Who has never suffered from heartburn?
The remedies to treat it are one of the most widely used freely available pharmaceutical products in the world.
But how effective are these drugs that we usually have in our first aid kit? And what impact do they have on our body?
Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from the BBC series & # 39; The truth about … & # 39; decided to investigate it.
Indigestion can have various causes, such as too much food, wrong things or very quickly.
Often the discomfort is not felt in the stomach itself, but in the chest area .
What causes that pain? Van Tulleken explains that it usually happens when the acid in the stomach (which serves to dissolve food) escapes to other parts of the body, especially the esophagus, causing inflammation.
To fight it, many of us have it on hand a whole range of remedies, usually expensive.
The British doctor warns, however, that if we knew what kind of food caused indigestion, we could save that money.
Many people with heartburn avoid spicy food and sour food .
But Van Tulleken organized a test that shows how little we understand about the relationship between food and the burning problems we have suffered.
Have invited a group of volunteers to eat three dishes:
– Entrance: a salad of tomato and basil seasoned with balsamic vinegar
– Main course: a spicy curry of rice and chicken
– Dessert: crunchy from apple with ice cream from cream
Then he asked his four guests to identify which of those foods could give them a poorer acidity, leaving each dish qualify with a score of 0 to 10.
All volunteers came to the same conclusion: the combination of the tomato, an acid fruit, with the vinegar, would certainly cause stomach burn. Average score: 6
The spicy main course got an even worse score: an 8.
Instead everyone felt at ease with dessert . "I'm going to qualify with a zero because there are no chances that I have indigestion," said one.
At the end of the dinner Van Tulleken analyzed the results and separated the myth from reality.
About the entry he explained that "the acid in the stomach is thousands of times more potent than the acid of tomato and vinegar, so those juices really contribute to diluting stomach acid."
With regard to curry, which was proclaimed the most harmful dish for the stomach, he pointed out that the power of spicy does not really affect the sensory beyond.
"What happens is that it is spicy on your pain nerves that send a message to the brain equivalent to if you had your mouth on fire, but the spicy should have no effect on your stomach" clarified.
Finally the dessert was labeled as most harmless.
"In fact, it is more likely that indigestion induces foods with a high caloric and fat value" ].
The reason why the fact that fat and sugar cause indigestion is because they stimulate the stomach to produce more acid.
"This also applies to alcoholic beverages, so it is best to avoid them if you suffer from heartburn," the expert advised. 19659031] And the medicines?
But if we assume that temptation surpasses us, we give ourselves a belly and end with acidity, what is the best solution?
If you have moderate pain, the antacids will relieve you Van Tulleken confirms.
"The tablets that resemble chalk are the fastest working because they immediately neutralize the acid", explains the doctor. He adds that it is also a safe medicine that does not cause any other problems.
However, often the severe pain is caused by reflux. For this problem we usually take solutions called alginates, which act as a protective barrier between stomach acid and esophagus.
But do they work? To find out, the doctor created the model of a stomach.
He filled a conical glass bottle (officially known as an Erlenmeyer flask) with hydrochloric acid, which is the acid in our stomach.
destroyed a dose of anti-reflux medication that commonly used to treat gastric acid.
The alginates formed a stop in the opening that represented the connection of the stomach to the esophagus.
From Tulleken turned the vial to see if the plug was an effective barrier … and it was!
The drug succeeded in preventing the acid from escaping from the bottle .
Conclusion: the two most common drugs to treat indigestion ] are effective in relieving pain.
However, the doctor warns that if someone uses them too often, this may indicate another problem that must be assessed by a specialist.  4]