Heartburn, a common occurrence, transcends being a nuisance and becomes a real problem in the case of severe heartburn. In this article, you will learn a few simple yet effective heartburn remedies, a serious condition that mimics extreme heartburn, and treatment options should remedies and lifestyle changes not work..
Severe Heartburn Causes
Severe heartburn can be caused by a variety of things of factors, however, the following are the most likely culprits:
- Alcohol Consumption. Even a few drinks can cause heartburn. Binge drinking is a common cause of extreme heartburn and it is not unusual to experience bad heartburn all day after a night of drinking at the bar.
- Overeating and Trigger Foods. Overeating can be enough to cause heartburn, especially if the foods are fatty and spicy. Additionally, most people have a few certain “trigger foods” which are guaranteed to cause heartburn (different people have different trigger foods). Combining overeating and a trigger food is a recipe for bad heartburn.
- Gastritis – Any sort of inflammation in the stomach which could be caused from anything from the “stomach flu”, to H pylori to a more serious condition can help facilitate heartburn, especially when combined with one of the factors above.
More rarely, certain genetic predispositions or conditions can exist which cause the stomach to produce excess stomach acid and can lead to regular occurrences of severe heartburn.
Consequences of Extreme Heartburn
If you experience heartburn more than once a week on a regular basis, schedule an appointment with your doctor as this may be a sign of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
If left untreated, GERD can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, which increases the likelihood of contracting esophageal cancer. This can be the case even if the heartburn is mild.
Extreme Heartburn Remedies
Our top two heartburn remedies, chewing gum (non-peppermint) and drinking a teaspoon of vinegar can often remedy even the most severe heartburn case. You will be amazed by how much your heartburn symptoms will subside after taking a spoonful of vinegar and chewing gum for just 5-10 minutes.
Additionally, try putting on some loose-fitting clothes, and avoid laying down. If it is at night, be sure to elevate the head of your bed by 6 inches. If it is during the day, try going for a walk, which is also another simple yet effective heartburn remedy.
Severe Heartburn or a Heart Attack?
Frequently, bad heartburn and angina (chest pain that is a warning sign of a heart attack) are confused. Both are pains around the heart but there are some significant differences:
- Angina is typically described as a “squeezing”, gnawing pain, whereas heartburn is a burning sensation.
- Angina frequently spreads to the shoulders, arms, and neck (particularly on the left side), whereas even extreme heartburn stays centralized on the midline of the body.
- Sufferers of angina sometimes report an “uneasy” feeling and can break out in a cold sweat. This does not happen with heartburn.
- Severe heartburn gets worse when laying down or bending forward; angina typically does not significantly change based on body position.
- Bad heartburn is typically accompanied by burping and an accompanying bitter or acidic taste, whereas angina is not.
If there is ever any doubt or you are experiencing symptoms of angina or heart attack, call emergency medical services without delay. Angina is a symptoms of ischemia which can progress into a full heart-attack if left untreated.