Does your teen complain of chest pain often? Does she experience acute abdominal pain after meals? If you answered yes, you might want to read our post. She may suffer from a condition known as heartburn. Learn more about heartburn and how it affects teens here.
What Is Heartburn?
Heartburn refers to pains in the chest, which occurs due as the stomach acid spreads back into the esophagus. Indigestion, acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GER) are some common names of the condition. Frequent GER can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It can affect people of all age groups .
Can teenagers get heartburn? Well, teenagers often suffer from heartburn due to unhealthy dietary habits. Most often the pain subsides after a while or through the use of antacids. However, heartburn can be very painful and uncomfortable and when it frequently occurs it can be a cause of concern. If you ignore your teen’s frequently-occurring heartburn, you are putting her at risk of serious complications. Complications include narrowing of the esophagus, ulcers in the esophagus lining, sore throat, laryngitis, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and cough.
[ Read: Tips To Make Your Teen Eat Healthy ]
Causes Of Heartburn In Teens:
The esophagus facilitates the movement of consumed food to the stomach. Its lower opening is only open during the movement. At all other times, the lower end of esophagus remains shut, which prevents stomach acid from backing up into the throat. But when the lower part of the esophagus becomes weak or cannot close for some reason, the acid can rise back into the esophagus, which leads to teenage heartburn.
In teens, the lower esophagus can become weak due to obesity, sudden weight gain, smoking, asthma, certain medications, poor dietary habits, esophageal surgery or cerebral palsy. It is very important to find the real cause of heartburn in your teen through a proper medical checkup.
[ Read: Symptoms Of Asthma In Teens ]
Symptoms of Heartburn:
The symptoms of heartburn can vary from person to person. The symptoms may occur after a meal or upon lying down. Your teen may experience one or all of the following symptoms of heartburn, which include:
- Burning sensation or pain in the chest.
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain during swallowing
- Bad breath
- Bloating 
[ Read: Home Remedies For Chest Pain In Teens ]
Diagnosing Heartburn In Teens:
People often use antacids for relief from heartburn. While antacids can bring immediate relief from reflux in most cases, it is not a long-term treatment plan for the condition. Take your teenager for a medical checkup if she continues to exhibit the symptoms of heartburn.
Most often, the diagnosis of heartburn is made on the basis of symptoms alone as they are characteristic. In some cases when the symptoms do not subside through heartburn medications, doctors may conduct a few tests to rule out other conditions such as related to the heart or the esophagus.
Treating Heartburn In Teenagers:
Treatment for teen heartburn requires a combination of medicines and lifestyle changes. Doctors may prescribe certain antacids and medicines to your teen to relieve the symptoms of heartburn. The doctor may also advise lifestyle changes such as the following:
- Losing excess weight
- Avoiding high-fat and spicy foods
- Eating smaller meals
- Not sleeping or lying down immediately after eating a meal
- Quitting smoking
- Eating a few hours before bedtime
- Avoiding coffee and chocolates
[ Read: Tips To Make Your Teens Quit Smoking ]
Heartburn is a common condition today, as most teens follow poor eating habits. So, help your teen make the smart dietary choice and reduce her GERD problem. It is vital that your child eats a balanced diet and leads an active life.
Has your teen suffered from heartburn? How did you deal with your teenager with heartburn? Please share your tips with fellow mommies here.
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