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How To Help Heartburn At Night

Elevate Your Upper Body

Living with Acid Reflux : How to Treat Nighttime Acid Reflux

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.

Try Slippery Elm To Get Rid Of Heartburn

Slippery elm has been traditionally used by Native Americans for treating various conditions including wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, skin inflammation as well as coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach problems. The herb has mucilage, a component that converts into a slick gel when it is mixed with water. It gives slippery elm its demulcent property due to which it coats and soothes the area where it is directed. In case of heartburn, it coats the layer of mucous that lines your stomach and thus creates a barrier against acid that could not find its way up to your esophagus.

Get this:

  • Add the slippery elm powder to water or milk whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Stir it well to mix the powder completely into the water.
  • You may have it 1-3 times a day depending upon the severity of your heartburn.
  • Have this herbal drink after your meals and at bedtime.

Marshmallow Can Heal Heartburn

The very popular herb marshmallow contains a mucilage property that helps coat your esophagus and stomach lining. This creates a protective barrier against stomach acid and you get rid of heartburn. What more, marshmallow can even repair the damage done to your food pipe and stomach lining by excessive acid.Make Marshmallow Infusion for Heartburn

Get this:

  • In the morning, drink this thick herbal infusion which would taste bitter-sweet.

Precaution: If you are taking some medication, consult your doctor before using any herb.

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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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Foods That May Cause Heartburn

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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
  • Peppermint
  • 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.”

Recommended Reading: Why Am I Having Heartburn Every Night

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.

  • Drink lots of water during the day. It is good for proper digestion. Water dilutes gastric juices and helps you avoid build-up of excessive stomach acid.
  • Always eat smaller meals so that you do not put pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Also, have smaller bites while eating slowly. This lets your stomach work properly to digest the food you eat.
  • Dont go to sleep just after having your meal. Sleep after 2-3 hours of your dinner. This time is for your food to get digested so that you do not experience nighttime heartburn.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight. Extra body weight puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter which eventually loosens and becomes weak giving you heartburn every now and then.
  • Quit smoking as it also makes your lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Drink less alcohol for the same reason.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes. Very tight jeans or belts, for example, will put undue pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter. This may trigger acid reflux.
  • Ways To Quell The Fire Of Heartburn

    Heartburn is a common problem. It’s caused by the backwash of stomach acid into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach. This is formally called gastroesophageal reflux disease . More than just a minor discomfort, heartburn can significantly reduce quality of life. “Heartburn can cause damage to the esophagus and even increase the risk of cancer if ignored and untreated,” says Dr. William Kormos, editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    These eight steps can help ease heartburn.

  • Eat in a heartburn-smart way. Large meals put pressure on the muscle that normally helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. The more you eat, the longer it takes for the stomach to empty, which contributes to reflux. Try smaller, more frequent meals and don’t wolf down your food.
  • Avoid late-night eating. Having a meal or snack within three hours of lying down to sleep can worsen reflux, causing heartburn. Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out.
  • Don’t exercise right after meals. Give your stomach time to empty wait a couple of hours. But don’t just lie down either, which will worsen reflux.
  • Identify and avoid foods associated with heartburn. Common offenders include fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate. Carbonated beverages cause belching, which also causes reflux.
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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:

    • Heartburn
    • Sour or bitter taste in mouth
    • Feeling of food stuck in your throat
    • Burping
    • Nausea

    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.

    How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally While Pregnant

    How to fix Heartburn (GERD) at Night. Acid Reflux at Night Causes

    How to get rid of heartburn with diet?

    We already know acid reflux recurs most at night.

    The relaxation after a hard day needs anything but the best. But, unfortunately, heartburns occur most when you try to rest at night.

    So, the best way to get rid of heartburn when pregnant naturally might include some of these:

    #1. Ginger

    The highly rich whole-meal food is laced with zinc, manganese, and magnesium.

    Oatmeal is not only easy to prepare but also easy to digest.

    Moreover, oatmeal can be made as a part of a meal or dessert.

    Regardless, it will boost metabolism whenever you decide to have a bowl. It also supports better intestinal health.

    Pregnant women can eat it in smaller portions.

    Its one of the most filling foods to get rid of heartburn while pregnant.

    So, these were some of the foods that wont cause heartburn during pregnancy and can help avoid terrible acid refluxes.

    Clearly, there are easy-to-get solutions with natural as well as medicinal options.

    Now, let us look at the causes of heartburn during pregnancy.

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    Vinegar To Cure Heartburn

    Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.

    Get this:

    • Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
    • Now have this water.
    • You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
    • Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.

    Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.

    What Causes Heartburn At Night

    Heartburn occurs as a result of food and stomach acid backing up into the food pipe, or esophagus. Typically, as you swallow food, it passes through the esophagus and into the stomach through a band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter . This sphincter acts as a valve to the stomach, keeping food from moving back into the esophagus. Sometimes, the valve may fail to close completely, allowing food and stomach acid to leak from the stomach into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation called heartburn.

    Read Also: How To Take Away Heartburn When Pregnant

    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.

    Know Your Medication Side Effects

    10 Ways to Eliminate Nighttime Heartburn (With images ...

    Certain medications may contribute to GERD. Some common ones include:

    If these or other medications are causing acid reflux or other symptoms, tell your doctor. Alternative treatments may be available.

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    Is Gerd Keeping You Up At Night

    People with GERD often have a hard time getting a good night’s sleep because of persistent acid reflux. Find out how to cut down on this problem.

    Youre trying to get a good nights sleep, but it just isnt happening. In addition to tossing and turning, the burning sensation of heartburn isnt making your sleep efforts any easier.

    Whats going on? Was it something you ate? Your sleeping position?

    Heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, are frequent causes of sleeplessness. As many as one in four people who experience sleep disturbances report that they have nighttime heartburn.

    For people who have been diagnosed with GERD, the rate is even higher three people out of four report having nocturnal GERD symptoms. These individuals are more likely to suffer sleep problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, and daytime sleepiness as a result of their nighttime heartburn.

    Sleeplessness poses a serious health problem. In addition to the physical and mental effects that stem from lack of sleep, people who experience nocturnal GERD are at greater risk for some of the worst complications of the disease, including erosive esophagitis, dyspepsia, and esophageal cancer.

    How Does GERD Disturb Sleep?

    Researchers have figured out several ways in which GERD-related acid reflux interferes with sleep:

    GERD and Sleep Position: Dos and Don’ts

    If you are a GERD sufferer, you can do a lot to improve your quality of sleep by changing your sleeping position. Doctors recommend that you:

    When Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn

    Have a conversation with your doctor as soon as you start noticing heartburn symptoms that recur often, since they may indicate youre experiencing GERD or another disorder. If youre unable to manage your symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor about the next steps. If you are experiencing pain in your chest, seek medical intervention immediately to rule out any other illnesses.

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    Pick Comfy Pajamas And Clothes

    Pajamas that are too tight or cut into your belly are not just uncomfortable they may also worsen nighttime heartburn. “Tight pajamas increase pressure in your abdomen and may increase reflux events at night,” Gabbard says. Opt for a loose-fitting, lightweight, comfortable pair. The same goes for daytime clothing: Make sure your clothes don’t fit too snugly so you don’t put pressure on your stomach all day and set the stage for nighttime heartburn.

    What Causes This Burning Sensation

    Heartburn Remedies and Nighttime Heart Burn Relief at Night

    When you eat, food passes down your throat and through your esophagus to your stomach. A muscle controls the opening between the esophagus and the stomach. It remains tightly closed except when you swallow food.

    When this muscle fails to close after food passes through, the acidic contents of your stomach can travel back up into the esophagus. Doctors refer to this backward movement as reflux. When stomach acid hits the lower part of the esophagus, it can produce a burning sensation. This is what we call heartburn or, more formally, gastroesophageal reflux disease .

    About one in 10 adults has heartburn at least once a week, and 1 in 3 have it every month, says Dr. Gabbard. About 10 to 20% of adults have chronic heartburn.

    Recommended Reading: Will Apple Cider Vinegar Stop Heartburn

    Big Meals And Eating Certain Foods

    The occasional episode of acid reflux may also just be the result of a little more acid production than usual perhaps brought on by a particularly large meal or your sensitivity to certain foods.

    And if you lie down before all your food is digested, you run the risk of having some of that excess acid leak through the sphincter.

    Regardless of the cause of your acid reflux, lying down whether its at night or during the day is bound to worsen symptoms and prolong the time it will take your body to digest your food completely.

    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

  • Have half an apple after each of your meals.
  • If you suffer from night heartburn, eat half an apple before you go to sleep.
  • You may also have 1 tsp of raw organic honey or blackstrap molasses with half of your apple. Both of them are rich sources of potassium and help create an alkaline environment in your stomach. This will only increase the efficiency of apples in preventing heartburn.
  • If you do not so much like to have apples, juice it. Add a little honey to your apple juice and have it.
  • 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.

    Also Check: What Heartburn Medicine Is Safe While Pregnant

    Chew Gum To Get Rid Of Heartburn

    A research shows that people with gastroesophageal reflux disease got relief when they were asked to chew sugar-free gum for about half an hour after a meal. When you chew gum, it stimulates your salivary glands to increase the flow of saliva. This saliva washes away or neutralizes your stomach acid giving you instant relief from heartburn.

    Get this:

    • Place the piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth after you have finished your meal.
    • Now chew this for 25-30 minutes.

    Can I Choke In My Sleep From Acid Reflux

    How To Relieve Heartburn In The Middle Of The Night â ho ...

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition marked by repeated episodes of acid reflux that can affect your quality of life. Most patients with GERD experience an increase in severity of heartburn symptoms while sleeping or attempting to sleep. Beyond just heartburn, if the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and far enough to reach the throat and larynx, you may wake up coughing and choking at night.

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