You've just enjoyed a big meal and are relaxing in front of the TV when it happens. A burning sensation begins to build in the upper abdomen, behind the breastbone, and makes your chest feel like it's on fire. The burning and pain may travel from your diaphragm all the way to your throat, and may be accompanied with a sour taste and the sensation of food re-entering your mouth.
You're suffering from severe heartburn.
Despite the name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. It's a digestive problem that occurs when stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of the esophagus, causing irritation. Most people suffer from heartburn occasionally, usually after a meal. How do you know when your condition is considered chronic?
If you have heartburn once a month, it's considered mild. If you have heartburn once a week, it's moderate. It's when your heartburn occurs daily that it's considered to be severe.
About 20% of all adults will have heartburn at least once a month. They can manage these uncomfortable episodes with a change in diet, over-the-counter antacids and weight lose. Even those who suffer from moderate heartburn can often find relief with these remedies. But for five to fifteen percent of adults, their heartburn is severe. For them, the above-mentioned remedies give only partial or temporary relief.
Test your knowledge about heartburn. How many people suffer from it? What causes it? Are there any complications? See if you know the answers to these questions and others. You can begin the quiz here.
- Guide for those newly diagnosed
- Symptoms of heartburn
- Causes of heartburn
- Diagnostic tests
- Preventing heartburn
- Treating heartburn
- Safe foods for heartburn sufferers
- Foods heartburn sufferers should only eat in moderation
- Foods heartburn sufferers should avoid
- Heartburn-free recipes
- Heartburn-friendly breakfast menus
- Heartburn-friendly lunch menus
- Heartburn-friendly dinner menus
- Heartburn-friendly daily menus
- Heartburn-friendly weekly menus
Test your knowledge! Take the Heartburn Quiz.