Constant heartburn is a painful burning sensation that is felt just below the chest. The pain can radiate from the chest to the higher in the esophagus and in the throat, and even in the jaw. It is usually associated with acid reflux disease. Heartburn actually does not have anything to do with the heart, but more with the esophagus. It is when food and acid are pushed back up the esophagus, causing that unpleasant burning sensation.
Constant Heartburn is actually quite common and can happen right after eating a heavy meal or foods that are extra spicy. Isolate instances of heartburn can easily be treated with antacids and are not related to any serious disease. However, people who get constant heartburn may be suffering from a serious condition. Constant heartburn is heartburn that occurs constantly and repeatedly, despite any attempts to treat it.
The esophagus is a long tube that connects the stomach to the mouth. Food travels from the mouth down to the esophagus. It is an important part of the digestion process. Right between the stomach and the esophagus is the lower esophageal sphincter, which stops the foods that travels down into the stomach from resurfacing back into the esophagus again. When the esophageal sphincter fails to function properly, it will cause food and stomach acids to travel back up into the esophagus, which causes heartburn. The continued malfunction of the esophageal sphincter is what causes constant heartburn. The failure of the esophageal sphincter can result from weakness of the muscles or a defect in the sphincter itself. Otherwise, things like overeating at meals, drinking too many carbonated beverages, too much caffeine and/or alcohol, smoking, and obesity and pregnancy which put pressure on the stomach.
The stomach has a lining to protect itself from all of the acids used to break down and digest food. The esophagus, however, does not have such a lining. Therefore, when the contents of the stomach resurface in the esophagus, it is easily irritated. This is where the burning sensation of heartburn comes from. When constant heartburn occurs, this can weaken the esophagus and cause an acidic taste in the mouth, the burning in the chest, and the sensation of having something stuck in the throat. Unless something else is evident, the main cause of constant heartburn is food. Foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, fried foods, spicy foods, peppermint, alcohol, chocolate, fatty foods, caffeinated beverages and carbonated beverages. These foods will vary for different people.
Effective treatments for heartburn include foods like banana, papaya, and almonds. Drinking a cool glass of water can have a positive effect as well. If the cause of heartburn is obesity, then weight loss can reduce the occurrences of heartburn. Medications and antacids can be used to treat it as well. However, if any treatments fail, then a physician should be consulted immediately, as a more serious condition could be the cause. Untreated heartburn will make the esophagus become weakened and inflamed, which may even result in the necessity of surgery. A simple lifestyle change can make a big difference when it comes to heartburn.
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