Heartburn is a painful or uncomfortable feeling in the chest or throat that typically comes on after eating. The sensation is commonly associated with indigestion, also known as dyspepsia. Although the NHS assures that “usually, it’s not a sign of anything more serious”, people who frequently suffer from discomfort may be looking for ways to ease symptoms.
According to the health service, two popular breakfast drinks could be helping to kick-start mornings with a bout of heartburn: tea and coffee.
Healthline says that this might be down to the caffeine content of both drinks.
However, scientific evidence is swayed as to how much caffeine can actually play a role in indigestion.
On the one hand, Healthline points out that caffeine may relax the lower oesophagal sphincter, which can trigger heartburn or acid reflux, or worsen it.
What is indigestion?
Indigestion, also called dyspepsia, is discomfort in your upper abdomen.
This is the name used for a set of symptoms, including heartburn.
Often, it occurs when the acid in your stomach irritates the stomach lining or throat.
According to the NHS, heartburn and acid reflux are both the same thing.
The health service states: You’ll have a burning feeling when this happens. This can be a symptom of indigestion.”
How can I treat indigestion?
In most cases, there is no need to see a GP about indigestion.
However, if you have recurrent indigestion symptoms then you may wish to speak to a pharmacist who can offer specific medication.
People are advised not to eat and drink foods which may irritate the stomach lining, not eat close to bedtime and quit smoking if they do so.
Sleeping with your head propped up on a pillow may also ease symptoms.
The NHS does warn, though, that severe symptoms may require more urgent help from a doctor.
These include recurrent indigestion, severe pain, sudden and unexpected weight loss, difficulty swallowing and consistent sickness.
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