Sometimes, you may experience heartburn and nausea alongside symptoms like shortness of breath, abdominal pain, coughing, etc., without understanding the underlying causes. Follow this article to discover common triggers and effective preventive and management strategies based on the specific causes.
The causes of heartburn and nausea and specific prevention and treatment methods
This condition is sometimes not indicative of a serious illness and may not pose a significant threat. However, in some cases, specific pathological conditions can also lead to prolonged, similar symptoms, so you should not overlook persistent heartburn, nausea, and shortness of breath.
Causes from psychological and lifestyle habits
Psychological and lifestyle factors often contribute to the development of heartburn, nausea, and shortness of breath, including:
- Stress and anxiety: Excessive stress from work, studies, or exams can lead to shortness of breath, nausea, and heartburn upon waking up or frequently throughout the day. This is also common in individuals with neurological disorders or congenital heart disease. To prevent this, maintaining a relaxed mood and avoiding high-intensity activities are crucial, in addition to being prepared for sudden attacks.
- Unhealthy habits: Late-night meals, irregular eating habits, excessive consumption of fast food, stimulant-containing drinks, smoking, etc., can lead to disorders like dyslipidemia, pneumonia, heart failure, liver disease, diabetes, and can also cause the aforementioned symptoms. Changing eating habits is essential to effectively prevent and treat these conditions and safeguard your health.
Some respiratory and lung problems can also cause patients to experience shortness of breath, heartburn, and nausea, including:
- Airway obstruction: This occurs when foreign bodies enter the airway, causing patients to experience heartburn, difficulty breathing, coughing, and weakness. If this happens, immediate first aid is necessary to expel the foreign body. Airway obstruction can be life-threatening, so caution is essential.
- Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a clinical condition that damages lung tissue (alveoli, interstitial tissue, and terminal bronchioles), such as the lungs, often affecting the air sacs. Pneumonia is typically caused by infections from various agents, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, or less commonly, parasites. Additionally, chemical intoxication can also cause pneumonia.
- Bronchitis: Bronchitis is an inflammatory condition of the bronchial mucosa due to infection. Bronchi are the tubes through which air passes. Patients with bronchitis often cough up thick, discolored sputum and may experience heartburn, nausea, and fatigue.
- Bronchospasm: This is a condition where the trachea is inflamed and swollen, causing temporary bronchial constriction due to edema. If the bronchial mucosa is affected by harmful agents, inflammation will occur and persist in the bronchial areas, leading to shortness of breath, nausea, or a burning sensation.
Due to cardiovascular and blood sugar diseases
Cardiovascular and blood sugar problems can also cause symptoms such as heartburn and nausea, including:
- Dyslipidemia: Dyslipidemia is a condition that doesn’t just affect overweight or obese individuals but can impact anyone. It often manifests as heartburn, difficulty breathing, and can potentially lead to heart muscle infarction. If you experience recurring chest pain lasting from 10 to 15 minutes each time, consult a doctor immediately for prompt treatment.
- Anemia: When the heart fails to pump enough blood to sustain the body, it leads to heartburn and difficulty breathing. Anemia can occur due to sudden cessation of intense activity, dietary restrictions, or genetic factors. If you experience this, lying down or sitting for a while to control your heart rate and reduce pain is necessary.
- Arterial stenosis: Symptoms commonly seen during a heart blockage are fatigue, coughing, palpitations, and irregular heart rate. This condition is usually due to blood sugar-related issues.
- Myocardial infarction: This is a life-threatening condition caused by sudden obstruction of the blood supply to the heart. When the heart muscle ceases to receive blood flow entirely, it dies, causing severe chest pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue.
- Myocarditis: This is the acute or chronic inflammation of the heart muscle, where inflammatory cells appear simultaneously with heart muscle necrosis within the same heart unit. Myocarditis can manifest with a range of symptoms and signs, from moderate shortness of breath and non-progressive chest pain with specific treatment, to cardiac shock and death. It can also lead to cardiomyopathy with chronic heart failure.
- Coronary artery disease: Coronary artery disease occurs when one or more branches of the coronary artery are found or blocked due to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques inside. Our veins, initially soft and elastic, gradually narrow and stiffen over time due to deposits like cholesterol and other components in the blood vessel wall, known as atherosclerosis. As coronary artery disease progresses, blood flow through the arteries becomes more difficult. As a result, the heart cannot receive the necessary amount of blood and oxygen, leading to a sore throat, difficulty breathing, or angina pectoris.
- Mitral valve prolapse: Mitral valve prolapse is a condition where the mitral valve balloons and balloons in the atrium. Sometimes, mitral valve prolapse leads to blood leaking back into the left atrium, resulting in mitral valve regurgitation. In most cases, mitral valve prolapse is not life-threatening and does not require treatment.
Considerations for Treating Heartburn and Nausea
The initial step in addressing these symptoms is to undergo a comprehensive examination to determine their underlying causes. Depending on the specific condition, the patient will receive tailored treatment and medication.
Aside from medication, treatment protocols vary depending on the diagnosed condition. Lifestyle adjustments can serve as a solution to this condition, including:
- Adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a positive mindset, minimizing excessive worrying, prioritizing relaxation after extended work hours.
- Limiting the consumption of stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes, concentrated tea, and more.
- Avoiding skipping breakfast.
- Regular physical exercise, at least 3 times a week, for 30 to 40 minutes each session, can significantly improve overall health, reduce shortness of breath, heartburn, and fatigue.
- However, it’s important to avoid strenuous or competitive exercises. Recommended physical activities include walking, yoga, swimming, and more.
- Undergoing general health check-ups every three months to monitor and detect any potential health issues early on.
Aforementioned are the fundamental causes leading to symptoms like heartburn, nausea, and shortness of breath, along with specific handling and treatment methods for each cause. It is crucial to prioritize comprehensive medical check-ups when these symptoms persist frequently and disrupt your quality of life.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.