other seriousconditions and should be checked on by a professional.

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

 



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