Chronic HeartburnChronic heartburn is one of the serious gastric disorders which is characterized by the frequent recurrence of heartburn. It is often neglected as a common gastric disorder but chronic disorder must not be ignored as such since it may be an indication of any other serious disorder. Heartburn which is the burning feeling in the chest, can be classified as chronic if it recurs more than twice a week.
Heartburn occur when the gastric substances enters into the esophagus. Chronic heartburn is also dangerous on its own since the frequent contact with the acidic stomach contents will harm the lining of the esophagus and cause inflammation. It requires immediate medical attention since prolonged occurrence of the heartburn may result the risk of complications such as esophageal ulcer, esophageal bleeding, strictures and even esophagus cancer.
Chronic heartburn can be caused by the serious impairment of the esophagus muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Hiatal hernia and many of the lifestyle factors were suspected to be the reason for it however chronic heartburn most often occurs as a result of the many serious disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, ulcers, cancers, and severe gastric tissue impairment.
The symptom of chronic heartburn is the repeated occurrence of the burning sensation in the chest cavity. Even though the irritation occurs in usually below the breast bone, the pain will spread to the whole chest cavity such as back also. In some of the cases the irritation will spread to throat and even mouth. In severe conditions, the pain becomes intolerable.
Chronic heartburn will be evident from the symptoms itself however physicians will suggest the patient have more detailed diagnostic tests to precisely identify the degree of impairment of the esophagus and the associated diseases. Barium x-ray, endoscopy, pH determination and esophageal impedance tests are the common diagnostic procedures to determine chronic heartburn
Medical assistance is essential for chronic heartburn to overcome the repeated disturbances. Along with the popular medications such as antacids, H-2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors, physicians used to recommend prescription strength medications to minimize its manifestations. Prokinetic activators are also suggested in many occasions. The treatment is actually focused on not only minimize the symptoms, but also to heal the impaired sites and to rejuvenate it. In severe conditions, surgery is also recommended, according to the condition demands.
Immediate prevention is not actually practical for chronic heartburn however a balanced routine can help you to avoid the life style factors that may contribute to the disease. Practice a good posture for sitting, standing and lying down, avoid spicy and acid diet and bad habits such as cigarette smoking and alcohol and also exercise to reduce weight. Hence, a balanced living can help you to prevent heartburn, as with any other disease.