Bring Lifestyle Changes To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Wrong eating habits and certain other habits make it difficult for your body to digest food properly. There are some other lifestyle habits that lead to heartburn and you need to change them. Here is a list of such lifestyle changes that you must adopt if you want to get rid of heartburn.
What Is Acid Reflux
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, over 60 million Americans experience it at least once a month. Searching the web for acid reflux while sleeping cant breathe shows you just how common the problem is. So, youre not alone.
Acid reflux is what its called when acid from your stomach flows back into the esophagus. The burning sensation is called heartburn, though sometimes the terms acid reflux and heartburn are used interchangeably.
Your stomach contains acid to help it break down and digest food. This acid plays an important role and is supposed to be there. However, its designed to stay in your stomach. Theres a valve at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter .
The LES usually holds acid in the stomach and stops it from escaping. Its when this valve doesnt work correctly that acid reflux occurs. Sometimes the valve doesnt close properly after you eat, and sometimes it opens too often.
The reason acid reflux is so uncomfortable is due to the lining of the esophagus. As its not designed to interact with acid, the esophageal lining is more sensitive than the stomach lining. This is why you cant feel acid in your stomach, but it burns when its in your gullet.
Baking Soda Remedy For Heartburn
Sodium bicarbonate or the very common baking soda lying on your kitchen shelf can relieve heartburn in a matter of few minutes by balancing the pH level of your stomach. Baking soda with a pH higher than 7 can effectively neutralize your stomach acid. When your stomach acid will not remain acidic, you wont get the burning sensation, even if it travels up to your lower oesophagal sphincter.
- Baking soda- 1/2 to 1 tsp
- Water- 1/2 to 1 glass
- Add the baking soda to the glass of water.
- Mix and drink this.
- Do this whenever you feel acid coming up into your throat. However, do not consume more than 3 tsp of baking soda in a day.
Do this for a week only and if your heartburn still persists, either use some other remedy or consult your doctor. Prolonged use of baking soda is not desirable for your body.
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If You’re Taking Prescription Medicines
Speak to your GP if you’re taking medicine for another condition, such as antidepressants, and you think it may be making your indigestion worse. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine.
Never stop taking a prescribed medicine unless you’re advised to do so by your GP or another qualified healthcare professional who’s responsible for your care.
Why Do You Get Reflux More At Night
You may experience more reflux at night than during the day. The reason for this is gravity. When you sit or stand, gravity helps move the food through your esophagus and into the stomach. When youâre laying down, you lose the effect of gravity on the food traveling through your digestive system. Laying down also prevents gravity from keeping bile and acids from traveling up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Because of this, many people find their heartburn is worse at night.
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How Are Gerd And Sleep Related
GERD is often cited as a cause of sleeping problems, including in the National Sleep Foundations 2001 Sleep in America Poll. In a more recent survey of people with frequent heartburn, nearly 60% said it affected their sleep, and more than 30% said it hurt their daytime functioning.
Flare ups of GERD symptoms after lying down can make it hard to fall asleep and can cause nighttime interruptions from heartburn, chest pain, and coughing. Studies in sleep clinics of people with GERD have found that these symptoms are correlated with lower sleep quality.
Avoid Big Meals Before Sleep
Like all functional areas of the body, the digestive system needs plenty of time to rest and recover from daily life. It is not a good idea to eat a big meal before bedtime, as it forces the digestive system to keep working. A light snack, such as an apple or some avocado toast, is a better idea.
Complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, or a small dose of protein can deal with hunger pangs.
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Common Triggers For Acid Reflux
A little too much wine, BBQd ribs, a late-evening coffee and I know Im in for heartburn the moment I lie down to sleep.
The Mayo Clinic says some of the most common triggers for acid reflux are:
- Even taking a single salicylic acid tablet .
Although there are many common acid reflux triggers, everybody is different.
My son, who started having reflux a few years back when he was in his mid 50s, finds that tea is a trigger, as are some cookies, fatty fish like salmon and soya ice cream . And while he can tolerate a beer, red wine is out.
How about you? What are your reflux triggers?
Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages
Patients with GERD are sometimes advised to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.
One observational study found that carbonated soft drinks were associated with increased acid reflux symptoms .
Also, controlled studies show that drinking carbonated water or cola temporarily weakens the lower esophageal sphincter, compared to drinking plain water .
The main reason is the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages, which causes people to belch more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .
Carbonated beverages temporarily increase the frequency of belching, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.
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Sleep Position 2 To Avoid For Preventing Acid Reflux At Night
Position #2 to avoid at night issleeping flat on your right side.
Though reflux episodes may be less frequent on your right when compared to flat on your back, the episodes are more liquidy in nature because your LES is often submerged in the acidic stomach content.4
This position potentially creates a leaky faucet spouting stomach acid into the delicate lining of your esophagus.
While liquid reflux can be very distressing, it can also be dangerous as when flat on your right side, the amount of time acid lingers in your esophagus is much longer.3 Gravity is fighting an uphill battle as it is unable to effectively return refluxed content to your stomach.
If you suffer from nighttime heartburn, avoid lying flat on your right side.
Figure 3: Representation of stomach when youre layingflat on your right side.
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Remedy For Heartburn At Middle Of The Night
Sleep with head elevated: Sleeping with the head elevated can decrease the heartburn at night as there is less chance of regurgitation of acids while sleeping.
Avoid the triggering foods at night: Heartburn at night worsens if you take certain triggering foods at night. Alcohol, spicy and oily foods, caffeinated drinks like coffee, milk tea can provocate the heartburn at night. SO its better to avoid such foods at night.
Avoid tight clothings: Wear loose fitting clothings than tight one at night which will help to some extent to lower the heartburn symptoms at night.
Avoid late night heavy meals: Keep at least time of 2-3 hours after having dinner for your sleep. Avoid having heavy meals.
Reduce your weight: obese individuals are more likely to have heartburn symptoms. So try to reduce your weight.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated: Water can some extent help to reduce the heartburn symptoms. A glass of lukewarm water may help for providing a temporary relief.
OTC antacids: If you are taking any antacid gels for the heartburn relief you can take one that helps to relief the symptom temporarily.
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Check If You Have Acid Reflux
The main symptoms of acid reflux are:
- heartburn a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
- an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid
You may also have:
- a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
- a hoarse voice
Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.
How Does Heartburn Impact Sleep
Research shows that over 60% of people suffering from heartburn or another reflux-related disease report disruptions in their sleep. People with heartburn symptoms are often unable to comfortably fall into a sleep state or are unable to stay asleep due to the painful, burning sensation in their chest.
40% of people with heartburn and sleep issues report that their sleep disruption directly impacts their overall functioning the following day. Heartburn may cause a cycle of poor sleep in which heartburn disrupts sleep, which increases fatigue. Fatigue increases unhealthy eating choices. These foods further increase heartburn symptoms, which increases stress and leads to even poorer sleep.
Once youre in the cycle of heartburn-related poor sleep, it can feel overwhelming. However, there are many ways you can reduce heartburn with small, daily lifestyle changes.
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Food And Drink Tips For Nighttime Heartburn Relief
Apples To Reduce Heartburn
Banana is not the only fruit that helps you with heartburn. The nutritious and tasty apples to come to your help when its about getting rid of heartburn. Apples can in fact, even reduce the symptoms of GERD, the chronic heartburn. This is because apple helps in producing an alkaline environment in your stomach so that the excessive acids get neutralized. This also helps in better digestion which is again a key to no heartburn. Not only does apple cure but also prevent heartburn. However, you need to eat sweet apples, preferably those that are organic. Tart apples wont do any wonders.
Ways to have Apples to Avoid Heartburn
Some apples may give you instant and better relief from heartburn than others. Therefore, keep on changing the varieties of apples to find out the one that is most soothing for your condition.
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Keep Your Head Elevated While Resting
If you want to know how to get rid of acid reflux fast while pregnant, youve got to follow this tip.
Lying flat spurs the acid into the food pipe. This causes heartburn.
So, use recliner chairs to rest or lie with your head at an elevated surface. This helps you avoid acid reflux without any extra effort.
Additional Tips To Control Acid Reflux At Night
You can also make some lifestyle changes that may help you manage the occurrence of acid reflux at night and promote a well-rested night.
Some of these lifestyle recommendations include:
A doctor may also prescribe medications or recommend surgery to treat GERD when appropriate. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms so they can prescribe treatment or lifestyle recommendations to manage your condition and improve your sleep health.
If you have GERD, youre not sentenced to a lifetime of sleepless nights from acid reflux at night. By making simple tweaks to your sleeping positionchoosing the Incline + Left-Side sleepingyou can take control of your symptoms and get the recovery sleep everyone deserves.
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Make Ginger Tea To Relieve Heartburn
If you want to get rid of nausea accompanying your heartburn, just make a cup of fresh ginger root tea that will soothe your stomach and give you the much-wanted comfort. If nausea and heartburn become a regular feature of your life, you may also consider having a cup of fresh ginger tea before your meals. This helps your stomach in settling down as ginger acts as an acid buffer.
Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
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C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:
- Avoid alcohol
- If you smoke, stop immediately
- Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
- Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily
For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.
Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
When does heartburn start in pregnancy?
Many starts to feel it at the beginning of the first trimester.
However, some see heartburn as a symptom of pregnancy.
Acid reflux during pregnancy third trimester is also quite a common phenomenon.
Here are the causes of heartburn in pregnancy listed down below:
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Maintain A Good Eating And Drinking Habit
Keep in mind that the factors of what, when, and how you consume foods and beverages can directly or indirectly affect your heartburn symptoms. Take note of the following:
- Have your dinner two to three hours before sleeping. Lying down with a full stomach right after eating will cause your stomach content to press against your lower esophageal sphincter .
- Eat a big meal during lunch instead. This is because doing so at dinner will make your stomach work and release gastric juices that may intensify your heartburn.
- Late-night snacking should not be practiced as this can cause symptoms to arise. If you want to do so, have your last snack no later than three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid trigger foods and beverages that include spicy foods, citrus fruits, juices, coffee, and alcohol.
How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern havent helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.
The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center
GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.
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