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Heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Heartburn is caused by acid refluxing in the esophagus. The causes and symptoms of this condition are described below.

Causes of Heartburn:

The most common cause of heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease. This disease causes stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. Risk factors include:

Increased Stomach Acid: Factors that increase stomach acid production can lead to heartburn.

Structural Problems: Structural problems at the junction of the esophagus and stomach can allow acid reflux.

Gastritis and H. pylori Infection: Inflammation of the protective tissue lining the inside of the stomach (gastritis) or H. pylori bacteria causing infection in the stomach can cause heartburn.

Medications: Especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause heartburn.

Health Conditions: Some health problems such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance can also cause heartburn.

Foods: Some foods such as acidic foods, fatty foods, spicy foods, onions, chocolate can trigger heartburn.

Alcohol and Smoking: Excessive alcohol consumption and cigarette smoke can cause heartburn.

Hiatal Hernia: If the stomach area in the abdomen is located in the chest, hiatal hernia can cause reflux.

Pregnancy and Obesity: Pregnancy and obesity can lead to increased pressure that causes heartburn.

Other Diseases: Esophageal diseases such as sarcoidosis or scleroderma can cause heartburn.

Heartburn Symptoms:

Symptoms of heartburn may include:

Chest Pain: A burning sensation, usually behind the breastbone, may be in the form of pain and can be mistaken for heart attack symptoms.

Sour Taste: If acid reflux reaches the inside of the mouth, there may be a sour or acidic taste in the mouth.

Rising in the throat: If acid reflux rises into the throat, it can cause coughing or hoarseness.

Difficulty Swallowing: Difficulty swallowing may occur due to damage to the esophagus.

Nausea and Vomiting: Heartburn can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting.

Weight Loss: Weight loss may occur if heartburn causes loss of appetite or difficulty eating.

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Diagnostic Methods for Heartburn:

Some methods are used to diagnose heartburn:

Physical Examination: Medical history and physical examination of the patient;

Barium Test: The esophagus and stomach are visualized using a contrast agent.

Endoscopy: The inner surface of the esophagus and stomach is examined with a fiberoptic camera and a biopsy can be performed.

Ambulatory Acid Probe Test: Used to measure acid levels.

Heartburn Treatment Methods:

Heartburn treatment focuses mainly on treating the cause. Medication, surgery or lifestyle changes can be used:

Medicines: Antacids, histamine receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors are used to relieve heartburn.

Surgical Intervention: If adequate relief is not achieved with medication, surgical options may be considered.

Lifestyle Changes: Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, watching what you eat, stopping eating two hours before bedtime; raising the head of the bed can help prevent heartburn.

Heartburn can sometimes be a symptom of a serious health problem. In the presence of prolonged complaints, medical help should be sought.



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