Some people wish that they could live their lives with reckless abandon. If it were up to them, they’d enjoy pizza and Snicker’s pie for every meal and wash it down with margaritas. They’d go hang gliding every day instead of working in an office, and they’d go bar-hopping every night.
Some people try and conduct their lives that way, but the consequences quickly catch up to them. Unless you’re independently wealthy, then you probably have to work to support yourself. You have to do responsible things like getting regular checkups and paying your taxes.
You also have to watch what you eat, or your reckless lifestyle might catch up with you sooner rather than later. For example, as you get older, your body might not process the same things that it used to quite as easily. The treatment for it is usually prescription medication, rather than the over-the-counter meds that typically go along with occasional heartburn.
You might have to deal with heartburn. Let’s talk about what it is and how you can manage it.
What is Heartburn?
- Feels like discomfort or even burning pain in your middle and upper chest area
- Might involve the neck or throat as well
- Often gets worse when you lie down
Perhaps as many as 60 million US citizens suffer from heartburn every month, a sobering statistic. It goes to show you that when you get a little bit older, you need to curb your wild lifestyle a bit.
How Do You Get It?
You might deal with heartburn in several different situations. The most common causes are:
- Spicy foods
- Tight clothing
- Alcohol consumption
You might have loved spicy foods when you were younger, like Indian restaurant chicken vindaloo. Perhaps you like five-alarm chili.
You’ll probably have to cut back on those things as you get older, though. Your body can’t process the hot foods like it used to.
You can also exercise portion control if you get heartburn from overeating. You can reduce alcohol consumption, and you can wear loose-fitting clothing if you experience it when you wear tight shirts, vests, etc.
Should You Worry About It?
Many people experience heartburn, and it does not threaten their lives. You can often handle it on your own with some of the lifestyle changes that we mentioned. You can also consult a doctor if it’s happening more often.
If it’s becoming commonplace or if you have it every day, then it could relate to another underlying condition. It could be acid reflux disease or something else.
In addition to the pain that we mentioned, you also might have a bitter or acrid taste in your mouth. At the same time, you also may experience nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss, or difficulty swallowing.
If any of that is happening, that’s when you should have more concern, and you should make an appointment with your doctor with no delays. There’s probably something more than simple heartburn going on.
Could It Be Something Else?
Occasionally, someone with heartburn issues mistakes other symptoms for that. For instance, you might have chest pain or pressure. You also may have difficulty breathing and arm or jaw pain.
That could be a heart attack rather than heartburn. If you’re not sure, then it’s better to get yourself to a hospital so doctors can check you out. If they say that it’s just heartburn, that’s great, but it’s definitely better to be safe rather than sorry in this sort of situation.
If you have heartburn frequently, then a doctor might say that you have GERD. GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease. Many Americans suffer from that as well.
The treatment for it is usually prescription medication, rather than the over-the-counter meds that typically go along with occasional heartburn. In some rare cases, there might be surgical options as well.
You have to deal with GERD, because if you don’t treat it, then it can damage your esophagus. You probably won’t be able to ignore it even if you wanted to, since it will be so uncomfortable for you.
Even if you have every intention to live a party lifestyle and do whatever you want, the human body has a way of keeping you in line. The older you get, the more likely that you might develop frequent heartburn and similar conditions.
Living with abandon can be great for a while, but you need to modify your behavior as time passes. That applies to things like portion size, alcohol consumption, and eating the spicy foods you might have once taken for granted.