Heartburn in Women?
Heartburn or acid reflux is
when you feel a burning sensation from your lower chest area up to your throat. This is caused by
the backflow of acid or gastric juices from the stomach to the esophagus. Both men and women experience this
problem though some are lucky enough to avoid it during their lifetime.
There are plenty of studies regarding this phenomenon but it mainly boils
down to lifestyle than genetics as to the cause of heartburn or acid reflux; though there are certain
exceptions that make it more common in women than men.
Heartburn or acid reflux is never gender specific. Whether you
are male or female, acid reflux symptoms will appear depending on the factors that causes
it. If you check out the factors that attributes to heartburns then you would notice that all of them is similar in
both genders, except for pregnancy which only happens in women.
Pregnancy is one of the heartburn causes in women. Even if they didn’t experience or suffer from this problem
before their pregnancy, there is a high possibility that they will go through it afterwards.
One of the causes of heartburn in pregnant women is the hormone called progesterone.
Progesterone or P4 is a hormone common produced in women who are in their menstrual cycle or
gestation (pregnancy) period. One of the effects of progesterone is the loosening of smooth muscles in
one’s digestive system. This weakens or reduces the effectiveness of the esophageal sphincter
(LES) that acts as a valve to stop the backflow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus, thus, resulting
Also, the hormone slows a pregnant woman’s digestive rate. This
results in slow digestion of solids. The longer the solid stays in the stomach, the more acid is produced. With the
addition of a weakened LES, backflow is imminent.
Another cause of heartburn in pregnant women is the size of the
fetus. As the unborn child grows, the organs in the stomach cavity are pushed upwards, tightening around the
stomach causing it to overpower the esophageal sphincter (LES), which again results to heartburn.
Unlike non-pregnant acid reflux patients, pregnant women can
alleviate their heartburns through various home remedies, like ginger
tea, minimizing food intake, or improving their sleeping posture while
carrying their child in their stomach. It is also good news that heartburns tend to disappear after giving
Myth: Stress Tolerance?
If you check out the various causes of heartburn or acid
reflux, we can safely say that both genders are similar, except for pregnancy of course. However, there is a myth
in medical science that a woman’s stress tolerance is also a factor that causes heartburn more than
Women are said to have lower stress tolerance than men, making it possible for them to go into habits that
might cause acid reflux symptoms to occur. There are plenty of methods to get rid of stress, but unhealthy ones
that cause heartburn are more addictive to some, like drinking alcoholic beverages, drinking coffee as stress relief, smoking, or eating
disorders; the latter being more common in women than men, though this theory may vary depending on a
person’s experience and lifestyle.
Despite the possibilities of this happening, especially in
women’s role in today’s modern lifestyle, there is no definite fact that supports this theory.
Taking Care of the Problem
Women who suffer from GERD symptoms might want to take care of the problem as early as possible before it
escalates into something more serious. Pregnant women need to stay away from medications, like antacids, since it
can harm the baby. It is advisable to stick to home remedies to alleviate the problem. It is also a good idea to
review your lifestyle to see if you need to change it in order to get rid of your heartburn