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.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Do You Have a Sleep Disorder?

By Jason McDrarren

Sleep disorders are more common today than every before. Many people don't even realize they have a sleep disorder. If you have trouble falling asleep at night or if you wake up numerous times throughout the night, then you might have a sleep disorder. Do your family members comment on how exhausted you look? Or perhaps you get irritated more easily than you should and find that you easily become emotional? All of these factors could indicate that you suffer from a sleep disorder.

Sleep disorders can be identified by paying attention to the problem itself. Some people have trouble falling asleep while others have difficulty waking up in the morning. Others can't seem to stay awake throughout the day. Many people discover that they do odd things while they sleep. Still other people have trouble sleeping because their partner or spouse keeps them up at night.

If it is falling asleep that you have trouble with then you ought to identify if it is falling asleep at night that's the problem or is it falling asleep after waking in the middle of the night or in the early morning that is the problem? Difficulty with falling asleep at bedtime is quite common. It is called sleep latency and could indicate that you are suffering from sleep onset insomnia or restless leg syndrome. Those that find it hard to stay asleep all night are experiencing sleep fragmentation. There are several sleep disorders that could cause this. You might be suffering from sleep maintenance insomnia or advanced sleep phase disorder. All of these sleep problems could be compounded if your sleep patterns change because of a changing work schedule.

For those that have no trouble sleeping through the night but do have problems staying awake throughout the day there are other possible causes. One sleep disorder of this type is called narcolepsy and causes a person to fall asleep almost instantly at random times during the day. Other possibilities are obstructive sleep apnea or periodic limb movement disorder. This can also be a result of shift work.

Those with excessive sleep inertia find waking up in the morning very difficult. This could be the result of sleep apnea or delayed sleep phase disorder.

Other people find they do strange things when they are sleeping. This could range from sleep walking. They might wake up in new places or even make a meal while completely asleep. If this describes you then you may suffer from sleep walking, night terrors, or any number of parasomnias.

Some people can't sleep because their partner keeps them up. This might mean that their partner has a snoring problem or perhaps suffers from sleep apnea. Bruxism and restless leg syndrome are other possible culprits.

By identifying the type of sleep problem a person suffers from, it becomes easier to identify one of the many sleep disorders that could be responsible. This makes treatment possible.

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