Is Heartburn The Same As Acid Reflux
While people often use the terms heartburn and acid reflux interchangeably, they have two different meanings.
Acid reflux is a medical condition, whereas heartburn is merely a symptom of acid reflux. Therefore if you have heartburn, you are experiencing acid reflux.
Heartburn is often mild and infrequent, caused by a specific trigger. Acid reflux, on the other hand, is a chronic condition that occurs more frequently acid reflux that occurs more than twice weeklyis known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease , the most severe a form of heartburn.
Gerd Treatment In Nashville Tn
If you need treatment for acid reflux and GERD in Middle Tennessee, the surgeons and doctors at The Surgical Clinics can help. We want you to know that surgery is the last resort when treating GERD. Many cases can be adequately treated with medications that reduce stomach acid production and help the esophagus heal.
However, if these approaches do not work, we can perform surgery that strengthens the LES with either implants or surgical modification. With our access to advanced surgical techniques and resources, we also offer groundbreaking GERD treatments that many patients have benefited from.
Contact the Surgical Clinic to schedule your GERD consultation today.
Dont Lay Flat When You Sleep
Lying down flat presses the stomachâs contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure.
You can elevate your head in a couple of ways:
- Place bricks, blocks, or anything thatâs sturdy and securely under the legs at the head of your bed,
- Use a wedge-shaped pillow under your head and shoulders.
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A Note About Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are the most effective treatments for chronic acid reflux. Theyre generally considered very safe. They reduce your bodys production of gastric acids. Unlike some other medications, you only need to take them once a day to prevent symptoms.
There are also downsides to using proton pump inhibitors on a long-term basis. Over time, they can deplete vitamin B-12 in your body. Since stomach acid is one of your bodys defenses against infection, proton pump inhibitors can also raise your risk of infection and bone fractures. In particular, they can raise your risk of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. They can also be expensive, often costing more than $100 each month.
Acid Reflux Symptoms Chest Pain
The main treatments for GERD are:
- self-help measures this includes eating smaller but more frequent meals, avoiding any foods or drinks that trigger your symptoms, raising the head of your bed, and keeping to a healthy weight
- over-the-counter medicines ask your pharmacist to recommend an antacid or an alginate
- stronger prescription medicines including proton-pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists
You may only need to take medication when you experience symptoms, although long-term treatment may be needed if the problem continues.
Surgery to stop stomach acid leaking into your esophagus may be recommended if medication isnt helping, or you dont want to take medication on a long-term basis.
Read more about the treatments for GERD.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose Acid Reflux
Your doctor usually can diagnose reflux disease by the symptoms you report.
- Diet and lifestyle changes may be recommended first, and perhaps an over-the-counter antacid.
- If symptoms continue more than 4 weeks despite this therapy the person may be referred to a gastroenterologist, which is a doctor who specializes in the gastrointestinal tract.
The gastroenterologist may perform an upper GI series.
- This is a series of X-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine.
- It is taken after you drink a contrast liquid that makes certain features show up better on the X-rays.
- This series is sometimes called a barium swallow for one type of contrast liquid that is used and when the examination is limited to the esophagus.
- This test gives less information than an upper GI endoscopy but is ordered to rule out other conditions such as ulcers or blockage of the esophagus. The upper GI series is sometimes skipped altogether.
The gastroenterologist may perform an upper GI endoscopy, also called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD, a procedure that can be done as an outpatient.
Esophageal manometry is a test that measures the function of the lower esophageal sphincter and the motor function of the esophagus. A tube is passed down your throat until it reaches the esophagus. It is often performed along with 24-hour pH probe study.
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Can Certain Foods Or Drinks Help Heartburn
Theres no magical acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD diet that will instantly cure your symptoms. Your best bet is to avoid potential problem foods. Head over to our heartburn myths page to learn more about food and drinks that wont actually help with heartburn.
That being said, following certain diets can help you stay away from foods more likely to aggravate symptoms. For example, the Mediterranean diet worked well to prevent GERD in one large study8. This diet emphasizes many of the foods that can help prevent heartburn, such as fruits, vegetables, and high-fiber ingredients.
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How To Prevent Acid Reflux And Heartburn
Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Your esophagus is the muscular tube that connects your throat and stomach. The most common symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn. Other symptoms may include a sour or regurgitated food taste in the back of your mouth.
Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux . If you experience it more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease . In addition to frequent heartburn, symptoms of GERD include difficulty swallowing, coughing or wheezing, and chest pain.
Most people experience acid reflux and heartburn from time to time. GERD is a more serious condition that affects about Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggests that rates of GERD are rising.
Learn about steps you can take to prevent acid reflux and heartburn. Lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery may help you find relief.
Anyone can experience occasional acid reflux and heartburn. For example, you may experience these symptoms after eating too quickly. You may notice them after consuming lots of spicy food or high-fat treats.
Youre more likely to develop GERD if you:
- are overweight or obese
- have diabetes
Occasional or mild cases of acid reflux can usually be prevented by adopting a few lifestyle changes. For example:
- fatty or fried foods
Worst Foods For Acid Reflux
1. Fatty and greasy foods
Fried foods, fatty meats, and high-fat dairy, including french fries, chips, cheese, and sour cream, can relax the esophageal sphincter, which is the valve that keeps acid in the stomach, Cavagnaro says. When the esophageal sphincter is relaxed, more acid can seep into the esophagus, causing irritation. High-fat foods are also absorbed more slowly and sit in the stomach longer, causing the stomach to produce extra acid.
Caffeinated drinks, including coffee, can raise your risk for GERD. Caffeine also relaxes the esophageal sphincter, allowing more acid to creep into the esophagus, causing irritation, Cavagnaro says.
Related: What Exactly is GERD?
Drinking alcohol, especially red wine, especially in large quantities can increase the risk of acid reflux. Cavagnaro says alcohol is another food that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, making it more likely for acid to flow into the esophagus.
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Like alcohol and caffeine, chocolate has been shown to affect the valve that keeps acid in the stomach. This allows it to move into the esophagus and mouth and give you heartburn.
6. Citrus fruits and juices
Citrus fruits and juices, including oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, are highly acidic. This leads to more stomach acid that can move up through the esophagus, Cavagnaro says.
8. Spicy foods
9. Onion and garlic
10. Carbonated drinks
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Drinks To Avoid With Acid Reflux
Some beverages can act on the LES and make it relax.
This happens with sparkling water, for instance.
However, it has been noted that drinking sparkling water far from meals is better because there is no content in the stomach that can go up into the esophagus.
Theres another type of water we want to talk about: its the hydrogen carbonated-rich water.
In fact, the specific content of this water makes it good for people who suffer from reflux and related symptoms.
This water brings benefits to both males and females, even with the concomitant presence of other digestive tract diseases or conditions.
Along with them, reflux sufferers must avoid sugary drinks, while when it comes to alcohol there are so many considerations to make because this topic is definitely not simple as it might seem.
Coffee and caffeine have a very peculiar relationship with acid reflux and heartburn, which goes far beyond the simple action that coffee exerts on the LES.
To be honest, sugary drinks should be avoided by all the people, reflux sufferers or not.
Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.
Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.
“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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How To Avoid An Upset Stomach
Youve just enjoyed a delicious meal and are clearing the dishes from the table when it startsan upset stomach. Getting an upset stomach after eating is something that most of us have experienced at one time or anotherand when it happens, it can be debilitating. So why do we experience stomach discomfort after eating? And how can we get rid of the uncomfortable symptoms? Read on to learn more about whats happening to your body and how to get relief.
Foods That Are Making Your Gerd Worse
by The Surgical Clinic |
Everyone needs to eat, but for people who have gastroesophageal reflux disease , eating the wrong thing can have painful consequences. If youre just starting to experience GERD symptoms and youre not sure whats causing your symptoms, heres a list of eight foods that are making your GERD symptoms worse.
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Baby Reflux: Foods To Avoid
In the majority of cases, reflux is a physiological self-resolving phenomenon in infants.
However, when the natural resolution of this phenomenon does not occur by 6 12 months, something has to be done.
Infants with prolonged reflux may present a series of related symptoms, such as:
- poor appetite
- poor weight gain
Bottle-fed infants may benefit from feeding with feed-thickeners. There still is limited evidence of that, however, first observations are encouraging.
Unfortunately, there are no data for breastfed infants. However, breastfeeding seems protective from reflux, while feeding infants with any formula makes them more likely to develop reflux and/or regurgitation.
In other cases, the presence of poor growth and reflux are related to feeding difficulties. This often happens when non-IgE-mediated food allergies are ascertained.
Another important thing to consider is the supposed optimal neonatal feeding interval.
Several studies established the average stomach size of the newborn around 20 ml.
Starting from this, the optimal neonatal feeding interval is approx. 1 hour.
Whatever the case, there are some currently accepted guidelines for the treatment of reflux episodes in infants and children. We report them directly from the original publication.
The same guidelines for treatment also highlight that the use of promoters of gastric emptying and motility needs the highest precaution measures.
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High Fat Foods & Gerd Symptoms
When fat enters the stomach, it triggers a release of the hormone cholecystokinin , which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. Chronic relaxing or malfunctioning of the LES is what causes GERD. With the LES left more open, the stomach contents can reflux back up the esophagus and cause discomfort.
The other problem with high-fat foods is they require more time to break down during digestion. In order to help the digestive process, the CCK hormone keeps fatty foods in the stomach for a longer period of time. This is a natural reaction, but when combined with the relaxed LES, the risk of acid reflux symptoms increases.
Below is a list of several types of high-fat foods you should avoid when managing acid reflux or GERD symptoms.
- Fried food
- Fatty meats
Fried foods are especially bad due to their high levels of saturated fat. You should not eliminate all fats from your diet because your body does need fat to work properly. Some healthy sources of fat include avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
While you do not have to eliminate all of these foods from your diet immediately, the more you can limit and monitor fatty foods, the better. Paying attention to your fat intake will also help you avoid future health problems like obesity, heart disease, and cancer.
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Dosages Of Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium citrate is an active ingredient in many branded over-the-counter laxatives. Liquid oral solutions without any other active ingredients may be best for treating constipation.
Dosages vary based on the brand or concentration of magnesium citrate in the bottle. Always follow the dosage and read the instructions on the label carefully.
It is essential to mix the solution with water and drink additional water when taking magnesium citrate. Mix the dose with at least 4 to 8 ounces of water, and drink a few extra glasses of water throughout the day. This may help replenish any fluids the body loses through the stool.
Very high dosages of magnesium can cause magnesium toxicity, so always use as directed.
Always consult a doctor before giving magnesium citrate or any other laxative to children. Pregnant or nursing mothers should talk to their doctor or pharmacist about the correct dosage. Doctors may recommend other medications or supplements to help with symptoms.
Apart from using magnesium citrate to relieve constipation, people can try:
What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
A big symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation, otherwise referred to as heartburn, which occurs when acid creeps back up the esophagus from the stomach. Thats why people grasp at their chestthe pain can literally take their breath away.
Since acid is flowing backward, aka up the esophagus, swallowing can be difficult and there could be the feeling that theres a lump in the throat. But the symptoms dont stop thereother parts of the body take the heat, too.
There are lots of factors that go into a good nights sleep, and feeling like your chest is burning isnt one. Nighttime acid reflux can disrupt sleep, make asthma worse, and may cause coughing, according to the Mayo Clinic. So consuming things that can help prevent these symptoms is key for making sure it doesnt mess up slumber, which then leads to other adverse effects.
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Dont Reach For A Cigarette Alcohol Or Caffeine
Smokers may be tempted to have an after-dinner cigarette, but this decision can be costly in more ways than one. Among the many health problems that smoking can cause, it also encourages heartburn by relaxing the muscle that normally prevents stomach acid from coming back up into the throat.
Caffeine and alcohol also negatively impact the function of the esophageal sphincter.
The Worst Foods For Acid Reflux
Ever felt a painful burning in your upper stomach or near your breastbone? Thrown off by the dizzying discomfort?If so, its likely that you suffer from acid reflux – an extremely common medical condition.In laymans terms, acid reflux refers to the irritation of the oesophagus – the tube which connects your throat and stomach. This occurs when acid from your stomach enters the lower part of this tube.
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Citrus Fruit And Fruit Juices
Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapefruit, oranges etc., and other fruits, contain irritating organic acids such as citric acid , malic acid and can cause acid reflux. Fruit juices are bad for acid reflux because they contain them too, often times intakes of the organic acids being greater from fruit juices than whole fruit. Citric and malic acid irritate the stomach lining and work up the stomach by increasing the production of gastric acid and the likelihood of regurgitation which is why they trigger acidity.
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