While heartburn is bad enough, severe heartburn is more alarming and even more painful. Although severe heartburn is not any more related to serious heart disorders than normal heartburn is, there is a greater danger of ignoring severe heartburn and letting it run its course.
Unfortunately, not a lot of people understand what clearly distinguishes heartburn from severe heartburn. Moreover, there isn’t enough awareness of what should be done when severe heartburn occurs. Certainly, it’s about time that you understand what severe heartburn are and what they can do to you. Most importantly, you need to understand the recommended remedies for heartburn.
Symptoms and indication of having severe heartburn
A person suffering from severe heartburn experiences a sharp stabbing pain in the chest area, particularly on the left side. This pain extends to the throat and may persist for more than a few minutes. Aside from the persistence of heartburn, there are also other symptoms that principally affect the esophagus, the throat, and the teeth.
You can usually tell if you have severe heartburn if the piercing pain does not subside even after taking medication or applying natural remedies for normal heartburn. In this case, then you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Severe heartburn is a symptom of GERD when the lower sphincter continually allows stomach acid to escape from the stomach valve. Unlike normal heartburn, where stomach acid only escapes on singular occasions, GERD is episodic and regular.
Without treating the severe heartburn with acceptable remedies, the lower esophagus may be damaged. The stomach acid is not meant to pass through the esophagus, and its abundance definitely spells disaster for your esophagus. Narrowing of the lower esophagus is also an effect of severe heartburn. Swallowing food will be more difficult because it couldn’t pass through the narrow lining of the esophagus.
Moreover, severe heartburn may result in acid erosion or discoloration of the teeth. The stomach acid reaching your throat will also inevitably affect your teeth. Not only will your teeth look aesthetically poor, its quality will also be of significantly lesser quality.
Another symptom of severe heartburn is a sore throat accompanied by hoarse voice. Basically, the stomach acid causes the inflammation of the throat and your larynx. The throat is naturally irritated, resulting in a sore throat. On the other hand, the larynx is partly responsible for the production of sounds. The stomach acid causes deterioration of your vocal chords and ultimately results in a hoarse voice. This is an apprehension that singers and speakers should immediately address.
Probably the worst effect of the severe heartburn is Esophagitis or the bleeding of the lining of the esophagus. It may also lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, which may easily lead to Esophageal Cancer. Sounds serious enough? That’s because severe heartburn is a serious problem that most Americans just don’t know enough about.
You don’t have to wait for you to experience all these symptoms in order to determine if you have severe heartburn. Most of them are effects of ignoring and simply setting aside their heartburn attacks, not knowing that they’re actually severe heartburn. Generally though, consulting a doctor is helpful, before trying natural remedies.
Comparing normal heartburn and severe heartburn
When suffering from heartburn, a person experiences a painful feeling on the left side of the chest. This feeling usually goes away after a while, unless its proximate cause triggers the pain. Severe heartburn is not occasional. In fact, they occur quite often that it probably happens around once to twice a day for a person. Although there is no official record of how often a person experiences severe heartburn, there is a consensus in the medical community that it can be intermittent to very frequent.
Severity of Pain
Another difference of normal heartburn from severe heartburn is the increased discomfort and pain it can cause to a person. Heartburn is generally tolerable, as they are expected to pass away after a while. Severe heartburn, however, can be so debilitating to the point of regurgitation. Severe heartburn may also result in difficulty in eating and sleeping.
While heartburn usually results in the pain of the chest, severe heartburn can reach as far as the throat. Its frequency can also lead to long-term effects, like having a sore throat or discolored teeth. Normal heartburn has no such long-term effects.
Effect of Medication
Another difference that sets severe heartburn from normal heartburn is the effectiveness of the medication. Severe heartburn usually doesn’t respond well to remedies that would otherwise easily cure regular heartburn. This is especially the case for severe heartburn that has gone on for far too long.
Causes of severe heartburn
The causes of severe heartburn range from one’s diet to underlying medical conditions. Knowing the specific cause of severe heartburn is essential because it dictates the proper remedy that should be administered.
- Diet. A basic cause of severe heartburn has to do with a person’s diet. To avoid frequent heartburn, you should eliminate chocolate, caffeine, spicy dishes, and fatty foods from your diet.
- Lifestyle. Your mental and physical health has more to do with severe heartburn than you think. A stressful lifestyle is more likely to result in severe heartburn. If you can’t do anything about your busy schedule, perhaps you can do something about your mindset.
- Hiatal Hernia.This medical condition causes heartburn when the stomach is being displaced and pushed into the abdomen. The frequency of the pressure causes stomach acid to be regularly released and ultimately results in severe heartburn.
- Pregnancy. While around half of pregnant women experience heartburn at some point throughout their pregnancy, severe heartburn may occur in a few unlucky ones. This usually happens in the third trimester, when the uterus exerts pressure on internal organs of the body, including the stomach.
- Unhealthy habits. Alcohol and smoke are two causes of severe heartburn. Not only are they unhealthy for your liver and lungs, they are also bad for the stomach.
Recommended Severe Heartburn Remedies
The proper remedy for severe heartburn depends on the cause. What works for a person experiencing severe heartburn because of poor lifestyle won’t work for a person whose cause of severe heartburn is pregnancy. When it comes right down to it, identifying the cause if the most essential, not to mention most difficult, step in knowing which remedy to choose.
- Eliminate heartburn-inducing foods from your diet. You’re probably eating too much of what’s causing your severe heartburn. Clearly, your stomach doesn’t approve—you might as well refrain from eating them altogether.
- Stop smoking or drinking alcoholic drinks! Your drinking and smoking habits are probably causing your severe heartburn. The pain is definitely not a good trade-off for whatever benefit you get from smoking or drinking.
- For pregnant women, try posture exercises. These will lessen the pressure of the uterus on the stomach, and therefore prevent the release of stomach acid.
- Relieve your stress. With the fast-paced lifestyle most people lead, perhaps it’s time to free up your schedule and try stress-relieve techniques. From simple breathing exercises to yoga, stress relief will put a stop to severe heartburn once and for all.
- Try apple cider vinegar or chamomile tea. These are two well-known remedies that are known to be effective in relieving heartburn of extreme severity. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water or have a glass of chamomile tea every meal.