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.
Sleep With Your Head And Shoulder On An Incline
Lying down flat presses the stomach’s contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure and keeps stomach contents where they belongin the stomach. You can elevate your head in a couple of ways. You can place bricks, blocks or anything that’s sturdy securely under the legs at the head of your bed. You can also use a wedge-shaped pillow to elevate your head.
Consider Eating Less Chocolate
GERD patients are sometimes advised to avoid or limit their consumption of chocolate. However, the evidence for this recommendation is weak.
One small, uncontrolled study showed that consuming 4 ounces of chocolate syrup weakened the lower esophageal sphincter .
Another controlled study found that drinking a chocolate beverage increased the amount of acid in the esophagus, compared to a placebo .
Nevertheless, further studies are needed before any strong conclusions can be made about the effects of chocolate on reflux symptoms.
There is limited evidence that chocolate worsens reflux symptoms. A few studies suggest it might, but more research is needed.
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How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t 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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What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn
Heartburn is caused by the contents of your stomach moving back up your esophagus , usually due to a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter . The LES is a muscle at the end of your esophagus that usually tightens to keep your stomach’s contents in your stomach. However, this muscle can become weak or relaxed at the wrong times .
Heartburn symptoms include :
- a mild to moderate painful sensation right under your breastbone, sometimes radiating into your back or up your neck
- The taste of acid in your mouth, commonly caused by regurgitation
While anyone can experience heartburn after a heavy meal, experiencing heartburn frequently may mean that it is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease . Often, people use the term heartburn interchangeably with GERD. However, heartburn is a symptom of GERD, not the disorder itself.
GERD symptoms are a bit more severe. GERD is marked by any of these symptoms :
- Sensation of a lump in the throat
Try Sleeping On Your Left Side
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the upper portion of the digestive tract is not functioning properly, causing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube linking the mouth to the stomach. In normal digestion, a specialized ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and then quickly closes to prevent backflow into the esophagus. The LES can malfunction, allowing contents from the stomach, including food and digestive juices, such as hydrochloric acid, to push up into the esophagus. In GERD, this backflow is ongoing.
When you are standing, or sitting upright, gravity helps prevent stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. However, reflux can become much worse while you are sleeping or lying in bed without the aid of gravity, it is much easier for stomach contents to spill through the malfunctioning LES and flow into the esophagus. This leads to an increase in symptoms, such as a burning in the chest, the feeling of food or liquid rising into the mouth, a sour or bitter taste, a sore throat, and coughing, which can make getting a good nights sleep a difficult task.
First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 201 2017
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Maintain A Moderate Weight
Obesity or overweight can influence the frequency of experiencing acid reflux. This is because extra weight, especially around the abdomen, can put pressure on the stomach and lead to acid spilling up into the esophagus.
Sometimes weight loss can help reduce symptoms. Speak to your doctor to see if they recommend this.
Eat Bananas To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Bananas can be categorized as natural antacids as they lessen the effect of your acid reflux. This is enough a reason to have the tasty banana for getting relief from heartburn. High on potassium which is an alkalizing mineral with a pH of 14, banana helps in moderating the acidity of your stomach by increasing its pH. Higher the pH, lower is the acidity. However, you need to eat a ripe, preferably overripe banana because the bananas that are green or are not overripe contain potassium in the form of potassium nitrate and this can actually make your heartburn more painful. Potassium is not the only reason for bananas being such a good remedy for heartburn. Bananas also have such a chemical that stimulates your stomach lining and thus it produces more mucus to act as a buffer against acid.
- Overripe banana
- This will keep your heartburn away.
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Right Side: Its Not Right For Acid Reflux
Position #2 to avoid at night issleeping flat on your right side. When lying flat on your right side, your stomach is actually above your esophagus creating a leaky faucet spouting stomach acid into the delicate lining of your esophagus. This is especially true when your stomach is full. Interestingly, when lying flat on your right side, your reflux symptoms tend to be more liquid in nature4 leading to regurgitation, coughing, and choking, which can be very scary in the middle of the night. Since gravity is doing nothing for you in this position, the amount of time acid lingers in your esophagus is much longer5 so stay off your right side.
So, back sleeping is bad. Right side sleeping is bad. Whats a GERD sufferer to do?
Take An Antacid When Heartburn Hits
Antacids will work very quickly on heartburn you may be experiencing before you go to bed. It can also be used for those heartburn episodes that wake you up during the night if the heartburn comes back. Unfortunately, this is very possible. An H2 blocker taken at bedtime takes 30 to 90 minutes to work and the benefits typically last several hours. Symptoms may improve for up to 24 hours after taking the drug. Another option is to combine the two. The antacid will provide the quick relief you need, and will likely last until the H2 blocker begins to work.
If you continue to experience frequent heartburn symptoms at night, even after trying to narrow down the cause, see your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to diagnose whether you are suffering from just occasional heartburn, or something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, an ulcer, or a hiatal hernia. You will be able to discuss with your healthcare provider different treatment options, including medications such as proton pump inhibitors.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Occasional heartburn is common and can often be self-treated with OTC medications and lifestyle changes. If your nighttime heartburn symptoms worsen, or two or more times a week, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease . While GERD is not life threatening, you should talk to a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a couple weeks. Some individuals are able to manage the discomfort of GERD on their own, but in some cases, stronger medications or surgery may be needed to ease symptoms.
*BASED ON 9-HOUR ACID CONTROL STUDIES DURING THE DAY AND 12-HOUR ACID CONTROL STUDIES DURING THE NIGHT. ACID CONTROL DOES NOT IMPLY SYMPTOM RELIEF.
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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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.
What Are You Going To Do To Cure Your Heartburn
Are you simply going to treat the heartburn with short-term remedies or are you going to attack the real underlying problem that is driving your symptoms? I suspect that the larger long-term recommendations are a bit intimidating and you are not sure if you can make that type of commitment. You are not alone.
Here is an approach that may help you ease into building your path to relief and good health:
We know you can do this because so many others before you have succeeded. Dont delay, this is your disease and its your quality of life that is at risk. You can do this!
This article is from Reflux MD
Medical Resources Used for This Article
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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.
Enjoy A Different After
The icky taste in your mouth accompanied by that uncomfortable heartburn feeling in your chest is caused by stomach acid flowing up into your esophagus. To help ease these symptoms, chew gum or suck on hard candy they may stimulate saliva, which can neutralize acid in the esophagus, Gabbard says. Just be sure to avoid peppermint and chocolate, both of which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid into the esophagus.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Gerd
Almost everyone experiences acid reflux from time to time particularly after eating an especially large or spicy meal. Some of the symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Sour or bitter taste in mouth
- Feeling of food stuck in your throat
If youve been experiencing acid reflux on a regular basis, then you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease . GERD is a digestive disorder characterized by frequent, recurring bouts of acid reflux and heartburn. It interferes with the proper functioning of your lower esophageal sphincter , the clump of muscles that prevents your stomach contents from surging back up into your esophagus. If GERD symptoms are left untreated, chronic reflux can damage your esophageal lining and lead to more serious health problems.
Do Certain Activities Cause Heartburn
High-impact sports, such as running, rowing, high intensity interval training, and powerlifting, as well as activities that are done while the body is inverted or flat, like swimming or yoga, can cause heartburn or make it worse . Heartburn is caused by a loosening of the lower esophageal muscle. Exercises that push the stomach or keep the body from being upright may contribute to heartburn and GERD.
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy. If you struggle with heartburn, opt for lower impact, upright activities, like walking, light jogging or easy cycling. If you prefer to engage in high-intensity workouts, it could help to adjust when you eat. Try to eat a few hours before your workout to prevent heartburn.
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Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Fried food
- Carbonated beverages
“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”
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.
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