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, August 2, 2009

The Cholesterol Lie - Causes Of Heart Disease

By Chris Jensen

Each year, more and more Americans are diagnosed with some form of heart disease and a lot of these cases breathe their last breath without realizing it. Most patients with cardiovascular complications are found to have clogged or hardened blood vessels or what cardiologists refer to as atherosclerosis. Many people believe that extremely high levels of cholesterol are at the root of this dreadful disease and they attribute this to the excessive consumption of fatty foods. However, there is more truth to be discovered than to accept this popular belief. Knowing more about the real causes of heart diseases can help a lot in lowering your chances of falling prey to this medical condition.

For years, heart attacks have been associated with high levels of cholesterol in the body. However, it is not merely cholesterol that causes the problem. What really causes it is the oxidation of cholesterol that is brought about by the presence of free radicals. Free radicals are those highly reactive elements that can cause a lot of damage to the cells and tissues in your body. These free radicals can attack your blood vessels that can result to atherosclerosis, a well known precursor to heart ailments and cardiovascular problems.

When free radicals and oxidative stress damage the walls of your blood vessels and cholesterol in your blood, atherosclerosis begins. Damaged cholesterol molecules are more likely to stick to the walls of your blood vessels and to each other, and can eventually clog a blood vessel, resulting to a heart attack.

Another condition that precipitates heart diseases is the oxidation of cholesterol. When cholesterol is oxidized, your body will react by sending more and more cholesterol to the distressed area in an effort to repair the damage. However, this can encourage the formation of plaque deposits. As plaque deposits increase, the blood vessel is narrowed and becomes stiffer. This will most likely impede blood flow to and from the heart and this can trigger a heart attack. Drugs that claim to reduce cholesterol amounts in the body can indeed lower cholesterol present in your bloodstream but these cannot guarantee protection from oxidation.

Atherosclerosis and heart diseases have no preferences as to which age group to attack. It can happen to anyone and may start early in life. Knowing even just a couple of causes of heart disease is important so you can do steps to avoid them. Learn more about the causes of heart disease and join the fight in battling this medical malady.

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