Heartburn| Is it a heart related disease?

Heartburn: Is is a heart related disease?

Health experts from US Preventive Services Task Force released a guideline indicating that a low-dose of aspirin can help people in their 50s to reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.

The updated set of recommendations aim to add new information on the use of aspirin for preventive measures against certain types of heart diseases and cancer. The last published recommendation by the task force was released in 2009. It detailed that low-aspirin can help men aged 45 to 79 and aged 55 to 79 for women.

“In this recommendation, we try to provide additional guidance about who is most likely to achieve benefits from aspirin. We think for people taking aspirin to prevent cardiovascular disease, there is an additional benefit for colorectal cancer protection. We’re not recommending you take aspirin for colorectal cancer if you’re not at high risk for cardiovascular disease,” explained Dr. Doug Owens, a member of the task force and a professor of medicine at Stanford University.

Heart-related diseases include high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But what about heartburn?

Is heartburn a heart-related disease?

Heartburn is a burning sensation around the lower chest. It occurs due to acidic digestive juices that are washed back into the esophagus. Common causes of heartburn include bad eating habits such as overeating, hurried eating, not chewing the food well; excessive intake of oily foods, spicy foods, citrus fruits, chocolates, mints, and tomato products; smoking; being overweight; alcohol, coffee, and tea intake; tight clothing around the abdomen; lying down, bending over, squatting, and carrying heavy objects right after eating; weakened muscle that controls the opening of the lower end of the esophagus; and even pregnancy.

Common heartburn symptoms include burning sensation in the upper abdomen that moves up into the chest and sometimes up to the throat, belching, bitter or sour taste in the mouth, wheezing or choking sensation when asleep, discolored teeth, and chronic cough. It is important to pinpoint the cause of the symptoms because these symptoms can also be associated with heart and gastrointestinal problems.

There is no cure for heartburn but actions can be taken to alleviate the condition and lessen the risk. You may take antacids, but do take note that antacids can have side effects. You may also improve eating habits and reduce intake of foods that causes heartburn such as chocolates, oily foods, spicy foods, mints, tomato products, among others. Reducing weight and living an active lifestyle is also recommended. Quit smoking and learn how to manage stress properly. Avoid wearing tight clothing that squeezes the abdomen. Avoid lying or bending down immediately after eating. Lastly, elevate your upper body when sleeping.

If the condition still grows worse, it is best to consult your doctor.

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