Pyrosis or heartburn which is indicated by acid indigestion being felt as a burning sensation in the chest can be caused by various factors including acid reflux leading to inflammation of the esophagus, irritable bowels and certain cardiac conditions. Pregnancy causes regular recurrence of heartburns due to hormonal changes.
Heartburn Causes – Common Conditions
The conditions that have been identified as the common heartburn causes include eating certain types of foods that trigger acidic efflux into the esophagus, smoking cigarettes, medical conditions like asthma and diabetes, excessive pressure on the abdomen in obese and pregnant women, abnormal muscle function of the stomach and complications like hiatal hernia. The lower esophageal sphincter or LES is a kind of valve in the digestive system that effectively blocks the outflow of stomach juices. If due to any abnormality this valve remains fully or partially open acidic juices from the stomach flow out to irritate the thin walls of the esophagus tracts, which is among the most common heartburn causes.
Heartburn in Pregnancy – Causes and Countermeasures
The two primary causes of heartburn in pregnancy are softening of the LES muscles in the stomach due to additional hormones which helps the acid efflux into the esophagus and the additional pressure that is applied on the abdomen to accommodate the growing baby which pushes out acids from the stomach. Though these symptoms cannot be completely eliminated, certain steps can be taken to reduce the occurrence and minimize the discomfort. Avoiding typical heartburn inducing foods like spicy foods, caffeine, chocolates, tomato sauce, peppermint and citrus fruits will definitely be of immense help in this situation. Additionally smaller and early meals before sleeping will help reduce the pressure on the abdomen. Heartburn in pregnancy can also be reduced by wearing loose fitting clothes and sleeping with the head raised up sufficiently.
Symptoms of Heartburns – Early Identification
The symptoms of heartburns are different for different conditions and people but require to be identified early so as to commence treatment in the initial stages. Acid efflux being the primary cause of heartburns is associated with almost all kinds of symptoms in this condition. Burning sensation in the chest and throat, sour or bitter taste in the mouth, difficulty in swallowing, chronic coughing, wheezing or other asthma type indications are the most common symptoms that should not be ignored. Heartburns associated with pregnancy occur more often after heavy meals or while lying down due to the extra pressure on the abdomen and can easily be distinguished from other digestive disorders.