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How long does heartburn last?

Since you are reading this, you have probably experienced the burning sensation called heartburn yourself. If that’s not the case and you’re just here out of curiosity, consider yourself more than lucky!

Although it is extremely uncomfortable,  heartburn is usually not dangerous as it usually passes quite quickly. However, if your current heartburn just doesn’t seem to want to stop, you may be one of those people wondering how long heartburn can actually last.

It is definitely good to be prepared and at least have a rough idea of ​​this incredibly annoying problem, so read on.

Back to the basics: what is heartburn?

 It is called “heartburn” in English, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Still, it can be accompanied by heart attack-like symptoms. Heartburn is the term used to describe the reaction that occurs when the muscles at the bottom of the oesophagus, which usually contract once they have let food into the stomach, are weakened. If the muscles are not strong enough, acid can escape from the stomach into the oesophagus and flow back down the throat and mouth.

This causes the uncomfortable feeling known as heartburn, which can be treated in a number of ways. If you’re not used to it, or if you feel like your symptoms just don’t seem to be getting better, things can get more worrisome.

So how long does heartburn last?

Unfortunately, it is difficult to say how long your heartburn will last as it depends on each individual. In some people, it disappears after a few minutes, in others, it can last for hours or even days.

If you experience a milder form of heartburn, which usually occurs after eating certain foods, the symptoms will only last until your body has digested the meal. Symptoms may also return when you lie down or bend over as this puts extra pressure on the sphincter.

If you are not one of the “lucky ones” who only get daytime heartburn, you may be wondering how long nighttime heartburn lasts. As is well known, this form is the most painful and can keep you up all night, but at the same time, it is also the most dangerous, as the stomach acid remains in the oesophagus for a longer period of time and it is more damaged as a result. Nocturnal heartburn can also indicate a more serious underlying condition that should be checked with a doctor.

Is Heartburn Dangerous?

As already mentioned, mild heartburn that goes away quickly on its own or by taking over-the-counter medication is usually harmless.

So can you die of heartburn or GERD? The short answer is yes. If stomach acid gets into the oesophagus too often or stays there too long, it can cause serious damage to the body.

Let’s take a closer look at a few serious medical  conditions that can be caused by GERD:

1. Esophagitis

Esophagitis is inflammation of the oesophagus. This condition causes problems or pain when swallowing, as well as a sore throat, hoarseness, and heartburn.

Left untreated, esophagitis can lead to ulcers, scarring, and even narrowing of the oesophagus. In addition, esophagitis can also increase the risk of cancer.

2. Esophageal ulcer

Excessive exposure to stomach acid can lead to chronic inflammation of the oesophagus, which is the perfect environment for ulcers to develop.

This condition is associated with symptoms that, in addition to heartburn, include indigestion, difficulty swallowing, nausea, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, and others.

An untreated ulcer can lead to serious complications, such as a tear in the oesophagus or bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

3. Aspiration pneumonia:

During a heartburn attack, stomach acid usually rises up the throat or mouth, but it can also travel to the lungs. This of course has negative effects on the lungs, and if the lungs are unable to rid themselves of the acid, this can lead to a lung infection known as aspiration pneumonia.

The condition is usually accompanied by chest pain, high fever, cough, shortness of breath, generalized tiredness, and even blue skin.

If the inflammation is not treated promptly, the condition can become very serious and even fatal. That is why it is extremely important to see a doctor to prevent complications.

4. Barrett’s oesophagus:

Chronic damage to the oesophagus from stomach acid can lead to changes in the squamous cells that make up their lining. When this happens, the cells can be replaced with gland cells similar to those in the intestine. Such cells can become cancerous and even lead to oesophagal cancer.

The symptoms that suggest Barrett’s oesophagus are strictly the same as those of GERD: frequent heartburn, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing.

If you have frequent heartburn or GERD, especially if you have had these symptoms for more than five years, you should definitely seek advice from your doctor.

5. Esophageal cancer

As mentioned above, frequent heartburn and GERD can slightly increase your risk of developing oesophagal cancer. As the name suggests, this form of cancer occurs in the oesophagus. It usually begins with the deformation of the cells, which can be caused by Barrett’s oesophagus.

The disease causes symptoms similar to those typical of the diseases mentioned above, e.g. B. difficulty swallowing, chest pain, frequent coughing, severe forms of heartburn and various digestive disorders.

How to treat heartburn:

there are some things you can do to make heartburn go away as quickly as possible.

1. Medicines

The first and most obvious solution is medication. Over-the-counter medicines are usually effective at relieving heartburn symptoms as they work to reduce the acidity in the throat.

However, if you have chronic heartburn or GERD, your doctor should prescribe stronger medications for you.

2. Better nutrition

We often resort to medication, although a few small changes in diet and natural remedies for heartburn would bring great relief. If you’re dealing with persistent heartburn that lasts all day, start keeping a food journal to keep track of which foods are causing you the annoying burning sensation.

Heartburn often occurs after a spicy, salty, or high-fat meal,  as it can slow digestion or relax the oesophagal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to reflux.

Even larger amounts of chocolate, caffeine and alcohol can impair the function of the oesophagal sphincter and thus promote the rise of acidic stomach contents.

Replace foods that can lead to frequent heartburn with basic foods like green vegetables, bananas, and melons, which should help relieve acid reflux.

3. Lifestyle changes

Being overweight increases the risk of heartburn dramatically. As more pressure put on the abdomen, which allows stomach acid leaks out. Fight your heartburn by being active and reducing your body weight. By doing this, you are doing your immune system a favour, too.

Also, rethink your posture. Poor posture, like being overweight, can put pressure on the stomach. So make sure you sit upright at least when eating. Also, raise the head of your bed to prevent stomach acid from rising up your throat during the night.

4. Natural mineral water

When there’s a throat burning, bicarbonates are some of the best fire extinguishers. And no drink is richer in bicarbonates than  Rogaska Donat, natural mineral water that is not only a great reliever for constipation but is also known to be effective at relieving acid reflux symptoms. Donat neutralizes the gastric acid that has escaped into the oesophagus and thus provides quick relief.

If you want to get the most out of Donat’s heartburn relieving effects, you need to drink it right. Drink 0.1–0.2 l of the mineral water at a time. Room temperature and on an empty stomach, and before every major meal. Remember that a drinking cure with Donat should last at least a couple of days in order to take. Full advantage of the healing powers of the water.

Also read: how to dry basil

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