Four Things To Do Throughout The Day
Is Acid Reflux Serious
Most people experience acid reflux from time to time and should not be alarmed. Its a common experience after ingesting certain food or drink. However, frequent acid reflux can damage the esophagus.
When acid reflux occurs two or more times a week, symptoms have developed into gastroesophageal reflux disease . Left untreated, GERD can lead to esophagitis, Barretts esophagus, and other serious complications including an increased risk of esophageal cancer.
What Causes Acid Reflux And Heartburn
But what exactly causes the uncomfortable feeling experienced with acid reflux and heartburn? As it turns out, acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, irritating the tissue. Heartburn, or acid indigestion, is then a symptom of acid reflux occurring. Normally when you swallow, a band of muscle around the bottom of your esophagus relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then the muscle tightens again. If this muscle relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus. This then can result in acid reflux and heartburn.
This reaction is characterized by a burning or discomfort in the center of your chest. It may also possibly involve a sour, bitter, or acidic taste in the back of the throat. The discomfort is typically worse after youve eaten, when lying down, or later in the evening. And although the discomfort is typically not a reason for concern, it can be irritating.
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Eating Spinach Can Potentially Help Reduce Stomach Acidity
Spinach is rich in calcium, which increases bone health, and its highly alkaline, which helps the stomach to reduce acidity levels, Scabardi said. Spinach is a versatile ingredient that can be added to recipes or smoothies in order to get the most out of its potentially soothing impact on heartburn.
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How To Avoid Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into your oesophagus, a muscular tube that joins your throat and stomach. The most frequent symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, which is a burning sensation in your chest. Also, repeated meal taste in the back of your mouth is another symptom.
Acid reflux is often referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease . You may have gastroesophageal reflux disease if you have it more than twice a week. GERD symptoms include difficulty swallowing, coughing or breathing and chest pain, in addition to severe heartburn.
Discover how you can prevent this disease. You may find relief through lifestyle modifications, medication, or surgery.
Acid Reflux and Heartburn Risk Factors
Acid reflux and heartburn can affect any time. You might notice them if you eat a lot of spicy food or high-fat foods.
You are more likely to get GERD if you:
- have diabetes
- have overweight or obese
- are pregnant
According to Jacqueline L. Wolf, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, People who induce vomiting, or have in the past, can have an increased risk of heartburn.
You can prevent mild cases of GERD by adopting a few lifestyle changes which include:
Heartburn can be caused by a variety of foods. Take note of how you feel after consuming various foods. They could be:
- fatty or fried foods
- carbonated beverages, such as soda
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Will Heartburn Go Away On Its Own
For many people, occasional heartburn is common. By watching what you eat and avoiding certain triggers , you may be able to prevent heartburn or manage it. If you find that you frequently experience heartburn and that it keeps getting worse, it could be a sign of a medical condition like GERD. In these cases, your heartburn will not go away without treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider so that you can develop a treatment plan.
Home Remedies For Heartburn Chamomile Tea
Chamomile can reduce the inflammation in the stomach. In addition, it can relieve stress and help you sleep well. Chamomile also soothes gastrointestinal irritation and reduces gastric acidity, thereby helping you get relief from the heartburn. In order to make this remedy, you had better prepare these ingredients:
- A teaspoon of dried chamomile flower petals
- A strainer
- Pour the tea into a glass
- Add honey or lemon if you want
- Do this 2 or 3 times during a day and repeat daily till your heartburn is taken away.
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What Is The Quickest Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Taking antacids is considered the quickest way to get rid of heartburn. These over-the-counter medications help neutralize stomach acid. They are one of the first recommended treatments. They may provide quick relief. However, antacid overuse can cause problems such as diarrhea or chronic kidney disease, especially if they contain aluminum and magnesium.
Other common ways to get rid of heartburn include
- H2 receptor blockers: These medications work to reduce the amount of acid that is made in the stomach. While they do not work as quickly as antacids, they provide longer relief for up to 12 hours. Examples of these include Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac and Axid AR. Although most people have no problems taking them, long-term use can cause vitamin B12 deficiency leading to an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Proton pump inhibitors: This class of medications block acid production. They also help to heal any damage caused to the lining of the esophagus. They are much stronger than the H2 receptor blockers and include Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Zegerid. Excessive use of these medications can cause diarrhea and nausea, vitamin B12 deficiency and an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Baclofen: This medication works to strengthen the muscular valve present at the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. However, it may cause nausea and fatigue in some people.
- Surgical procedures: In rare cases, these are required to help with severe heartburn symptoms.
How Is Gerd Diagnosed
Usually your provider can tell if you have simple acid reflux by talking with you about your symptoms and medical history. You and your provider can talk about controlling your symptoms through diet and medications.
If these strategies dont help, your provider may ask you to get tested for GERD. Tests for GERD include:
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What Is Acid Reflux
Theres a ringlike muscle where your esophagus meets your stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter . A properly working LES protects the esophagus from the acid in your stomach by keeping the pathway between them clenched shut.
When the LES is loose or too relaxed, acidic gastric juices can bubble up into your esophagus, which is a major cause of acid reflux.
A little bit of reflux is normal. But if you have excessive stomach acid in your esophagus, youre likely to be in a lot of discomfort.
Its very common, says Naveen Narahari, MD, of REX Digestive Healthcare. On any given week, 60 percent of the adult population might have some kind of reflux. But we look closely at patients who have symptoms frequently over the course of a week.
Three or more times a week is cause for concern, adds Ruth Mokeba, MD, of REX Digestive Healthcare, as well as high intensity of symptoms. We can help these patients improve their quality of life and hopefully reduce their chances of developing a more serious disease like Barretts esophagus or esophageal cancer.
A complication of long-term GERD, Barretts esophagus changes a patients esophageal lining. This tissue damage leads to an increased risk of cancer.
Ways To Relieve Acid Reflux Without Medication
A few lifestyle changes are worth trying before resorting to drugs for controlling gastroesophageal reflux.
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if youve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. Thats the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesnt close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feel like youre having a heart attack.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Womans Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
If youve been having repeated episodes of heartburnor any other symptoms of acid refluxyou might try the following:
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- Take the burn out of heartburn
- Symptoms of GERD
Eat A Banana Or An Apple
Bananas contain natural antacids that can act as a buffer against acid reflux. If you want to try out the simplest home remedies for heartburn first, try letting a few bananas ripen up nicely and eating one every day. Another option is to try an apple a day. Slice one up and eat it a couple of hours before bedtime to relieve or prevent discomfort.
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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.
- Place the piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth after you have finished your meal.
- Now chew this for 25-30 minutes.
Acid Reflux And Heartburn Risk Factors
Acid reflux and heartburn can affect anyone at any time. You may encounter these symptoms, for example, if you eat too quickly. Also, you might notice them if you eat much spicy food or high-fat sweets.
If you are overweight or obese, you are more prone to get GERD.
Are expecting, have diabetes and smoke.
Some cases of GERD may be exacerbated by eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia nervosa. People who induce vomiting, or have in the past, says Jacqueline L. Wolf, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, may have an increased risk of heartburn.
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Holistic Dietary Strategies For Gerd
A comprehensive GERD treatment plan must consider additional factors beyond basic dietary changes.
For many people with digestive issues, restoring balance to the bacterial flora in the intestines may be beneficial. Eating fermented and pre-biotic foods might help to achieve this.
People call the bacteria in these foods probiotics. Probiotics may reduce digestive issues by balancing the digestive system as a whole. Prebiotics are foods that are rich in fibers that selectively grow beneficial bacteria.
Foods that contain natural probiotics include:
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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.
Four Things To Do After Eating
With these small changes, you can help your heartburn even if you suffer from GERD. Just remember The Rule of Fours and you will reduce or maybe even eliminate your acid reflux.
Take A Mindful Eating Approach
Eating quickly and overeating are connected to heartburn and reflux. Sometimes you may not even realize that you’re eating quickly. You may not notice that you keep eating even after your body is signaling that it’s full.
Practicing mindful-eating techniques may help you slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Here’s how:
- Pause before each meal. Take a moment to look at your meal. Observe what is on your plate and enjoy the way the food smells. Also, take a moment to notice how hungry you are before you take your first bite.
- Eliminate distractions at mealtime. Avoid reading, checking your phone, or watching television while you eat.
- Chew each bite thoroughly.
- Eat smaller meals rather than big meals. Overeating puts more pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter.
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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.
Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.
Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.
“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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Is Gerd Dangerous Or Life
GERD isnt life-threatening or dangerous in itself. But long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:
- Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
- Barrett’s esophagus: Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barretts esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
- Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barretts esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
- Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.
Avoid Your Trigger Foods
You may have already discovered that certain foods can trigger your heartburn and reflux symptoms. Try keeping a food and symptom diary to help you identify foods that worsen your reflux, so you know what to stay away from.
Here are some common food triggers:
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
Some people find that sweets, high-glycemic index foods , and meals that are too hot may trigger heartburn.
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