Many people suffer from a burning sensation in their chest commonly known as reflux or heartburn. Not the most sexy topic dealt with by dietitians, but definitely a common one and one that can often be managed with just a few changes to your diet. So let’s have a look at what’s happening in your body when you feel that burning pain and what you can do about it.
Is my heart burning?
Despite what the name heartburn suggests, it’s not your heart burning, it’s your oesophagus! My what?? Your oesophagus: the pipe connecting your mouth to your stomach.
Here’s a picture of what heartburn looks like.
Heartburn results from the faulty control of the lower oesophageal sphincter. This allows the stomach acid to splash back into the oesophagus, which results in the discomfort and pain known as ‘heartburn’ . The burning sensation is right near your heart, hence the expression ‘heartburn’.
Dealing with heartburn
There are several medications that are used to treat the symptoms of heartburn by neutralising the stomach acid. The medications just treat the symptoms of heartburn though, and don’t actually prevent the reflux of stomach acid up into your oesophagus.
There are some easy lifestyle and diet changes you can make that will reduce the amount of acid reflux and heartburn you feel. A nutrition consultation can help you manage your heartburn by:
• identifying the foods and drinks in your diet that are causing your symptoms
• prescribing foods and supplements to alleviate your symptoms
• analysing your current eating habits for behaviours that can trigger heartburn
• helping you lose weight if necessary
The consequences of reflux are more serious than just dealing with uncomfortable symptoms. If reflux persists, the acid can damage the oesophagus which can lead to some serious health implications such as dental problems, ulcers and worst of all a condition known as Barrett’s oesophagus, which is a precursor to cancer of the oesophagus.
Need help managing your reflux or heartburn?
Make an appointment for a private nutrition consultation today:
Sydney Essential Health, Woollahra / Bondi Junction: (02) 9389 6955
The clinic is situated in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and only a quick train or bus ride from the city of Sydney and Sydney CBD. Sydney Essential Health is located in Woollahra just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Bondi Junction and close to Double Bay, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill, Centennial Park, Edgecliff, Waverley, Point Piper, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, Bondi, Coogee, Bronte, Tamarama, Clovelly, Maroubra, La Perouse, Little Bay, Randwick, Kingsford, Kensington, Potts Point, Kings Cross, Woolloomooloo, Elizabeth Bay, Paddington, Rushcutters Bay, Darling Point, Double Bay, Darlinghurst, Moore Park and Surry Hills. Click here for information on Sydney buses. Click here for information on Sydney trains.