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How To Know If Your Having Heartburn

What Does Heartburn Feel Like When Pregnant

How Do I Know If I Have Reflux?

Suffering heartburn in pregnancy is common, and is the result of a whole host of changes your body is going through. Just one of these is the increase of the hormone progesterone, which causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, sending gastric acid up the esophagus and causing the tell-tale burning sensation.3 If you havent had heartburn before, be reassured that it is common.3 To help reduce the risk of heartburn and ease symptoms, eat small meals, avoid fatty or greasy foods, and wait at least three hours after eating before lying down.3 Always talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you before using TUMS.

What Makes It Worse

Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.

Signs And Symptoms Of Acid Reflux

Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. People with heartburn feel a burning sensation inside their chest. Heartburn often occurs after consuming a meal. The feeling of heartburn can get more intense during the night.

The location of heartburn discomfort can cause some people to believe they might be having a heart attack. If symptoms of heartburn fail to clear up after taking medication, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Ten common symptoms that people with GERD or other forms of acid reflux experience include:

  • Problems swallowing
  • The feeling of a lump in your throat
  • Regurgitating food or sour liquids
  • The onset of or worsening of asthma

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Look Beyond Chest Pain Symptoms

When you have a heart attack, its because one of the coronary arteries that provide blood to the heart is blocked. The blockage obstructs the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart.

When you think of a heart attack, you may picture a person clutching their chest and collapsing from sudden, severe pain. But the symptoms of a heart attack often are much more subtle. This is especially true for women, Dr. Abdallah says.

A study by researchers at the University of British Columbia showed women are slightly less likely than men to experience chest pain during a heart attack.

Instead, they often suffer from subtle symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the arms, neck or jaw.
  • Sweating or cold sweat.
  • Feelings of fullness, indigestion or choking .
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Lightheadedness, dizziness, extreme weakness or anxiety.

People with diabetes who are having a heart attack often have atypical or minimal symptoms, Dr. Abdallah says. If you have diabetes, you should seek medical attention for even slight chest or stomach pain or discomfort.

Treatments For Acid Reflux

How to Improves the Heartburn and Reflux

Your doctor may recommend treating milder forms of acid reflux through a combination of lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. If you are diagnosed with GERD, the doctor may write you a prescription to help with the symptoms.

If lifestyle changes and medication fail to provide relief, a physician might recommend that you have surgery for acid reflux. Available surgical options for treating the condition include:

  • Fundoplication– A minimally invasive procedure that involves wrapping the area around your lower esophageal sphincter to tighten that muscle, preventing reflux.
  • LINX device – Your surgeon wraps a ring of small magnetic beads around the place where your stomach and esophagus meet. The magnetized beads’ strength keeps that juncture closed but still allows food to pass to your stomach.

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A Digestive Problem That Affects Roughly 18 Percent Of The Us Population

More than 60 million people in the United States experience heartburn at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology .

The group also notes that according to some studies, over 15 million Americans have heartburn symptoms every single day.

Heartburn is more common in older people and pregnant women.

In fact, between 17 and 45 percent of pregnant women report episodes of heartburn, according to a study published in September 2015 in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence.

Harvard Medical School notes that according to one survey, 65 percent of people with heartburn experience symptoms both during the day and at night.

Among those who report nighttime symptoms, 75 percent experience trouble sleeping as a result, and 40 percent say that it affects their job performance the next day.

While both occasional and frequent heartburn commonly cause discomfort, only about 6 percent of the population has heartburn that causes ongoing functional problems, according to the ACG.

Proton Pump Inhibitors And H2 Blockers For Reducing Acid Production

Two types of medication that your doctor may prescribe to you are proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers.

Both of these can be highly effective at reducing acid production in the stomach. Both are also available in over-the-counter forms, although these arent as strong as the prescription versions.

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Heartburn And Chest Pain

Wondering what does heartburn feel like? Normally, heartburn can result in an uncomfortable sensation or pain in your chest behind the breastbone. Some sufferers experience it as a tightening feeling in the chest, while others describe it as a sharp pain. It may also radiate up towards the throat.3 This pain can last a matter of minutes to several hours4and may get worse at night or when you lie down.3

What To Do If You Have Frequent Heartburn

Heart Attack vs. Heartburn: How to Tell the Difference?

If you suffer from more-than-occasional heartburn or indigestion, it is important that you seek attention from a health care professional as soon as possible. These may be symptoms of a serious medical condition like a heart attack, ulcer, or gallbladder disease. Furthermore, the symptoms of heartburn may be a sign of damage to the esophagus which can lead to scarring and narrowing of the esophagus or to abnormal cell growth, increasing the risk of cancer.

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Common Symptoms Of Heartburn

If you’ve got a burning feeling in your chest just behind your breastbone that starts after you eat, it might be heartburn. The symptoms could last from a few minutes to several hours.

Heartburn begins when stomach acid splashes up into your esophagus, a tube that connects the back of your throat and stomach. Besides the burning feeling in your chest, you may also get:

  • Chest pain, especially after you bend over, lie down, or eat
  • Burning at the back of your throat
  • Fluid at the back of your throat that tastes hot, sour, acidic, or salty
  • Long-term cough, sore throat, or hoarseness

Telling your doctor about these symptoms is usually all they need to make a diagnosis of heartburn. But they may ask you to take special tests to find out how severe the problem is or to keep an eye on your treatment.

Diagnosis And Tests For Acid Reflux

Doctors typically start by asking questions about your medical history and how long youve been experiencing symptoms of acid reflux. They usually move on to performing a physical exam. Your physician may also recommend other tests to determine whether you have GERD or another kind of acid reflux, like:

  • Endoscopy A thin, flexible tube gets inserted down your throat. The end contains a light and a camera, which allows a doctor to view the inside of the stomach and esophagus.
  • Ambulatory acid probe test Your doctor places a monitor into your esophagus to observe when your stomach acid regurgitates, and for how long. The monitor feeds information to a small computer worn around your waist or held up by your shoulder with a strap. It typically passes out of your body through stool after a few days.
  • Digestive system x-ray After drinking a special liquid that coats your digestive tract, your doctor takes x-rays that lets doctors see the outline of your stomach, esophagus, and lower intestine. Your physician may also ask you to take a barium pill that helps diagnose whether you have an esophageal stricture.

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How To Tell If You Have Heartburn Acid Reflux Or Gerd

Are heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease all the same thing? Burning, nausea, indigestion, acid backwash that burns the throat, upset stomach, general digestive discomfort, the ability to breathe fire Kind of like being in a Pepto-Bismol commercial, but with the disposition of an irritable dragon.

Despite the commonality of making you miserable, these three conditions are not the same. Knowing the difference will help you properly treat symptoms and ideally, avoid them before they start.

Heartburn And Acidic Throat

5 Ways To know if you have Acid Reflux and Heartburn

As gastric acid from your stomach moves up your esophagus, it may create a burning feeling in your chest and throat. Stomach acid can also leave a nasty taste in your mouth this may be sour, salty, hot or acidic. This acid irritation can lead to a sore throat and a dry cough. It can also cause a painless lump in your throat.

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Heartburn Bloating And Belching

Bloating, belching and heartburn after eating can be caused by consuming particularly fatty or oily foods. When it comes to drinks, carbonated or alcoholic beverages can lead to excess gas and bloating. Equally, wearing tight or restrictive clothing around your waistline may exacerbate the problem further, so it may be a good idea to wear loose clothing while eating.5 You should not try to relieve gas by belching, as this can make heartburn worse as it causes more acid to rise in your throat.6 Find out more about the causes of heartburn so you can identify your personal triggers.

Symptoms Can Last Up To Several Hours After Onset

Heartburn involves a burning, painful sensation behind your breastbone in the center of your chest.

This pain often gets worse after you eat, in the evening, when you bend over, or when you lie down.

Episodes of heartburn can last between a few minutes and several hours.

In addition to burning sensations in your chest, heartburn may also involve:

  • A burning sensation in your throat
  • Fluid in your throat that tastes bitter, sour, or salty
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A sense that food is stuck in your chest or lower throat

Heartburn often begins after youve eaten a large meal, but it can also be triggered by certain foods even if you dont eat very much.

Also Check: What Is Frequent Heartburn A Symptom Of

Not Sure If What Youre Feeling Is A Heart Attack Or Heartburn

I tell my patients that if you belch and the symptoms go away, it probably isnt related to your heart but to your esophagus, Bauman said. But if you have shortness of breath or sweating, then its likely a heart-related issue.

However, everyone is different, and not all symptoms are caused by one or the other, so:

Adopting A Diet To Help Prevent Symptoms Of Gerd

Heartburn (GERD): Why You Should Get Treated

Making changes to your diet to reduce GERD pain arent just about changing what you eat.

Theyre also about changing how much you eat and how often. Now, dont panic this isnt about starving yourself.

Adopting a GERD diet is simply a matter of reducing the size of each meal you eat so you arent putting too much strain on the stomach at any given time.

When it comes to specific foods, changes should be about avoiding the foods that make GERD worse for you and cleaning up your diet if youre currently eating a lot of junk food.

As a general guideline you should try to avoid greasy and fatty foods, chocolate, citrus fruits, minty foods, coffee, Coke and carbonated drinks in general.

Also, think about restricting your intake of alcohol and cigarettes if those are things you indulge in often. Reducing or eliminating these two things alone can make a significant difference.

The timing of your meals in relation to going to bed is also more important, because GERD tends to be worse when youre lying doing.

When youre in bed, you dont have the help of gravity to keep acid in the stomach, so more acid tends to leak into the esophagus as a result.

Try to avoid eating any large meals within three hours of bed time. This should allow any GERD symptoms to pass and let you get a good nights sleep.

What Would You Like to Read Now After This Article on Symptoms of GERD?

What is GERD, the Causes of GERD and a Natural Cure for GERD?

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Differentiating Heartburn From Other Diseases

  • 1Know the difference between acid reflux and a heart attack. Pain from a heart attack generally feels like squeezing or tightening in the chest. Oftentimes, you may have jaw or back pain in addition to pain in your chest. You may also feel it in your arms. It can feel different from heartburn pain, which usually moves up into your chest and burns.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • However, acid reflux can be a sign of a heart attack, so if you’re ever unsure, you should go to the emergency room.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Other symptoms of heart attacks include breaking out in a cold sweat, not being able to breath properly, feeling very tired, feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and having jaw and arm pain.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • 2Understand how asthma can act like GERD. You may have been diagnosed with asthma as an adult if you have frequent coughing after meals or shortness of breath. However, sometimes acid reflux looks much like asthma. The main way you can tell that it is actually acid reflux is if you mostly have asthma attacks at night or if you often have them when you lie down. Ask your doctor if your asthma could really be acid reflux, or talk to her if you think acid reflux may be making your asthma worse.XResearch source
  • 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.

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    When To See The Doctor About Acid Reflux

    You should see a doctor about your acid reflux if it gets to a point where its causing persistent discomfort in your daily life. The condition is not life-threatening, but you can end up with some serious complications.

    GERD can lead to chronic inflammation in your esophagus. You could end up with the following conditions if you dont receive proper and timely treatment:

    • Esophageal stricture An esophageal stricture forms when your lower esophagus ends up with damage from stomach acids, leading to scar tissue formation. The presence of that scar tissue causes your food pathway to narrow, which causes you to have trouble swallowing your food.
    • Esophageal ulcer An esophageal ulcer is a sore that develops when your stomach acid wears away the issue of your esophagus. It can start bleeding, which can cause pain and leads to problems with swallowing.
    • Barretts esophagus The damage caused in your lower esophagus tissue by stomach acid can induce changes that increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer.

    What Are The Treatment Options

    Chest Discomfort? How to Know if Itâs Serious

    If you have heartburn, your provider may prescribe over-the-counter antacids, which may come in a chewable tablet. They might also recommend prescription drugs such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, which reduce how much acid your stomach makes.

    Providers may also recommend lifestyle changes, like losing weight and quitting smoking, which can increase stomach acid production. Other changes often include reducing stress, exercising more, avoiding food around bedtime, raising the head of the bed about 6 inches, and eating more high-protein, low-fat meals.

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    Identifying Symptoms Of Gerd In Children

    It can be hard to pick up on the symptoms of GERD in a young child as the symptoms can differ from those experienced by adults.

    If you have a baby or toddler who cant yet speak enough to describe symptoms to you, here are some of the visual indicators to keep an eye out for:

    • Regurgitation and vomiting these are amongst the most common symptoms in babies
    • Coughing
    • Fussy behavior
    • Burping
    • Heartburn

    What Causes Heartburn

    To know why heartburn happens, it can help to understand how your esophagus and stomach work. When you eat, the food passes down a long tube that connects your mouth and stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. At the bottom of the esophagus is a valve, called the esophageal sphincter. This valve opens to let food through and then closes to keep your stomach contents down. Inside your stomach is a very strong acidic mixture that starts the process of breaking down your food . Your stomach is designed to hold this mixture. However, your esophagus isnt able to hold this mixture without getting hurt.

    Sometimes, the valve that separates your stomach and esophagus doesnt close properly, and some of the acidic mixture from your stomach goes back up the esophagus. This is called reflux. When you have reflux, youll often feel the burning sensation thats heartburn. There are a few medical conditions that can cause reflux and make you feel heartburn, including:

    • Pregnancy.
    • Hiatal hernia .
    • Gastroesophageal reflux disease .
    • Certain medications, especially anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.

    Heartburn can also be caused by your eating habits including the foods you eat, how large your meals are and how close to bedtime you eat and certain lifestyle habits.

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