How Is Heartburn Diagnosed
Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:
- Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patient’s symptoms .
- Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
- Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.
Natural Remedy: Use Baking Soda
You may find relief from infrequent heartburn with sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Simply mix ½ teaspoon with four ounces of water to help neutralize the acid. Note this contains sodium and should not be used if you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Check with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions drugs, are pregnant or have a chronic health condition before using baking soda to relieve heartburn.
What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn
- Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
- Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
- Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
- If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.
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How Can You Stop Constant Heartburn Here Are Three Easy Ways
ByEmily Pineda | Submitted On February 11, 2009
Is constant heartburn bothering you? If so, you know just how irritating it can be. It may persist for a few minutes but the effect it gives can be painful for many. What’s worse, it can take place any given day, even at nighttime.
If constant heartburn is bothersome for you, you should act right away. You need to consult your doctor to see if there is a possible treatment he will give. It is better to act early to prevent further complications, because it might develop into something deteriorated if no medical attention is given for a long time. To help you on how to cure constant heartburn, here are some possibilities worth knowing:
Constant heartburn can be cured by some type of surgical procedure, including Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. In this method, the walls of the esophagus are tightened and the muscle of the lower esophagus muscle is given extra pressure, so that the stomach acids will not have the chance to go to this area.
Another method is called Intraluminal endoscopic surgery in which an endoscope is used to let the surgeon see better the part which needs surgical procedure.
Of course, there are medicines to try including antacids, which lower acid supply in the body and promote build up bicarbonate and mucus. Another medications are anti-histamines, which inhibit more acid production in the body. Both of these can be bought without prescription.
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when someone has reflux more than twice a week. It’s a more serious condition than GER. Doctors usually treat it with medicine.
GERD can be a problem if it’s not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.
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If You Suffer From Constant Heartburn You May Have Acid Reflux
Acid reflux disease, also known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs due to the coexistence of two medical conditions.
The first acid reflux disease contributing condition is a retrograde flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. However, the reflux itself does not necessarily lead to gastro-esophageal reflux disease symptoms or histologic changes, and can occur among healthy individuals as well. In this case, the process is referred to as physiologic gastroesophageal reflux.
The second acid reflux disease predisposing condition is a lower esophageal sphincter malfunction. The LES is a 3-cm to 4-cm ring of muscle, which is two to three times thicker than the proximal esophagus and acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach.
In the case of acid reflux disease, the LES does not close perfectly and stomach contents splashes up into the esophagus. When pathologic symptoms follow this process, the whole condition is called acid reflux disease.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease is usually experienced as a persistent heartburn.
Do you suffer from constant heartburn? The Heartburn No More system, from a former heartburn sufferer, can bring results.
How To Identify Heartburn
Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. Its a condition that occurs in the esophagus when a small amount of stomach acid escapes your stomach and sits in your lower esophagus. The acids create an uncomfortable burning sensation that, because of its location near the heart, has been given the name heartburn.
Mild heartburn can pop up on occasion for a variety of reasons, but sometimes it can hinder your regular daily activity. If it gets that intense, or it seems like it wont go away or is consistent over many days, it is important to have it checked.
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Baking Soda Remedy For Heartburn
Sodium bicarbonate or the very common baking soda lying on your kitchen shelf can relieve heartburn in a matter of few minutes by balancing the pH level of your stomach. Baking soda with a pH higher than 7 can effectively neutralize your stomach acid. When your stomach acid will not remain acidic, you wont get the burning sensation, even if it travels up to your lower oesophagal sphincter.
- Baking soda- 1/2 to 1 tsp
- Water- 1/2 to 1 glass
- Add the baking soda to the glass of water.
- Mix and drink this.
- Do this whenever you feel acid coming up into your throat. However, do not consume more than 3 tsp of baking soda in a day.
Do this for a week only and if your heartburn still persists, either use some other remedy or consult your doctor. Prolonged use of baking soda is not desirable for your body.
When To Connect With Health Care Provider
Dr. Graf said if these tips dont get your symptoms under control, or if youre experiencing regurgitation, you should talk to your primary care provider or a gastroenterologist. Its important to get treatment because GERD symptoms arent just uncomfortable. Acid can damage the lining of your esophagus. And over time that damage can lead to a condition called Barretts esophagus, which makes it more likely that you could develop esophageal cancer.
To put together a treatment plan, your doctor may start with an upper endoscopy. Thats a procedure where youre sedated, and a surgeon puts a scope through your mouth and into your esophagus and stomach to see if the acid has caused any damage. If theres no damage, you can likely have follow-up endoscopies when you have your colonoscopies. You can try prescription medications to control your GERD symptoms.
If your esophagus is damaged or inflamed, or if medication doesnt get your symptoms under control, your doctor may recommend surgery. Surgical treatments for GERD are very effective. They can give you significant relief and halt the progression of GERD, Dr. Graf said.
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How Can I Decrease My Heartburn
Often, GERD symptoms occur because of diet or obesity. Eliminating carbonated beverages, caffeine, and fatty or spicy foods can help reduce the frequency of heartburn. Losing weight may also help. Some people may find relief with over-the-counter antacids, although they should not be considered a long-term solution. Anyone with persistent heartburn needs to have their condition diagnosed.
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What Else Should I Know
Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or even stop uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Untreated GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.
You’ll probably find that one of the simplest ways to make living with GERD easier is to avoid the things that trigger your symptoms. Some people will have to limit certain foods others may have to give them up entirely. It all depends on your symptoms.
It can be hard to give up sodas or favorite foods at first. But after a while, lots of people discover that they feel so much better that they don’t miss the problem foods as much as they thought they would.
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.
How To Help Heartburn
When attempting to treat your persistent heartburn, one of the first things you will want to look at is your diet. How does this help your heartburn problems? Diet can be the root of many problems and it never hurts to eat healthier and change your eating habits for the better. When you analyze your current eating habits, you will want to avoid trigger foods such as food that has been fried, tomatoes, citrus, peppermint, spices, chocolate, as well as carbonated beverages. You may also want to consider cutting back the amount of alcohol and caffeine that you consume to help reduce your heartburns frequent reoccurrence. Other suggestions that have been made by many physicians include eating smaller meals and avoid eating two to three hours before your bedtime, and cut back the amount of aspirin and other pain relievers if you take them frequently.
Heartburn Medicine Factors To Consider
When shopping for a new heartburn medicine, there are a number of important factors to consider. Some consumers might only need short-term relief from occasionally eating trigger foods. Others might need a longer-term treatment for chronic acid reflux, GERD, or a sensitive stomach. It isnt unusual to experiment with different types of heartburn medicines in order to find the one that brings the most reliable relief. Here are some important factors to consider while looking:
Relief onset time: While traditional antacid brands offer relief in seconds or minutes, H2RAs and PPIs generally take hours or even days. This delay isnt necessarily a bad thing since these medicines provide longer-term relief. When comparing H2RAs and PPIs, keep in mind that H2RAs usually have a faster onset time, but the effects of PPIs last longer. If faster relief of an occasional bout of heartburn is the goal, try an H2RA first. For more frequent acid reflux, a PPI might be more appropriate.
Mechanism: Different types of heartburn medicine use different mechanisms to address the same basic problem. Antacids chemically neutralize stomach acids but dont affect acid production. H2RAs enter the bloodstream and block acid production. PPIs actually shut down acid production. Consumers should consider the severity and frequency of their heartburn symptoms and shop accordingly.
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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.
What Medications Do I Take To Manage The Symptoms Of Gerd
Many over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve GERD. Most of OTC drugs come in prescription strength too. Your provider will give you a prescription for these stronger drugs if youre not getting relief from the OTC formulas.
The most common GERD medications:
- Antacids include Tums®, Rolaids®, Mylanta®, Riopan® and Maalox®.
- H-2 receptor blockers include Tagamet®, Pepcid AC®, Axid AR® and Zantac®.
- Proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Zegerid®, Nexium®, Protonix®, AcipHex® and Dexilant®.
- Baclofen is a prescription drug used to reduce the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter which allows acid backwash.
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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.
Home Remedies For Heartburn
Tags: Digestive Health & Disorders ,
That unpleasant feeling of your last meal coming back into your throat. That uncomfortable, even painful, burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn has returned.
Heartburn is the feeling you get when the contents of your stomach back up into the esophagus toward the mouth. It’s common to experience it from time to time.
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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.
- 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.
Stop Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Fortunately, you have several options for heartburn relief:
- Try eating smaller meals, and don’t eat two to three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid foods that may trigger heartburn, such as fried food, citrus, tomato, spices, peppermint, chocolate, and carbonated drinks.
- Cut back on alcohol and caffeine.
- Stop smoking if you smoke.
- Lose weight if your doctor says you’re overweight.
- Cut back on aspirin and pain relievers if you take them often.
Talk with your pharmacist about other self-care tips you can use. If changing your style of eating isn’t enough, consider trying one of these heartburn medications.
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What Helps Heartburn
When you want to know what helps with heartburn, it seems everyone you talk to has a different home remedy for heartburn they swear by. But are these remedies safe? According to Mary Rouzer, DNP, a nurse practitioner specializing in gastroenterology with Franciscan Physician Network, “Unless your esophagus has damage we’ve seen on a scope and requires medication, it’s fine to try natural remedies for acid reflux.”
Find out which home remedies for acid reflux are safe to try and are most likely to help provide relief and when you should seek medical care.
How Is Gerd Treated
Treatment for GERD depends on how severe symptoms are. For some people, treatment may just include lifestyle changes, such as changing what they eat or drink. Others will need to take medicines. In very rare cases, when GERD is particularly severe, a doctor will recommend surgery.
These lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms of GERD or even prevent the condition:
- quitting smoking
- losing weight if you are overweight
- eating small meals
- avoiding carbonated beverages
- avoiding foods that trigger reflux
It also can help to not lie down for 3 hours after a meal and to not eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Doctors sometimes also recommend raising the head of the bed about 6 to 8 inches. Before you start a major bedroom makeover, though, talk to your doctor and your parents about the best sleeping position for you.
If symptoms continue, doctors might prescribe medicine, such as:
- H2 blockers, which can help block the production of stomach acid
- proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes
- prokinetics, which help the esophageal sphincter work better and the stomach empty faster. This can prevent reflux episodes.
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