Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion or pyrosis, is a burning feeling in a person’s chest or throat. It occurs when the acids in a person’s stomach that digest food begins to back up into their esophagus. Those who suffer from repeated weekly instances of heartburn may have a condition known as GERD, but a person can have GERD without having heartburn.
Over time, this painful condition can damage the esophagus, so treating heartburn is essential. Certain foods, pregnancy, and certain medications can all lead to bouts of heartburn. Many people take antacids or other heartburn medications that are available over the counter to treat heartburn.
According to WebMD, however, heartburn drugs may cause problems with allergies.
A study conducted in Austria found that people who take medications to treat heartburn may be at higher risk for developing allergies and needing medications to control those symptoms.
In people over 60, taking heartburn medication may make them five times as likely to need allergy medication.
The study also showed that the longer a person takes antacid medications, the more likely they are to develop allergies.
The two conditions are connected because the acids found in the stomach help to breakdown the proteins derived from foods that can cause allergic reactions.
By taking acid-suppressing drugs, the food that a person eats isn’t broken down into small enough pieces. The allergens remain intact in the intestine, where they can trigger allergic reactions and inflammation.
Because more than 60 million Americans have reported having experienced heartburn in the past month, this new information can have a wide impact.
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