Heartburn, also known as pyrosis, cardialgia, or acid indigestion, refers to a painful burning feeling in the chest or throat, along with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth.
Despite its name, heartburn doesn’t affect the heart, however some symptoms may resemble heart attack. The pain often raises in the chest and radiates up.
Heartburn happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The most common cause of heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which acid reflux causes inflammation of the esophagus. However there are also many other causes, like pregnancy, certain food, alcohol, or some medications (acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, some sedatives, and antihypertensive drugs). There are some factors that add to heartburn, like overeating, bending over, or lying down. Smoking, caffeine intake, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, chocolate, fatty or spicy food, onion, mint, as well as being overweight or obese can make heartburn worse.
Several kinds of drugs can be used to treat heartburn, but the treatment depends on the disease causes. Usually symptomatic therapies are introduced. The most common group of medicines are antacids containing magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide, or calcium carbonate. They neutralize stomach acid, but one should remember that the prolonged use is not recommended without a physician’s advice. Aluminum has been shown to deposit in bones, joints, and the brain. It can be a problem for people with renal problems in particular. Long-term treatment with antacids may lead to gastroenteric problems as well as milk-alkali syndrome – a serious condition characterized by a shift in the body’s acid-base balance to alkaline. Also, antacids can interfere with the absorption of a lot of medications.
Another group of medicines used in heartburn treatment are H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors – they reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes. Proton pump inhibitors are the most potent inhibitors of acid secretion available today.
There are some tips on preventing a heartburn attack. Keep the upper part of the body raised slightly while lying. Try to eat at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down. Do not smoke nor overeat. Eat high-protein and low-fat meals. Keep your body weight on a proper level. Avoid tight clothes and food that has given you a heartburn attack in the past.
EXERCISE (Choose TRUE or FALSE):
1. Sedatives and obesity may cause heartburn.
2. The most often cause of heartburn in gastroesophageal reflux disease.
3. Antacids may be used in a prolonged heartburn treatment.
4. Milk-alkali syndrome is an effect of the proton pump inhibitor therapy.
5. H2 blockers are the most effective inhibitors of stomach acid secretion.
• heartburn [ˈhɑrtbɜrn] – zgaga
• pyrosis [paɪˈroʊsɪs] – zgaga
• cardialgia [kɑrdiˈældʒiə] – zgaga
• indigestion [ɪndɪˈdʒɛstʃən] – niestrawność
• esophagus [ɪˈsɒfəgəs] – przełyk
• gastroesophageal reflux disease [ˈgæstrɒɪsɒˈfədʒiəl ˈriˌflʌks dɪˈziz] – refluks żołądkowo-przełykowy
• carbonated drink [ˈkɑrbəneɪtɪd drɪŋk] – napój gazowany
• antacid [æntˈæsɪd] – środek zobojętniający
• milk-alkali syndrome [mɪlk ˈælkəlaɪ ˈsɪndroʊm] – zespół Burnetta
• proton pump inhibitor [ˈproʊtɒn pʌmp ɪnˈhɪbɪtər] – inhibitor pompy protonowej
Correct answers: true, true, false, false, false
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