When Can I Expect Heartburn To End
Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.
So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.
However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.
What Aggravates Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter at the base of the esophagus isnt working well, allowing fluid from the stomach to enter the esophagus. The worst foods for reflux can worsen painful symptoms, while other foods can soothe them, says UH gastrointestinal surgeon Leena Khaitan, MD
Diet changes can significantly affect acid reflux and allow you to avoid other treatments, Dr. Khaitan says.
You May Like: What Can I Eat With Heartburn
Adjust Your Sleep Position
Elevating your head and chest higher than your feet as you sleep can help prevent and ease acid reflux and heartburn. You can do this using a foam wedge placed under the mattress or by raising bedposts using wood blocks. Beware of piling pillows, as this usually isn’t effective and may even make your symptoms worse. Additionally, sleeping on your left side is thought to aid digestion and may work to limit stomach acid reflux.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn While Pregnant
Finding Heartburn Relief At Home
A few simple strategies can help soothe the burn of heartburn:
- Watch what you eat. Avoid specific foods that trigger your heartburn, but also watch out for peppermint, caffeine, sodas, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, onions, and high-fat foods. Eat more fiber to keep your digestive tract moving and healthy. Also, reduce your portion sizes. Try eating five or six small meals a day, rather than three big ones. Eating too much at once is a big heartburn trigger.
- Watch when you eat. Push away the plate at least two or three hours before bedtime so your stomach has a chance to empty before you lie down.
- Watch how you eat. Eat slowly, taking smaller bites.
- Lose weight. Excess abdominal fat can press against the stomach, forcing acids up into the esophagus. Follow a diet and exercise program to shed extra pounds.
- Keep a diary. Write down what you’ve eaten and when your heartburn symptoms occur so you can pinpoint which foods are your triggers and avoid them.
- Toss the cigarettes.Smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps acids in the stomach. For this, and so many other health reasons, it’s always the perfect time to quit.
- Loosen your belt. Ditch the skin-tight jeans. Tight clothes put added pressure on the abdomen.
- Tilt up. Put wood blocks under your bed to raise the head about 6 inches. Don’t bother raising your pillows, though — it’s not effective for heartburn.
Are There Any Other Natural Treatments For Heartburn
Melatonin, a supplement used to aid sleep, has been suggested to help relieve heartburn. But the research is conflicting as to whether it is effective for this or any other gastrointestinal symptoms.
Before you decide to take any herbal remedy or supplement, check with your doctor. Some supplements can have side effects or can interact with medications you’re already taking.
Also Check: What Can I Do To Help Heartburn
A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
Adopt New Bedroom Habits
Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to heartburn? If so, try sleeping on your left side this position seems to help. Experts also recommend keeping your upper body elevated to make it harder for acids to flow up the esophagus. Raise the head of your bed or use a thick wedge-shaped body pillow when sleeping to keep heartburn at bay.7
* Onset of acid neutralization does not imply the onset of symptom relief.
Read Also: What’s Good To Drink For Heartburn
Maintain A Healthy Weight
If you are overweight, dropping a few pounds can help resolve heartburn symptoms not least because you are less likely to eat high-fat foods on a diet. Losing as little as 2.5 pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms, according to David A. Johnson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine.vii
Dont Miss: Causes Of Heartburn And Reflux
Mix Up A Drink Of Baking Soda And Water
A small amount of baking soda mixed with water can neutralize acid and provide heartburn relief, Gosalia says. Simply mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda with four ounces of water and drink.
High doses of baking soda can be harmful, Gosalia says, so check with your doctor before trying this remedy, especially if you are taking any prescription medications or are pregnant. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet you should also steer clear of consuming baking soda since it has lots of sodium.
Read Also: Do Almonds Help With Heartburn
Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages
Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.
This is because studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of reflux .
One study found that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened certain acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, fullness, and burping .
The main reason is that the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .
Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily increases the frequency of burping, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.
When Should You Consider A Ppi
Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as trouble swallowing, weight loss, or chest pain. Call the doctor if you dont get better in about two weeks. The doctor will look for signs of problems such as GERD .
If you have GERD, you probably need a PPI. Talk to your doctor if:
- You have heartburn at least twice a week for several weeks.
- Food or acid often come back up into your throat.
- You take antacid or H2 blockers, and you make changes like the ones described on this page, but your heartburn does not go away.
If your doctor thinks you need a PPI:
- Ask to start with a low dose of generic prescription lansoprazole or omeprazole. You can also get these medicines over the counter.
- If the heartburn gets better after a few weeks, talk to your doctor about gradually lowering your dose.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
Don’t Miss: What Foods Help Heartburn Go Away
Ways To Prevent Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Most of us are all too familiar with the painful, burning sensation in the center of the chest thats associated with heartburn.
In fact, up to 28% of adults in North America experience gastroesophageal reflux disease , a common condition that causes heartburn. GERD occurs when acid is pushed up from the stomach back into the esophagus, which leads to the heartburn sensation .
Although people often use medications to treat acid reflux and heartburn, many lifestyle modifications can also help you reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Here are 14 natural ways to reduce your acid reflux and heartburn, all backed by scientific research.
Avoid Your Trigger Foods
You may have already discovered that certain foods can trigger your heartburn and reflux symptoms. Try keeping a food and symptom diary to help you identify foods that worsen your reflux, so you know what to stay away from.
Here are some common food triggers:
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
Some people find that sweets, high-glycemic index foods , and meals that are too hot may trigger heartburn.
Recommended Reading: Over The Counter Heartburn Medicine Safe For Pregnancy
Take An Acid Neutralizer
When heartburn hits and you need relief, try an antacid like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox. These medications act quickly to neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can reduce your symptoms. Dont have any on hand? Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water and drink to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Just use caution with this home remedy since its high in sodium and shouldnt be used by people on a sodium-restricted diet.
We also like H-2 blockers, also known as Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. These include such brand names a Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Tagamet, and Zantac. These medications dont work as quickly as acid neutralizers, but they are still very fast. H2 blockers should be taken about 30 minutes before you eat or when you typically experience symptoms.
The benefit of H2 blockers is that they work longer than antacids, but they dont have the same medical risks associated with proton pump inhibitors. As is true with all medications we highly recommend that you discuss use with your doctor before you begin any drug treatment, prescription or over-the-counter.
And remember that while these quick fixes may help relieve your GERD symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Your goal should be to stop reflux from happening in the first place, which is why we recommend several long-term solutions to cure heartburn.
How To Get Rid Of Indigestion At Night
If you eat dinner too fast or choose foods that are too greasy, fatty, or spicy, you may suffer from indigestion in the evening. Consuming a lot of alcohol at night can also cause stomach inflammation, which may lead to symptoms of indigestion like heartburn, upper abdominal pain, or nausea.
To get rid of indigestion at night, you should keep the head of your bed elevated, avoid late night meals or eating within two hours of bedtime, avoid exercise before bedtime, avoid a night cap , and no smoking before bedtime, Dr. Tharakan advises.
Other ways to fix indigestion at night include:
Recommended Reading: Can Fruit Give You Heartburn
How Do Natural Antacids Work
Home remedies for heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux can help to quickly alleviate some of the causes of heartburn.
For example, natural antacids that help to balance stomach acid mean that there is less acidic stomach fluid that can escape back up your esophagus. This can help to prevent chest pains and a sour mouth that are often associated with heartburn.
Some home remedies for heartburn help to soothe irritation and inflammation in your throat and food pipe. This can help to prevent damage caused by the acidic juices and even assist in healing an irritated throat and esophagus.
Other natural remedies for digestive issues can also relieve trapped gas and address the causes of bloating. Having less gas in your stomach means that its easier for the muscle between your stomach and esophagus close fully and prevent stomach acid escaping and irritating your digestive tract.
What Are Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd
Heartburn, a common symptom of acid reflux,is a burning sensation and a pain in your chest caused by acids that irritate the esophagus. This pain can easily be mistaken for a heart attack and is not dangerous if it occurs only once a while.
Acid reflux results when the muscle connecting the esophagus and the stomach weaken, resulting in the stomach acids moving back up toward the esophagus. Apart from heartburn, acid reflux also induces symptoms like cough and sore throat.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a severe and chronic version of acid reflux. You are very likely have GERD if you experience acid reflux more than twice a week and your esophagus is inflamed.
Also Check: Apple Cider Vinegar And Heartburn Relief
Read Also: Is Heartburn A Symptom Of Pancreatic Cancer
How To Relieve Heartburn
Heartburn can be really uncomfortable, but there are several treatments that can help decrease your symptoms.
If you regularly experience acid reflux, start by talking to your doctor or a K doctor, who can help diagnose you and recommend medications and home remedies to soothe your discomfort.
If you are a smoker, you should stop.
Here are some of the most common heartburn treatments people try to improve their symptoms.
Opt For Cooked Onions Instead Of Raw
Raw onions are a common trigger for acid reflux and heartburn.
One older study in people with acid reflux showed that eating a meal containing raw onion significantly increased heartburn, acid reflux, and burping, compared with consuming an identical meal that didnt contain onions .
More frequent burping might suggest that more gas is being produced. This could be due to the high amounts of fermentable fiber in onions .
Raw onions are also more difficult to digest and might irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing worsened heartburn .
Whatever the reason, if you think eating raw onion makes your symptoms worse, you should avoid it and opt for cooked onions instead.
Some people experience worsened heartburn and other reflux symptoms after eating raw onions.
Recommended Reading: Gas X Good For Heartburn
Four Things To Do Throughout The Day
When To Call A Doctor
Antacids can often relieve symptoms of excess stomach acid. However, sometimes these symptoms mean you have a more serious condition.
Antacids can only soothe, not cure, some of the symptoms of these conditions. If you have severe pain that doesnt get better after using the recommended dosage of antacids for two weeks, call your doctor.
Foods That Aid In Natural Heartburn Relief
If youre looking to get some natural heartburn relief, then look for foods like the following:
High fiber foods: oatmeal, brown rice and other whole grains as well as root veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes, and green veggies like leafy greens, asparagus, and green beans
Low acidic foods: bananas, melon, cauliflower, fennel, and nuts
Foods with a lot of water: cucumbers, celery, lettuce, watermelon, broth, tea
Avoid highly processed, fatty, and acidic foods, as these cause more instances of acid indigestion and a lot of discomfort.
You May Like: Get Rid Of Heartburn Immediately
What Is Acid Reflux
Acid reflux, also called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disorder, occurs when acids from your stomach that are used to digest food, travel up toward your mouth through your esophagus, explains celebrity chef, nutritionist, and reiki master Serena Poon. When you eat, the valve at the end of your esophagus usually closes, but sometimes it relaxes when it is not supposed to , allowing the acid from your stomach to flow in the other direction.
Like so many health-related quandaries, acid reflux isnt solely caused by one thing. Instead, NYC-based dietitian Jennifer Maeng says that it can be triggered or exacerbated by smoking, pregnancy, stress, anxiety, medication, and being overweight, not to mention a number of foods and drinks.
Also Check: What Does Constant Heartburn Mean