Thursday, 5 March 2009

Does Your Morning Coffee Cause You Pain or Discomfort?

Does your morning coffee cause you pain? Are you frustrated when 
a night out dining with friends ends in discomfort instead of 
relaxed conversation? Do you carry antacids with you every day? 

Heartburn is more than just a nuisance. It can detract from 
enjoying a meal, force you to change your routine and hang over 
your every decision - what to eat, what to drink, when to lay 

What is this monkey on your back and how can you find relief? 


Heartburn occurs when the acid content of the stomach makes its 
way back into the esophagus. A burning sensation and even a 
bitter taste are experienced by heartburn sufferers. 

If you are suffering more than twice a week you may have acid 
reflux disease - also known as GERD. Why is this important? 

Not all heartburn is caused by GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux 
disease). Occasional heartburn can be caused by a variety of 
factors but if you have regular episodes there are things you can 
do to help. 


If you have regular heartburn the first thing you should do is 
stay away from regular use of antacids. Antacids can relieve the 
pain of occasional heartburn, but because they are designed to 
neutralize the acids in your stomach they can cause the stomach 
to create MORE acid - a cycle called 'acid rebound'. Some 
medications can also cause diarrhea or constipation or even 
increase the risk of food poisoning by inhibiting the growth of 
good bacteria. 

Watch out for trigger foods such as caffeine, alcohol, citrus, 
chocolate, minty, spicy or tomato-based foods as well as fatty or 
fried foods, onions or garlic. 

Being overweight or smoking also increases the risk of GERD and 
lifestyle changes may help to control the symptoms. 

Activities such as lying down after a meal, bending forward, 
lifting heavy items or eating large meals can bring acid reflux 
on. Avoiding these activities after a meal, eating smaller 
portions and raising the head of your bed several inches may 

Some natural products such as orange peel extract are being 
researched for their abilities to curb heartburn. 


Anyone. But it should be noted that pregnant women, children, 
overweight individuals and smokers are all likely candidates. 

Young babies have immature digestive systems. National Digestive 
Diseases (NDDIC) says that most children outgrow GERD by the time 
they are one year old. However, because the symptoms are painful 
precautions like frequent burping and keeping the infant upright 
for 30 minutes after eating can reduce the occurrence. 

Older children may have to take similar precautions in diet and 
activity as adults. You should always consult your doctor when 
you suspect GERD to avoid future complications. 

Being overweight or pregnant increases the pressure in the 
abdomen. 25% of pregnant women experience heartburn at some time 
during their pregnancy. 

If you suspect GERD it is important to contact your doctor as 
there can be harmful side effects of persistent heartburn 
including scaring of the esophagus, asthma, erosion of the teeth 
and even increased risk of esophageal cancer. Frequent, 
persistent heartburn can also be a symptom of other serious 
conditions and should be checked on by a professional. 

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes 
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any 
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any 
health care program. 

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