Conditions That Cause Chronic Heartburn by aihaozhe2

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									Chronic heartburn is a symptom of digestive system disorder that occurs more than
twice per week and hangs on for hours. While a usual bout may last for a few minutes
once per month, underlying conditions that cause chronic heartburn are not
uncommon and can have a multifaceted impact on the life of the suffer.

Heartburn has many names, such as pyrosis, acid reflux, and acid indigestion to name
a few. It's root cause is lifestyle or diet, that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter
(LES), hindering proper closure.

The function of the LES is to open when food passes through to the stomach, then
closes to prevent reflux of stomach acids back into the esophagus. Unfortunately, this
does not always occur in the presence of some health conditions.

Conditions that cause chronic heartburn:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

GERD is a disease characterized by recurrent acid reflux of gastric acids that flow
backward into the esophagus. This repeated assault causes burning chest pain, which
can lead to bleeding and scarring of the esophagus.

A narrowing of the food tube follows making it hard to swallow. If this condition goes
undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to more serious medical problems such as
stomach cancer and cancer of the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease costs approximately 10 billion dollars per year in
medical expenses, with 63% of that is directly related to the cost of medications to
reduce symptoms.

The person suffering from this disease has a general lower quality of life and untold
nights if disrupted sleep due to the constant burning.

Some symptoms of GERD include, relentless heartburn, belching, halitosis, and
inflamed gingiva (gums). Treatment usually involves antacids, H2 antagonists, and
proton pump inhibitors to reduce symptoms.

Hiatal Hernia:

This condition is also a cause of persistent pyrosis, and if severe, surgical intervention
may be necessary. Hiatal, or hiatus hernia occurs when the stomach protrudes
upwards though a space in the diaphragm called the hiatus.

The hiatus sometimes is larger than it should be, allowing for the stomach to bulge
through it. This position puts pressure on the LES so that it doesn't close properly,
causing acid reflux.

There are two forms of hiatus hernia:

Sliding - The most common form where the stomach slides up and down during a
swallow.

Paraesophageal - A portion 0f the stomach is located beside the esophagus, blocking
food from entering the stomach. The danger with this form is that the stomach's blood
supply can be cut off ,and may require surgical intervention.

Symptoms are the same as GERD with the associated complications, which include
nausea, heartburn, and regurgitation. Treatment is virtually the same as it is for GERD
as well.

Check with your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment if you are having
symptoms of conditions that cause chronic heartburn.

								
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