(2) Etiology. Pyrosis is caused by stomach contents rushing back into the
esophagus. This may happen after too large a meal or after emotional stress. Both can
cause the sphincter muscle which is between the esophagus and the stomach to relax
letting the acid-peptic contents of the stomach and sometimes alkaline juices move
back into the esophagus. Then, the individual feels a burning sensation. Heartburn will
often occur when a person is lying down. The pain begins beneath the breast bone and
sometimes spreads up the chest, into the neck and throat, and even into the face.
Signs/symptoms. Signs and symptoms include the following:
(a) Disagreeable burning pain below the substernum (breast bone).
(b) Difficulty in swallowing if the person has experienced heartburn
over a long period.
Treatment. Treatment includes the following:
(a) Elevate the head and upper body when lying down.
(b) Maintain an erect position after eating.
If overweight, lose excess pounds.
(d) Avoid tight clothing such as tight belts, girdles.
(e) Bland diet. Avoid the following foods:
1 All fried foods.
2 Canned soups.
3 Raw vegetables and gas-forming vegetables.
5 Meat gravies.
6 Smoked meats.
7 Raw fruits, except bananas and orange juice.
8 Coarse breads and cereals.
9 Coffee, tea, alcoholic, and carbonated beverages.