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Severe Heartburn Middle Of Night

What Causes Heartburn At Night

Indigestion or a heart attack? what to do in the middle of the night

There are several triggers that may cause heartburn during the day. Nighttime heartburn often occurs while lying down too soon after eating. Lying flat can push acid from the stomach up into the lower esophagus, making it harder for food to properly digest. This can cause a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn.

Benefits Of Propping Up Your Body

Has your doctor recommended that you sleep at an incline using a bed wedge or putting blocks under your bed frame? Studies show that sleeping at an incline decreases reflux symptoms and allows your body to get stomach acid back to your stomach quicker 8. As long as your entire torso is elevated , sleeping at an incline gives gravity a power boost to return stomach acid to your stomach and keep it there.

How To Treat Nighttime Heartburn Symptoms

For nighttime heartburn relief, elevate your head and chest upright in bed, lie on your left side, or try standing up. Raising your upper body can naturally help the stomach acid move down the digestive system and reduce heartburn symptoms.

If occasional heartburn symptoms persist, they can be treated with over the counter medications, such as PEPCID®. PEPCID® is a Histamine-2 blocker, with the active ingredient famotidine, which can help relieve heartburn by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. It works fast and will help to control acid all night*. If you do not have OTC heartburn medications readily available, learn more about easy ways to manage with at-home heartburn remedies.

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What Causes This Burning Sensation

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.

Back Sleeping: Avoid Whenever Possible

10 Ways to Eliminate Nighttime Heartburn

What may be the best sleeping position for some could actually aggravate GERD symptoms. Back sleeping is the worst for those with acid reflux at night. When acid escapes from your stomach and you are sleeping flat on your back, it is able to flow freely into your esophagus and beyondand stay there. Studies show that in this position, symptoms are often more frequent and tend to last longer 3 because the acid has nowhere to go. The severity of your symptoms may also increase if you have stomach fat, which pushes down on your stomach forcing contents to escape. Back sleeping should be the #1 position to avoid at night, if you suffer from nighttime acid reflux.

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Learn more about your own sleep and getpersonalized advice using the SleepScore app.

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Why Is Nighttime Heartburn More Dangerous

Day or night, chronic reflux can gradually damage the esophagus. It may lead to inflammation and scar tissue that narrows the esophagus. In some people, chronic heartburn can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, changes in the cells that increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

But nighttime heartburn tends to leave acid in the esophagus longer, and therefore may cause more damage than daytime heartburn.

“A good part of the explanation is gravity,” says Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, co-author of Healing Heartburn and associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md. During the day, acids from the stomach may briefly force their way into your esophagus. But gravity quickly pulls them back down to the stomach.

When you’re lying down, gravity isn’t pulling in the right direction. Instead, the stomach contents are pressing on the sphincter muscle that connects the esophagus to the stomach. In people with GERD – which means nearly everyone with chronic heartburn – the sphincter is faulty. It doesn’t fully close. So acids can reflux back up into the esophagus. And because you’re lying down, once acids get into the esophagus, they can sit there for much longer than during the day. That can increase the damage.

Other Things You Can Work On Day

There are other ways to tackle your night-time acid reflux that include making small changes to your lifestyle. Below are a few common changes that are known to help:

  • Eat smaller meals more often, rather than three big meals
  • Lose weight our Top Tips for Keeping Active Around the Home outlines small exercises that you can incorporate in your everyday routine.
  • Having a balanced and healthy diet can help reducing the amount of triggering foods mentioned in the above section is advised.
  • Reduce stress levels.

Finally, if you are really struggling to manage with your symptoms, its always best to seek consultation from your GP.

At HSL, your comfort is our main priority and we hope this article has been of use to you. If reading this article has inspired you to get an adjustable bed, or if you already have one, our advice guide covers instructions-for-use, along with safety and maintenance tips.

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Avoid Eating Triggering Foods Before Bedtime

If youre well versed with acid reflux and are clued up on what can cause a flare-up, youll know that certain foods are said to aggravate it. Wed highly recommend staying clear of these foods before bedtime and, if possible, cutting down on consuming them during the day too.

The below foods are known to activate symptoms:

  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus

Treating Severe Heartburn And Gerd

9 Tips To Stop Your Acid Reflux At Night While Sleeping

The newest — and most effective — class of heartburn drugs are the proton pump inhibitors. These work by blocking the effects of an enzyme that produces acid in the stomach. So far, only Prilosec OTC is available over-the-counter. Other proton pump inhibitors, such as Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, and Protonix, are available with a prescription from your doctor.

A lot of people find that one prescription medication on its own may not be enough. For severe GERD, Spechler says that you may need not only one to two daily doses of a proton pump inhibitor, but also a bedtime dose of an H2 receptor antagonist. You may need over-the-counter antacids, too. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to correct the problem that’s causing your symptoms. But surgery isn’t always a complete solution. Some people still wind up needing medication afterwards. Be sure you’re under a doctor’s care if you take heartburn drugs regularly. They can slightly increase the risk of pneumonia.

The key is to get treatment. If you have frequent nighttime heartburn — and lifestyle changes aren’t helping — see your doctor.

“In recent years, we’ve become more and more aware of GERD as a risk for much more serious conditions, even cancer,” says Cheskin. “It’s not just heartburn. So you shouldn’t be complacent about it until you have it checked out.”

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Causes Of Burning Chest Pain

The most common causes of burning pain in the center of the chest includes :

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease heartburn
  • Tracheitis

GERD , angina or heart attack pain are more likely to occur after eating, exercising or stress. GERD is more likely to start of as a burning sensation or discomfort rather than pain, although severe cases can be painful. Esophagitis is often linked to chronic GERD.

With angina, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection, dizziness, shortness of breath and vagal reactions like sweating may also be present. In anxiety, palpitations are a common feature along with shortness of breath and it usually precedes or follows a stressful event. Refer to Stress Chest Pain.

Abnormal breathing sounds and a cough, especially with a history of a respiratory tract infection, is more likely to be tracheitis. Other causes like breastbone pain also need to be considered as well as referred pain from the upper abdominal area. This is further discussed under right upper quadrant abdominal pain, upper middle abdominal pain and left upper quadrant abdominal pain.

The most common causes of burning pain on either side of the chest includes :

Prone To Heartburn At Night Here Are 4 Ways To Avoid It

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Youre tossing. Youre turning. And your chest is achy and burning. The haunt of nighttime heartburn strikes again, robbing you of the solid nights rest you need. Ugh, why did I eat those nachos right before bed?!

If youve ever experienced nighttime heartburn, you know that it can be quite a nightmare. Not only are you suffering through those uncomfortable acid reflux symptoms, but youre also losing precious shut-eye, which can leave you groggy and tired the next day.

Why Is Heartburn More Common at Night?

Acid reflux occurs when the digestive acid thats naturally in your stomach backs up into the esophagusa condition that can often be caused by heartburn-triggering food and eating habits. Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux.

Heartburn is more common at night because when youre lying down you dont have gravity to pull the acid down and keep it in your stomach, which is why many people experience nighttime symptoms, says Roshini Raj, MD, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Health and co-founder of healthy living brand Tula.

Tips to Avoid Nighttime Heartburn

Experiencing heartburn at night can affect how well you sleep. Sleep deprivation is associated with a whole host of health issues, so you really want to make sure youre doing everything you can to ensure a good nights sleep, says Dr. Raj. Here are Dr. Rajs tips on how to deal with nighttime heartburn.

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What Is The Treatment For Heartburn

The health care professional will recommend treating heartburn in a stepwise fashion. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.

I take nonprescription antacids for heartburn, but they don’t seem to help.

Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments.

What kind of lifestyle changes and remedies can I make to reduce heartburn?

Try any or all of the following:

Will these changes stop the heartburn?

They may. If they don’t, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.

How do antacids work?

What if lifestyle changes and antacids don’t work?

If a person still has symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, a health care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 blockers, or acid blockers. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach.

What are acid blockers?

Six Signs Your Heartburn Could Be Something More Serious

Waking up with heartburn at middle of the night? Here are ...

That burning, uncomfortable sensation in your chest? Itâs probably heartburn. Heartburn is a very common ailment that affects many people for many reasons. It occurs when digestive acid escapes the stomach and irritates the delicate lining of the esophagus.

Usually, itâs the result of eating certain foods, or simply overeating, and can be treated with over-the-counter antacids. But sometimes, heartburn is a symptom of bigger problems, that require other solutions. Hereâs when to call a doctor:

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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.

Learn how to prevent heartburn before it starts with PEPCID® diet and lifestyle tips that can help manage heartburn in the long term.

*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.

The Differences Between Daytime And Nighttime Acid Reflux

While the symptoms of acid reflux are often the same no matter the time of the day, the resulting pain can be less intense during the night.

If you find youre waking up with heartburn in the morning or middle of the night, the burning may be so subdued that you fall back to sleep without addressing the discomfort. However, lessened pain can be a misleading indicator as, contrary to what you may feel, acid reflux at night is more severe and should be addressed as aggressively if not more so than episodes that occur during the day.

There are enough differences between acid reflux when youre awake versus asleep to be classified into daytime and nighttime GERD. Compared with daytime GERD, nighttime reflux occurs less frequently but the episodes last longer. The longer the stomach acid lingers in the esophagus, the greater the risk of inflammation and erosive damage. Not too surprisingly then, long-term health complications are more likely with reflux that occurs while you sleep.

Why the difference? The reasons have to do with physiological changes from day to night. During the day, an upright posture contributes to better digestive efficiency with your stomach emptying more quickly. When theres nothing in your stomach, then theres nothing to reflux. Also the normal process of swallowing makes use of saliva thats formulated to neutralize acid, while also helping to clear refluxed acid from the esophagus.

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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.

Big Meals And Eating Certain Foods

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

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.

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What Are The Best Sleeping Positions For Heartburn

Sleeping on your left side may reduce your heartburn symptoms because it relieves the pressure on your stomach and allows for food to move to the lower part of the stomach. Conversely, some research suggests that lying on your right side aggravates heartburn and GERD .

Sleeping with the head of your bed elevated is another good way for people with heartburn to slip into a restful slumber. Heartburn is a result of the stomach contents coming back up into the esophagus, so utilizing gravity by elevating the head and upper body helps keep your stomach contents where they should be. You can purchase wedge pillows that keep you propped up all night, thus reducing heartburn.

Additionally, you can opt to raise the top two posts of your bed frame to elevate your upper body when you sleep. Bed raisers are available online and come in different heights to fit your preference. Just make sure that if your bed frame does not have a sturdy footboard, you secure your mattress to prevent it from slipping.

What Are The Health Consequences Of Gerd

Chronic reflux and GERD can cause serious complications. These include inflammation and ulcers of the esophagus, scar tissue that narrows the esophagus, spasms affecting the airway, chronic cough, damage to teeth, and exacerbated asthma symptoms.

In about 10-20% of cases of GERD, damage to the esophagus from stomach acid becomes a condition called Barrett esophagus. Barrett esophagus is considered to be the primary risk factor for esophageal cancer although not everyone with the condition develops cancer.

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Take An Antacid When Heartburn Hits

Antacids will work very quickly on heartburn you may be experiencing before you go to bed. It can also be used for those heartburn episodes that wake you up during the night if the heartburn comes back. Unfortunately, this is very possible. An H2 blocker taken at bedtime takes 30 to 90 minutes to work and the benefits typically last several hours. Symptoms may improve for up to 24 hours after taking the drug. Another option is to combine the two. The antacid will provide the quick relief you need, and will likely last until the H2 blocker begins to work.

If you continue to experience frequent heartburn symptoms at night, even after trying to narrow down the cause, see your healthcare provider. He or she will be able to diagnose whether you are suffering from just occasional heartburn, or something more serious, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, an ulcer, or a hiatal hernia. You will be able to discuss with your healthcare provider different treatment options, including medications such as proton pump inhibitors.

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