Foods That Can Cause Heartburn
Heartburn affects more than 60 million Americans every month .
It is best described as a painful, burning sensation that occurs in the lower chest area.
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, a condition where stomach acid escapes into the esophagus, the tube that delivers food and beverages to your stomach.
Normally, stomach acid cannot escape into the esophagus because of a barrier called the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a ring-like muscle that naturally stays closed, and normally only opens when you swallow or belch .
However, in people with acid reflux, this muscle is often weakened. This is one reason why people with acid reflux experience heartburn .
Diet plays an important role in heartburn. Many foods can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows food to escape into the esophagus and cause heartburn.
Here are 11 foods that can cause heartburn.
How Do H2 Receptor Blockers Work
When you take an H2 receptor blocker, the active ingredients travel to specific receptors on the surface of the stomach cells that release acids. The medication inhibits certain chemical reactions in these cells so that they arent able to produce as much acid. According to the National Institutes of Health, H2 receptor blockers decrease stomach acid secretions over a 24-hour period by 70 percent. By reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, any damaged tissues are allowed time to heal.
Most of the side effects associated with H2 receptor blockers are mild and usually subside as a person takes the medication over time. Only 1.5 percent of people stop taking H2 receptor blockers due to the side effects.
Some of the side effects that may occur with H2 receptor blockers include:
- suicidal thoughts
Despite their potential side effects, H2 receptor blockers are usually a very effective treatment for conditions that cause excess stomach acid. You and your doctor can discuss the potential risks and determine whether H2 receptor blockers are the best option for your particular condition. You should never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor about it first.
Question 5 Of : Prognosis
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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.
What Causes Heartburn At Night
There are several triggers that may cause heartburn during the day. Nighttime heartburn often occurs while lying down too soon after eating. Lying flat can push acid from the stomach up into the lower esophagus, making it harder for food to properly digest. This can cause a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn.
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Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.
If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn
Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.
You should contact your doctor if:
- Your heartburn wont go away.
- Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
- Its hard or hurts to swallow.
- Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
- You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
- You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
- You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
- You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
- Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.
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Learn About The Latest Treatments For Chronic Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Tasting your food once is great. Tasting it twice not so much.
If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease , this may be your reality at every meal. But eating doesnt have to become a constant game of trying to balance eating what you want with avoiding reflux symptoms. With a few changes to your lifestyle and access to the latest medical treatment methods, you can finally put your GERD symptoms to rest.
Its easy to brush off reflux symptoms, especially if theyre mild but excessive GERD symptoms are something that should be taken seriously, explains Dr. Robert Purcell, a gastroenterologist at Geisinger Gastroenterology/Endoscopy Montoursville.
If your GERD symptoms are interfering with your daily life or drastically restricting what you can eat, talk with your doctor about treatment options.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn
If youre one of the millions of Brits who suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, take heart we have some remedies for you
- 12:00, 12 Sep 2018
Many of us know the tell-tale signs a burning sensation in the chest and uncomfortable burping after a big meal.
Horribly, around 40% of people in Britain endure the agony of heartburn on a regular basis.
People could even suffer from a silent form of the condition without the more obvious heartburn symptoms.
Don’t worry though, as we have some top tips to help you reduce acid reflux and calm your heartburn symptoms…
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Cough Sore Throat Or Asthma:
If stomach acid is seeping into your throat or lungs, soreness and coughing are predictable outcomes, and if youre already an asthma sufferer, the strain of constantly coughing can actually trigger an asthma attack.
If you are asthmatic, its all the more important that you treat your acid reflux to help avoid unnecessary attacks.
These are just a few of the symptoms associated with acid reflux. You can read more here.
If you suspect that you may have acid reflux, its important to get a full evaluation from your doctor to rule out any more serious disorders, including stomach ulcers, cancer, or heart problems.
How Do I Stop Heartburn
It is usually possible to stop heartburn by taking medication designed to treat it. Proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers are made to prevent heartburn, and antacids can treat it once it has begun. Proton pump inhibitors keep the stomach from releasing acid, and H2 blockers prevent the body from producing Histamine2, which sends acid-producing signals to the stomach. Antacids stop heartburn by increasing the pH level in your stomach, thereby making it less acidic. If you have chronic heartburn, a combination drug containing both an antacid and an H2 blocker could be a helpful option.
Some people use home remedies to stop heartburn and acid reflux instead of or in addition to medication. Drinking buttermilk and eating almonds, soda crackers, and apples may aid in reducing and preventing excess stomach acid. Sleeping with your head elevated, drinking lots of water between meals, and making an effort not to lie down immediately after each meal might also prevent extreme heartburn from occurring. If you are looking for immediate relief to stop heartburn and do not have any antacid on hand, mixing half a glass of water with 1/2 tsp of baking soda could provide temporary relief.
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Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals
Theres a ring-like muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter where the esophagus opens into the stomach.
It acts as a valve and normally prevents the acidic contents of the stomach from going up into the esophagus. It typically stays closed but may open when you swallow, belch, or vomit.
In people with acid reflux, this muscle is weakened or dysfunctional. Acid reflux can also occur when theres too much pressure on the muscle, causing acid to squeeze through the opening .
Unsurprisingly, most reflux symptoms take place after a meal. It also seems that eating just one to two large meals per day may worsen reflux symptoms (
For this reason, some studies suggest that losing at least 10% of your body weight could significantly decrease symptoms of GERD in people with the condition .
Achieving and maintaining a moderate body weight can help reduce acid reflux in the long term.
However, if youre interested in this approach, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional to assess whether its right for you, and if so, how you can lose weight safely and sustainably.
Losing belly fat and maintaining a moderate weight might relieve some of your symptoms of GERD. However, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before attempting to lose weight to treat this condition.
Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
If you have acid reflux, you might experience the following:
- Burning sensation or discomfort in your chest
- Burning sensation or discomfort in the back of your throat
- Unpleasant taste in the back of your throat
- Unpleasant hiccups that seem to carry acid up your throat
- Stay upright for three hours after a meal
- Over-the-counter antacids to neutralize the acid in your stomach
- Prescription antacids
- H2 blockers that reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes
- Proton-pump inhibitors that further reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces and are available both over the counter and by prescription
- Prokinetics that help clear stomach contents and strengthen the LES
- Upper endoscopy, in addition to helping diagnose GERD, can be used to tighten the LES or fix a hiatal hernia
- Fundoplication is a surgical procedure in which the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the lower part of the esophagus to strengthen the LES
If youre suffering from acid reflux, talk to your doctor about your options or find a doctor near you.
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Question 4 Of : Treatment
How Do Acid Blockers Work To Treat Heartburn
Products like Pepcid AC® are called histamine H2 blockers, or acid blockers. Acid blockers reduce the production of stomach acid. They relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. Always follow the directions on the packaging or talk to your healthcare provider about how to take this medication. Acid blockers you can buy without a prescription include:
- Pepcid AC®.
- Tagamet HB®.
Take your acid blocker medicine regularly for as long as directed by your healthcare provider, even if you do not have any pain or if your symptoms get better.
Stronger acid blockers are prescription medications. These can be used to block stomach acid, treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD. They work by reducing the production of stomach acid. Your healthcare provider will give you a specific prescription for this type of acid blocker.
The United States Food and Drug Administration recently reported elevated levels of a possible carcinogen, NDMA, in the drugs ranitidine and nizatidine . You should speak to your healthcare provider if you are taking one these medications.
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Tweak Your Bedtime Routine
Don’t eat before bedtime. Try not to snack or dine at least 2 to 3 hours before you go to sleep. When you lie down, gravity pulls whatever’s in your stomach toward your esophagus — the tube that connects your throat and stomach. By eating earlier, there’s less food in there to come back up and bring on GERD symptoms.
Prop up the head of your bed 6 to 10 inches. You can keep heartburn and other GERD symptoms away if you put your head and chest above your stomach. It helps gravity keep what’s in your stomach away from your esophagus.
Don’t prop your back up with pillows, though, since that may bend your body in a way that puts pressure on your stomach. Instead, use a foam wedge under your mattress, or put blocks of wood under the top legs of the bed.
Is It Just Heartburn Or Gerd
Frequent heartburn can be a major issue. If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease .
In this chronic condition, frequent exposure to stomach acid irritates and damages the esophagus. Over time, that can lead to problems such as difficulty swallowing. An estimated 40 percent of Americans report symptoms of GERD but the condition can significantly improve with lifestyle changes.
If you’ve tried home remedies and lifestyle adjustments and still have frequent heartburn, consult with your family doctor or a gastroenterologist. There are multiple treatments that can help, including medications and minimally invasive surgery for acid reflux.
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Ways To Eat Tomatoes Without Experiencing Heartburn
If you constantly get heartburn following tomato consumption, then eliminating tomatoes from your diet would be a sensible idea.
However, you may not want to give up on eating tomatoes and tomato products although they trigger heartburn in you.
If this is the case, then read the following sections carefully. Because the suggestion below might help you eat tomatoes without experiencing heartburn.
Follow A Low Carb Diet
Growing evidence suggests that low carb diets may relieve acid reflux symptoms.
In fact, some researchers suspect that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen, which could contribute to acid reflux (
Excessive alcohol intake can worsen acid reflux symptoms. If you experience heartburn, limiting your alcohol intake might help ease some of your discomfort.
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What To Do If Heartburn Is Severe Or Frequent
For mild, occasional heartburn, over-the-counter medications such as antacids and histamine blockers can help relieve symptoms. Always read the product label before taking an antacid or histamine blocker and never take a larger dose or take doses more frequently than directed.
If you’re experiencing heartburn frequently, consult your doctor before taking heartburn medications regularly since these drugs can interfere with many other medications and affect underlying health conditions you may have.
If you have severe heartburn, as well as if it persists or worsens after taking steps to relieve it, consult your doctor. In some cases, heartburn can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease , or possibly a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
What Are The Risk Factors For Acid Reflux
The following characteristics are associated with an increased likelihood of developing acid reflux. By themselves, none are guarantees that you will develop the condition.
However, if more than a few of them apply to you, you should consider yourself more susceptible than the average person. If you notice youre already experiencing symptoms of acid reflux, consider how the following lifestyle habits might be contributing to them.
- Eating a diet high in fatty or acidic foods, or consuming beverages including coffee, tea, alcohol, and soda
- Lying down immediately after eating, or snacking close to bedtime
To learn more about risk factors associated with acid reflux, go here.
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