Heartburn reasons and cure


Dr S. Chidambaranathan B.H.M.S, M.D Homeopathy Doctor Madurai   (Treatment avail for all people around the world)


Everyone would have sometime or other time felt a burning volcano in the chest, referred to usually as ‘heartburn’ in case of indigestion. It can also be seen in all oesophageal diseases, Hiatus hernia and gastritis. Heartburn is actually a misnomer, since this burning pain is no way related to the heart. Heartburn is mostly related to inflammation/irritation of the food tube – oesophagus and stomach. This is the most common complaint where the patients use to suffer with burning acid eructations (i.e. back flow of food with digestive juices/acids from stomach to throat) with indigestion or abdominal complaints. Usually, secretions of stomach and intestines (acid gastric juice/bile) have irritable nature with bitter/sour taste. When these secretions get regurgitated into the oesophagus with or without food, it irritates the oesophageal mucosa and causes a type of burning pain behind the breast bone (retro sternum pain) commonly called as heartburn. One should take caution in the treatment/care of heartburn since angina pain also mimics symptoms of the heartburn.
Incidence – Heartburn is more common in adults and rare in children. People who lead hurried, tense life and depend mostly on fast food, carbonated drinks and tinned food suffer more from heartburn irrespective of sex. Habits of smoking and alcohol lead to higher incidence. Also it is most commonly seen in people who are bedridden and take lots of medicines.
Pathophysiology – Stomach acid secretion (Hydrochloric acid – HCL) is very helpful not only for digestion of food particles but it also helps in the absorption of the nutrients and killing the bacteria or parasites i.e., worms, trophozites (amoeba), etc., in the food. Normally, stomach and intestines have mucosal coating as a barrier to have protection against these acid secretions. Even though oesophagus secretes enormous mucous for lubricating the food to pass, it doesn’t have enzymes to digest the food particles and cannot tolerate the irritation or inflammation caused by reflux or regurgitation of food with acids. So it gets ulcerated during reflux or regurgitation with indigestion. Also, indigestion aggravates the heartburn by gas formation, bloated abdomen and sour belching which drives more and more acids into the oesophagus.
Architecture which naturally prevents back flow of food

  • Lower oesophageal sphincter, i.e., the valve in the junction of the oesophagus and stomach, acts like a one-way valve avoiding back flow of food.
  • This one-way valve lies below the diaphragm – in the abdomen. So, the high intra abdominal pressure will also influence this valve for tight closure to avoid back flow.
Oesophagus enters (ends in) the stomach in an oblique manner. This oblique joining / junction enhances the tight closure of the valve while the stomach gets distended or filled up

  • Food habits
  • Spicy and hot foods or sauces can cause irritation and reflux.
  • Overeating and gulping of food (skipping the initial process of digestion, i.e., chewing, masticating and mixing the food with saliva)
  • Untimely, irregular meals.
  • Toxicity – Chemicals in the food or food poisoning can cause erosions or ulcers in the oesophagus and stomach to cause heartburn.
  • Increased acid secretion – can load the stomach with acids to suffer with GERD or gastric ulcers.
  • Hiatus hernia – occurs and causes pain when a part of the stomach slides through the diaphragm into the chest. Hiatus hernia occurs commonly in pregnant women, obese persons and in persons who constantly suffer with peptic ulcer or cholecystitis or chronic pancreatitis. Here complaints often start with raised abdominal pressure which occurs during weightlifting and change in posture like bending down and lying down.
  • Habits – of smoking, drinking alcohol and carbonated drinks hinders digestion and often produces heartburn
  • Neurological – Non-coordination of nerves can lead to return of foods into the oesophagus due to impaired/relaxed lower oesophageal sphincter.
  • Mind – Stress and strain can also cause acid peptic diseases/GERD which may lead to heartburn. It is most commonly seen in depressed, emotional, anxious and tense people who worry a lot. During all these conditions, acid secretion will be more and continuous in stomach.
Drugs – Continuous use of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs/painkillers.
Symptoms – occur mostly 1- 2 hours after eating or on an empty stomach. Usual symptoms of heartburn are:

  • Burning pain in chest and throat with warm and sour eructations
  • Burning pain in stomach with warm waves rising to the throat
  • Belching often with chest discomfort
  • Difficulty in swallowing and even a small handful of meal fills the abdomen
  • Abdomen feels bloated after eating
  • Burping and rumbling abdomen with much flatulence
  • Indigestion, nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Bad breath
Weight loss when left untreated for a prolonged time
Diagnosis – Heartburn is very commonly noted by everyone, at one time or the other with unusual, heavy food. However, frequent and severe heartburn may need detailed evaluation and treatment. Most of the time, people won’t give any importance to heartburn and just get along with their hurried life. Since the same set of symptoms are present in a heart attack, and differentiating between the two is not an easy one, one should take care check the BP and have an ECG done. The following tests will give a clear idea about heartburn:
  • Endoscopy readily identifies the complaints of oesophagus, hiatus hernia and gastritis, if any
  • pH of oesophagus – to have idea about acid load
  • Biopsy of the ulcers (if any) – to rule out cancer or presence of H. pylori
  • Plain and series of Barium meal X-rays – to rule out any obstruction or strictures
  • Ultrasound abdomen scan – to rule out cholecystitis, pancreatitis, appendicitis
  • CT scans or MRI – in difficult cases for diagnosis
  • Stand or sit erect while having heartburn
  • Sleep in 45 degree elevated bed or keep high pillows
  • Swallow saliva or sip water often to neutralize the regurgitating acids
Preventive measures – An ounce of prevention is better than pounds of cure. So,
  • Masticate food well and then swallow it
  • Have food in a relaxed manner, without any hurry or tension
  • Exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, etc.
  • Easily digestible & oil-free diet to reduce the workload of the stomach
  • Food for not more than 3/4th of the stomach
  • Small meal often to utilise/neutralize the acid load in the stomach
  • Water before and after meal
Nutritious diet at regular interval
  • Tension and a hurried life
  • Habits of smoking, drinking alcohol and chewing tobacco
  • Food containing high spices, chillies, pepper, sausages
  • Overeating/full meal, oily diet, pickles and fatty snacks before bedtime
  • Aerated drinks, coffee and tea
  • Drugs like NSAIDs/pain killers
General treatment – Usually patients treat heartburn by themselves by leaving the stomach empty giving it rest or by taking only fruits/fruit juices or by taking soda or with antacids or H2 blockers which are readily available in counters without any prescription. Using lemon juice or buttermilk in the situation of heartburn will temporarily wash away reflux stomach acids/bile from the lower end of the oesophagus and thus hide the irritation or symptoms for the time being. The recurrent or persistent reflux of the acidic foods cause oesophagitis and can cause or lead to a series of serious problems. So, it should be treated early to avoid complications like oesophageal bleeding, vomiting of blood, formation of strictures and stenosis in the lower end of oesophagus, severe chest pain, anxiety, tension, etc. Nowadays, depending upon the intensity of symptoms and severity of the diseases, drugs are prescribed to control acid production in the stomach. This will also work temporarily.
Surgery – In resistant cases, surgery is advised to remove the ulcerated or damaged part of the stomach/oesophagus or to correct hiatus hernia to improve the condition. Advanced laparoscopic surgery provides it in an easier way.
Homeopathic approach to acidity 

Covering the fire without putting it off is like adding fuel to it for a dangerous event. Likewise, most patients manage this acidity problem temporarily with antacids. They are not reducing the acid secretion in the stomach but only temporarily neutralizing it. This type of approach usually makes the stomach secrete more and more acid. They should also keep in mind about the study which shows that more antacids can produce more sodium in blood which in turn shows a greater risk for heart attack.
Treating acidity is tough since it often gets exposed toirritants/chemicals in foods. Acidity can be treated successfully in Homeopathy without any side- effects. Homeopathy gives importance to the patient’s symptoms than to the disease symptoms to expel the disease. In Homeopathy, for selecting right drug, it gives importance to the character of symptoms, its onset, type and periodicity of pain, aggravating factors, relieving factors and characteristics symptoms of patients i.e. aversions, desires, cravings, taste, thirst, appetite, stool habit, sleep, sweat, etc. It also gives importance to symptoms like gurgling and rolling of wind, relief from belching/flatus or not, difficulty in bringing up wind, type of stool, etc.
Homeopathic medicines commonly used in cases of acidity/heartburn are Acid nit, AmbraG, Antim crud, Arg Nit, Asafoetida, Belladonna, Bismuth, Borax, Bryonia, Capsicum, Carbo veg, Causticum, China, Cocculus, Condurango, Graphites, Hydrastis, Iris vers, Kali bich, Kali Brom, Lycopodium, Nat mur, Nat phos, Nux Vom, Phosphorus, Psorinum, Pulsatilla, Rhus tox, Robinia, Silicea, Sulphur, Symphytum, etc.. These Medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homeopath.

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heart burn homeopathy doctors madurai chennai

Dr. S. Chidambaranathan, BHMS, MD (Homeo)
Laxmi Homeo Clinic
24 E. New Mahalipatti Road
Madurai, TN 625 001

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E-mail:  drcheena@yahoo.com
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