When we think of pain in one’s breast we immediately think of breast cancer. Why else would it be painful? Breast cancer, however, does not choose the side it grows on. When we only feel pain on the left side of our breast, it may signify something else other than cancer.

On the left side of our chest lies the lower end of the heart. Whenever the heart beats, the diastolic pressure pumps blood from the lowest part. Because of this, when we try to feel our heartbeat we always sense it on our left breast.

Acid Reflux or Heartburn

One cause of feeling pain in your left breast is acid reflux, or more commonly known as heartburn. It’s a painful burning sensation in our esophagus, just below our breastbone. The burning may rise upwards to our neck, throat or jaw. Heartburn is a major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease; acid reflux is also identified as one of the causes of chronic cough, and may even mimic asthma.

Left Breast Pain Why Does my Left Breast Hurt?

Despite its name, heartburn does not affect the heart in any way. We call it that way because the burning sensation is felt more intensely right where our heart should be. This pain, however, is just referred from the actual location, which is at the entrance to the stomach. Hydrochloric acid from the stomach comes back up the esophagus because of a problem with the cardiac sphincter, the valve which refers to cardia that is part of the stomach.

Treatments for Heartburn

Persons with heartburn can opt to use any of the following treatments, which range from simple to complex:

  • Antacids work by neutralizing excess stomach acid. Although stomach acid will still splash into the esophagus, it will be neutralized, leading to decreased heartburn symptoms. Antacids provide fast relief of symptoms, but relief typically lasts for only 20 to 60 minutes. Some tradenames antacids include Alkaseltzer and Simeco.
  • A simple and relatively harmless way to treat a one-off heartburn is to drink a solution of a small amount of baking soda mixed with water. This will quickly neutralize the acid that causes the pain.
  • H2 blockers work by decreasing the amount of acid the body releases into the stomach. Also called ranitidine, they require absorption into the bloodstream in order to work. Because of this, H2 blockers often take 30 minutes or longer before they take effect. They should be taken before eating to prevent heartburn.
  • Approximately 90 to 95 percent of heartburn patients can link their symptoms to specific foods. To prevent heartburn, sufferers should manage their diets. They should choose the kinds of foods and drinks that will least likely cause acid reflux. At the same time, they have to avoid foods or drinks that may trigger acid reflux. For example, fatty foods and caffeinated beverages are known to cause symptoms of heartburn.

Some alternative treatments of heartburn does not require intake of drugs or a restrictive diet. One alternative is raising one’s sleeping bed at a slight angle so that the head is raised slightly higher than the feet. This small angle will prevent gastric acid from rising into the esophagus and causing the pain.

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Categories: Health

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