Women’s Health – What Causes Your Heartburn?
As you may have noticed I’ve started to add a few more health-based posts to the site lately. I am doing so because I believe that our health is such a massive part of our overall wellbeing and is an important key in driving success in our day-to-day lives. I am confronted with health issues all the time – with 6 years experience as an emergency paramedic I have been called to just about every kind of job you can imagine.
But to be honest, there’s something I see quite often that makes me a little annoyed. I often see patients who genuinely have no understanding of their medical conditions or what is causing them.
So today I’m teaming up with Gaviscon to talk with you about a condition I see quite often and have experienced myself – heartburn, and I’m going to share with you the common heartburn causes.
For those of you who haven’t been unlucky enough to experience heartburn (also known as acid reflux) I can tell you – it’s not a nice feeling. Ranging from mild discomfort to pain so bad some patients need hospitalisation, heartburn can present in many ways to many different people.
Heartburn is often described as a burning sensation rising up the throat, it can cause pain in the chest as well as nausea and vomiting and is often worse when lying down. It’s quite common to be called to a patient with chest pain who is fearing some cardiac event, only to realise that it is in fact heartburn. However – the opposite also occurs – where our patients believe they have heartburn but are actually having a cardiac event.
How do you tell the difference? The first key is to know your heartburn causes – if you get it often, what triggers it for you? The next is to always seek further medical advice if there is anything different about your heartburn or if you are unable to settle it.
So what are some common heartburn causes?
- How you eat has a large effect on your heartburn. If you eat too quickly, eat infrequently or eat soon before going to bed – this can trigger an overproduction of stomach acid, or make it easier to escape back up the oesophagus causing heartburn.
- What you eat can also trigger heartburn. One of the most common triggers I see are tomato based foods – tomato sauces, pizza’s, tomato based pasta sauces and tomatoes themselves are all triggers. So too are spicy foods (think Indian curry’s, Mexican food and chilli’s) as well as fatty foods (think deep fried, oil based foods).
- Citrus is another common trigger and is often associated with high citrus drinks.
- Pregnancy – can occur at any stage but is usually more common in the third trimester. However there are some women who have it earlier, as I did from 15 weeks onwards.
Determining your heartburn causes can be key in not only avoiding heartburn, but being able to differentiate between what is ‘normal’ heartburn for you and what might be a different medical concern.
Even if you are fortunate enough to not suffer from heartburn, I challenge you to understand any medical conditions you have. Know your triggers, know your condition and know what is normal for you. Your health is your responsibility and is one of the keys to leading a happy and successful life.
** If you have symptoms of heartburn that won’t go away, that radiate to your chest, back neck or arms, or if you start seeing blood in your sputum – call an ambulance and seek further medical advice as can be quite a serious condition. **
This post was kindly sponsored by Gaviscon. All opinions and observations are my own.