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:
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn At Night
- What should you know about heartburn?
Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root
Some mamas find relief from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Due to their gummy consistency, they coat the intestines and soothe digestion. Be sure to use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner and away from food and supplementsthey can interfere with nutrient absorption.
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Does Heartburn Impact Mental Health
Heartburn symptoms can be distressing and painful. Although heartburn does not cause mental health disorders, there does appear to be a link between heartburn and an increase in depression and anxiety .
Heartburn symptoms can include chest pains. Heartburn patients report an increase in anxiety when experiencing chest pains. Depression and stress are known to impact the gastrointestinal system, and therefore may make heartburn worse. Additionally, heartburn can cause disruptions in sleep and there is evidence that poor sleep impacts mental health as well.
What To Eat And Drink For Heartburn Relief
Lets say you have heartburn right nowwhat can you do to get some relief? You could try drinking low-fat or no-fat milk, says Zumpano. This can act as an acid reducer, like OTC calcium-based antacids. Another option: Drinking herbal tea for heartburn relief, although you should steer clear of peppermint tea, which may cause heartburn rather than relieve it.
And this is an odd but effective food remedy: Add a hearty dose of mustard to your mealit may help neutralize your stomach acid, relieving that burning pain, says Zumpano. Mustard also stimulates saliva production, which acts as a lubricant and coats your esophagus, protecting it from stomach acid.
What about baking soda? A go-to heartburn solution for years, it can provide the relief youre looking for. Its a natural remedy, says Zumpano. Baking soda is a base, so it offsets the acidity in your esophagus and your gut. Try a teaspoon or even a half of a teaspoon dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of water. Dont overdo it, though: Too much baking soda may be harmful, leading to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Women who are pregnant and people with chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney disease, should avoid baking soda altogether.
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Sleep With Your Upper Body Elevated
People suffering from lack of sleep due to acid reflux at night may be reluctant to peel themselves out of their armchair or recliner when it comes time to go to sleep. Whilst we know how comfortable these chairs are, we also know that avoiding laying down isnt a long-term solution.
As mentioned earlier on, were more vulnerable to the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD when were laid down. However, this can be managed by sleeping with your upper body in a more elevated position, as the stomach acid finds it more difficult to rise towards the chest.
Some people may try getting their head and shoulders more upright by stacking a few sturdy pillows around their usual pillow and this is a great way to test whether this sleeping position relieves your heartburn.
If you find sleeping like this helps, you may want to look for a more ergonomic form of support adjustable beds are specially crafted to form to your body shape to ensure a good nights sleep. Whats more, these beds will allow you to situate yourself in an upright position with ease.
Offering boundless comfort and ultimate neck and head support, adjustable beds can be the answer many are looking for when it comes to alleviating heartburn at night. If youre curious to find out more about them, read more in our All About Adjustable Beds Guide.
What Are Some Ways To Sleep Better With Heartburn
Creating a sleep hygiene routine that is easy and comfortable to follow may also help improve your sleep. Taking steps such as setting a sleep schedule, creating a quiet, dark bedroom environment, and avoiding eating in the hours before you go to sleep might help. Choose pajamas that are loose around the waist to prevent any restriction around the stomach that could impact your heartburn symptoms.
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Treatment For Heartburn And Acid Indigestion During Early Pregnancy
Before jumping into the possible treatment options for pesky heartburn, confirm you are indeed pregnant with your trusted health care provider. They can help you better understand how to approach your symptoms and decide next steps.
If you are indeed pregnant and experiencing heartburn, we recommend taking the following measures to keep your heartburn symptoms at bay.3
- Avoid foods that flare up your symptoms. These might include spicy foods, fried foods or meals, caffeine such as coffee or soda. Create a journal of foods that youve noticed might cause upset stomach.
- Stay away from large meals just before bedtime. This can trigger acid reflux due to your sleeping position.
- Sleep with a pillow wedge that raises your head to deter acid reflux.
- Consult with your doctor to determine whether an antacid, like TUMS, would be right for you.
While its no fun to experience heartburn and acid indigestion, talk to your care provider about the many tools and resources to help you manage. Whether together you decide you should use TUMS to help manage your symptoms or find comfort in pairing antacids with other preventative measures, you have options.
Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a common pregnancy complaint, even among women who never had heartburn before. The most obvious cause? The baby itself. As babies grow in the uterus, they push into the stomach, which can force food and acid back up into the esophagus. An increase in pregnancy hormones can also cause problems. The job of these hormones is to relax abdominal and pelvic muscles to make delivery easier, but they can also cause muscles around the esophageal valve to relax, allowing it to open more easily. And finally, pregnant women may also have trouble digesting their food properly, adding to the heartburn risk.
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If youre pregnant and struggling with heartburn, these are some of the steps, recommended by Stanford Childrens Health in California, to prevent or manage your discomfort:
- Eat small meals more frequently. This gives your stomach time to digest the food.
- Avoid foods that may cause heartburn. Keep track of your diet to see if a particular item is leading to your pain.
- Sleep in an elevated position. Place blocks under the front legs of your bed , slip a wedge under the mattress or elevate your torso with pillows.
If you still have trouble with heartburn, speak with your doctor. Some heartburn medications are safe to take during pregnancy, but some arent.
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When To Seek Care For Heartburn
Dont ignore heartburn. Stomach acid can damage your esophagus and increase your risk of cancer. Sometimes natural remedies and over-the-counter medications are not enough to reduce your symptoms of heartburn, and prescription medications may be necessary.
Schedule a virtual visit with a general practice doctor if lifestyle changes and medicines are not helping, if you have heartburn three to four times per week, or if you have other symptoms such as food getting stuck in your throat, vomiting or unintentional weight loss.
If you have more severe symptoms, such as chest pain, dark-colored vomit, black stools, persistent vomiting, or feel like you are choking, seek care in the Emergency Room right away.
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Sleep On Your Left Side
Stomach sleepers, take note: This is the worst position to sleep in if you have acid reflux, says Besser. Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your stomach and can cause food to come back up, she says. The best sleeping position for acid reflux is on your left side, says Huber, although he notes that no ones entirely sure why. A JAMA Internal Medicine review of studies did find that the lower esophageal sphincter is relaxed for longer when patients lie on their right side. If side sleeping isnt for you, sleeping on your back is suitable too if you have acid reflux, Besser says.
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So Is Heartburn An Early Sign Of Pregnancy
It isfor some women.
Lets back up a second and define heartburn because, for some women, it might be the first time theyve experienced this digestive symptom. Heartburn is a term that describes a burning sensation in your chest. You feel heartburn when stomach acid refluxes, or seeps back up, into your esophagus, the part of the digestive track that connects your mouth to your stomach.
While every womans body is different, and you can certainly experience heartburn and indigestion without being pregnant, heartburn can occur at any point in a pregnancy1. So, a woman may experience heartburn as an early pregnancy symptomeven before she knows shes pregnant.
If you have recently been experiencing symptoms of heartburn and indigestion and think you might be pregnant, see your doctor.
What Causes Heartburn And What Does It Feel Like Exactly
Stomach acid is needed to break down the food you eat, something your stomach has no trouble handling. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is irritated by it.
To keep stomach acid in your stomach and out of your esophagus, a circular ring of muscle at the tube’s base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. When this valve is relaxed, food you’ve consumed is allowed to pass through to your stomach. When contracted, this valve prevents this food and acid from backing up into your esophagus.
If this valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid is allowed to travel back into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. Heartburn is the most well-known and obvious symptom.
It can feel differently depending on its severity, but heartburn symptoms include:
- A burning sensation in your chest, behind your breastbone
- Burning pain that rises up toward your throat
- Having a bitter or sour taste in your mouth
Acid reflux and heartburn are sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition, or even a medication you’re taking in some cases. But, more often than not, they’re triggered by things like your diet and lifestyle choices making the occasional bout of heartburn fairly common.
Common triggers of heartburn include:
- Overeating or eating too quickly
- Lying down too soon after eating
- Consuming certain foods, including caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, peppermint, citrus, tomato-based products, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- Being overweight
- Stress and anxiety
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally While Pregnant
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:
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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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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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.
Benefits Of Sleeping At An Incline
According to an article published in the journal Missouri medicine, head of bed elevation is proven to manage GERD. It limits how often stomach acid escapes to the esophagus, allows your body to get stomach acid back to your stomach quicker, and reduces the symptoms of GERD. Likewise, a 2012 study suggests that elevating the head while lying down may reduce nighttime acid reflux and help manage heartburn and poor sleep from nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux.
As long as your entire torso is raised , sleeping at an incline gives gravity a power boost to return stomach acid to your stomach and keep it there.
Speak with your doctor if you think you have GERD or any other sleep disorder so they can prescribe interventions appropriate for your case.
Is It Just Heartburn Or Gerd
Frequent heartburn can be a major issue. If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease .
In this chronic condition, frequent exposure to stomach acid irritates and damages the esophagus. Over time, that can lead to problems such as difficulty swallowing. An estimated 40 percent of Americans report symptoms of GERD but the condition can significantly improve with lifestyle changes.
If you’ve tried home remedies and lifestyle adjustments and still have frequent heartburn, consult with your family doctor or a gastroenterologist. There are multiple treatments that can help, including medications and minimally invasive surgery for acid reflux.
Mix Baking Soda With Water
You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.
help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
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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.