Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

How Serious Are Frequent Headaches?

By Jamal Khan

Frequent headaches are a serious issue for millions around the world, detracting significantly from quality of life. The medical community breaks headaches into a system of categories, with primary headaches accounting for the vast majority of headaches. Cluster and secondary headaches are far rarer, but can present the patient with severe pain and more serious neurological issues. Although never life threatening, primary headaches can still cause a serious level of discomfort, damaging quality of life in many cases. Frequent headaches, even milder primary headaches, can have a serious effect on enjoyment of daily life.

How can frequent headaches be prevented? That depends on the source of the headaches. Primary headaches are frequently a symptom of tension, and can become frequent if the cirumstances responsible are a regular part of life. Tension headaches can be triggered any time the patient undergoes physical or emotional stress. This kind of stress causes the muscles that cover the skull to contract, resulting in pain from the pressure. This can be difficult to prevent and treat. Over the counter medications typically do a good job in treating this kind of primary headache when it occurs.

Prevention is more about finding the situations that prompt headache and avoiding them. This kind of stress results directly in the contraction that is known to cause headache, subsequently causing sometimes serious headaches. Frequent headaches should be a signal that some life adjustments are needed. If emotional stress is thought to be behind the frequent headaches, consider visiting a doctor about this stress, or making lifestyle alterations that reduce the stress.

A frequent headache that occur seemingly at random can be a sign of a more serious secondary problem. In these situations, a structural or chemical problem in the brain is to blame for the pain. This can signify a serious issue, like a chemical imbalance in the brain. Although this is rarely the cause, frequent headaches are a sign that doctor visit is in order.

Over the counter medications usually do a great deal to relieve a primary headache. Aleve and ibuprofen work very well to treat primary headaches. In more serious cases, some therapy may be needed to overcome the pain associated with frequent headaches. If none of these measures are effective, a specialist should be consulted.

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