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Stop Heartburn Before It Starts

Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals

How to Prevent Heartburn

Theres a ring-like muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter where the esophagus opens into the stomach.

It acts as a valve and normally prevents the acidic contents of the stomach from going up into the esophagus. It typically stays closed but may open when you swallow, belch, or vomit.

In people with acid reflux, this muscle is weakened or dysfunctional. Acid reflux can also occur when theres too much pressure on the muscle, causing acid to squeeze through the opening .

Unsurprisingly, most reflux symptoms take place after a meal. It also seems that eating just one to two large meals per day may worsen reflux symptoms (

24 ).

For this reason, some studies suggest that losing at least 10% of your body weight could significantly decrease symptoms of GERD in people with the condition .

Achieving and maintaining a moderate body weight can help reduce acid reflux in the long term.

However, if youre interested in this approach, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional to assess whether its right for you, and if so, how you can lose weight safely and sustainably.

Summary

Losing belly fat and maintaining a moderate weight might relieve some of your symptoms of GERD. However, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before attempting to lose weight to treat this condition.

When Can I Expect Heartburn To End

Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.

So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.

However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.

Treating Heartburn Symptoms Over The Counter

Although lifestyle can help ease heartburn symptoms, many people with recurrent acid reflux will still need medications to ease their discomfort. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for over-the-counter heartburn medicine.

“There are a couple of different kinds of heartburn medicine to consider,” says Weart. “Most people with heartburn choose antacids first, which are quick to take effect, but short-acting. That means if you take an antacid in the middle of the night, you may wake up again a couple of hours later with recurrent heartburn. H2 receptor blockers are much more effective in the long run.”

Isn’t there something that offers the fast relief of the antacid, and the long-lasting benefit of the H2 blockers? In fact, there is. “Some heartburn medicines combine antacids with the H2 blockers,” says Weart. “These drugs, like Pepcid Complete, offer a fixed combination of the two medications. Or you can do the same thing by taking your favorite antacid with an H2 receptor blocker.”

You can also plan ahead to avoid heartburn. If you’re going out for a big meal as a treat, and know you might be eating some foods you shouldn’t, take your heartburn medicine early. “Take an H2 blocker about an hour or two before the meal, and it will kick in and suppress the acid that’s causing heartburn symptoms before they start,” says Weart.

Also Check: What Doctor To See For Heartburn

Top 5 Ways To Prevent Heartburn

Top 5 Ways to Prevent Heartburn

It is not uncommon to experience the occasional bout of heartburn. And, unfortunately, frequent heartburn is a side effect of aging, but heartburn can affect people of all ages. Regardless of age, constant or chronic heartburn is not normal and is a sign you need to see a gastroenterologist.

If your heartburn is an occasional bother, you can try these tips to minimize the pain and discomfort. However, long term solutions to getting rid of heartburn for good include weight loss, a healthy diet, and routine exercise.

A Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

Prevent Heartburn Before it Starts with This Drug

Do you know your body mass index ? If not, start now by entering your weight and height into a BMI calculator to use the NIH calculator and find your current BMI.

A healthy BMI is between 19 and 25, but anyone with a compromised LES should not be at the high end of normal. We recommend a BMI of 24 or less. Why is this important? We wrote a cornerstone article titled How is your excess weight destroying your LES , which we highly recommend you read if you have a BMI greater than 24.

This excess weight does two things that will increase your GERD symptoms. First, it distends the stomach, pulling down on the LES and stretching it out. Over a long-term, this will reduce the effectiveness of the LES to act as an effective barrier between the stomach and the oesophagus.

Second, it puts added pressure on the diaphragm, potentially pushing stomach content into the esophagus. Many research studies have proven that a reduction in BMI will reduce GERD symptoms. In an NIH published paper researchers concluded the following:

In summary, our findings suggest that, beyond being overweight or obese, the risk of GERD symptoms rises progressively with increasing BMI, even among normal weight individuals. This appears true for all degrees of symptom severity and duration, as well as for nocturnal symptoms. Notably, weight loss was associated with a decreased risk of symptoms.

Recommended Reading: Can Heartburn And Indigestion Cause Shortness Of Breath

What Are You Going To Do To Cure Your Heartburn

Are you simply going to treat the heartburn with short-term remedies or are you going to attack the real underlying problem that is driving your symptoms? I suspect that the larger long-term recommendations are a bit intimidating and you are not sure if you can make that type of commitment. You are not alone.

Here is an approach that may help you ease into building your path to relief and good health:

  • Take a longer-term view of your problem. Attack the symptoms with short-term solutions while designing a longer-term approach.
  • Read up on each of the longer term recommendations of a healthy BMI, GERD-friendly diet, and lifestyle changes. Become an expert.
  • Select one of those three long-term recommendations to work on first. You cant make all those changes at the same time. We suggest you first make the lifestyle changes, then work on your BMI, and finally change our diet.
  • Set a reasonable timeframe to make this program work for you.
  • Work with a GERD expert, they will be a valuable partner as you design your plan.
  • We know you can do this because so many others before you have succeeded. Dont delay, this is your disease and its your quality of life that is at risk. You can do this!

    This article is from Reflux MD

    Medical Resources Used for This Article

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    Womens World: How To Stop Heartburn Before It Even Starts

    Heartburn is a common medical problem that occurs to a number of people on a daily basis. Heartburn flares can happen at the most random time and cause an uncomfortable level of pain or discomfort. However, there are some actions that can be used to prevent heartburn from starting. Dr. Peyton Berookim talked with Womens World and suggested three tips that prevent these heartburn flares from ever beginning.

    Dr. Berookims tips are simple actions that can be taken anywhere at any time. Simply just drink a glass of water, take a breath, or snack on a cracker. These three simple tips can help you avoid experience the pain and discomfort that can come from heartburn.

    Search Here

    Also Check: Natural Things To Help Heartburn

    Try Eating Like French People

    If you suffer from heartburn after meals, then a few mealtime changes can help. The French can take up to 2 hours to eat a meal that an American can gobble down in 5 minutes. That’s why according to Healthgrades, the USA is #1 for heartburn.

    • Eat slowly
    • Talk to people while you eat
    • Take small bites
    • Chew well

    Taking food in large sizes and quantities will lead to heartburn. Sit and relax after a meal to help reduce the risk of suffering from heartburn.

    What Does Heartburn Feel Like

    4 Things To Avoid If You Have Heartburn

    Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:

    • A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
    • Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
    • A burning feeling in your throat.
    • A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
    • Difficulty swallowing.

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    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.

    Read Also: Home Remedies To Cure Heartburn

    Have You Ever Had Acid Reflux Do You Find Yourself Having To Take Antacids Look For A Gerd Specialist In Your Region

    Normally, these are referred to as heartburn. According to the GERD specialist,its a common syndrome that feels like a pain in your chest and throat. This is typically the result of GERD , which happens when undigested food bile travels back into the esophagus. Fortunately these symptoms can be alleviated. Below are a list of 6 home remedies that you can use to get rid of acid reflux and GERD.

    Aloe Vera Juice

    Aloe Vera is a plant that has amazing healing properties. The juice from the plant can help the stomach greatly. It can lower acid content in the stomach and prevent acid reflux. Drink pure, unprocessed aloe vera.

    Lemon Juice

    Lemon Juice is an amazing way to kill acidity in the stomach. Drinking a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice in the morning is a great way to decrease acid build up in the stomach. It also promotes digestion.

    Baking Soda

    Although the taste of baking soda is not great, the effects of drinking baking soda are amazing. Drinking baking soda and water will keep your stomachs ph balance right. Drink a glass of baking soda before you go to sleep.

    Stop Eating Acidic Food

    Although this is not a panacea for acid reflux, it can greatly improve your stomach ph. By removing highly acidic foods, like coffee and greasy foods can greatly help the internal system of your stomach and decrease the chance of heart burn.

    Cold Milk

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    Read Also: What Takes Away Heartburn Naturally

    Other Causes Of Morning Heartburn

    Although GERD is a common reason for heartburn in the morning, there are other reasons that someone can experience heartburn during this time. Some factors include your activities the night before and lifestyle habits. Other factors include:

    • Having a high stress level
    • Hiatal hernia
    • Wearing tight clothes and belts
    • Pregnancy
    • Acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus
    • Onions
    • Alcoholic beverages

    Your healthcare provider can help you create a list of foods to remove and incorporate into your diet that will help treat your GERD symptoms. It is important to work with your healthcare provider, continuing to take your medicineif prescribedand following a plan that will help you have the best outcome regarding your condition.

    Question 4 Of : Treatment

    Womens World: How to Stop Heartburn Before It Even Starts
  • 1Avoid the foods that trigger your heartburn and carbonated drinks. Changing your diet is the most common, and oftentimes the most successful way to treat and prevent heartburn. Stay away from the foods that are more likely to trigger your symptoms and avoid drinking carbonated drinks, which can make you burp and force stomach acid into your esophagus.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical Schools Educational Site for the PublicGo to source
  • 2Try to eat smaller, more frequent meals and avoid late-night eating. Rather than eating the common 3 large meals a day, go with frequent but smaller meals spaced out throughout the day. That can help keep your stomach from getting too full and causing your heartburn.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical Schools Educational Site for the PublicGo to source Additionally, you really want to avoid eating late at night because when you lie down in bed with a full stomach, it could easily trigger your heartburn.XTrustworthy SourceHarvard Medical SchoolHarvard Medical Schools Educational Site for the PublicGo to source
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    Sleep On Your Left Side

    Sleeping on your left side can help you avoid heartburn, especially if you do need to nap or go to sleep after a meal. Because of the way the stomach is shaped, lying on the left lets gravity do the work of keeping acid out of your esophagus. Another option is to elevate the head of your bed so that you sleep on an incline.

    Why Baking Soda Works For Acid Reflux

    The key to baking sodas ability to treat acid reflux lies in its active ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. OTC antacids like Alka-Seltzer contain sodium bicarbonate, which is what makes them work.

    Your pancreas naturally produces sodium bicarbonate to protect your intestines. Baking soda is thought to mimic the effects of this process. As an absorbable antacid, sodium bicarbonate quickly neutralizes stomach acid and temporarily relieves symptoms of acid reflux.

    Caution: The sudden decrease in stomach acidity can cause acid rebound . Relief may only be temporary, and your symptoms of acid reflux may return even worse than before.

    The same type of baking soda you use to bake or to absorb smells from your fridge can neutralize stomach acid. Its also cheaper in that form, compared to OTC medications.

    For people who dont like the taste of baking soda, there are OTC and prescription tablets. Most of them dissolve easily in water. See the instructions on the box for the recommended dosage.

    Some of these other forms include:

    • capsules
    • granules
    • solutions

    Alka-Seltzer is the most common brand-name OTC medication that contains sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is also used in some medications with the PPI omeprazole to make omeprazole more effective, rather than being used for immediate relief of symptoms.

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    How Do I Prevent Heartburn

    In some cases, heartburn can be prevented. Consider the following tactics:

    • Weight loss: A study published in Obesity found that of the 332 participants in a structured weight loss program, 81% saw a reduction in GERD symptoms, and 65% had complete resolution after losing a significant percentage of body fatSingh M, Lee J, Gupta N, et al. Weight loss can lead to resolution of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms: a prospective intervention trial. Obesity . 2013 21:284-290. . The ACG also says that significantly overweight patients are more likely to experience chronic heartburn.
    • Quit smoking: Tobacco can cause acid reflux, and smoking is a risk factor for esophageal cancer, notes the college.
    • Avoid trigger foods: Some foods and medications can trigger GERD, explains the ACG. Fats, chocolate and caffeinated drinks can be troublesome. Others like citrus fruits, tomato juice and possibly pepper can irritate the esophagus. But since it can be difficult to give up foods you love, Dr. Ravi tells his patients to practice moderation, eat small meals and stop at least two hours before bedtime.
    • Drink alcohol in moderation: Alcohol can loosen the LES and cause acid reflux, according to the ACG.

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    Dont Eat Within Three Hours Of Going To Bed

    Stop Acid Reflux Medications or Start a Low Acid Diet?

    People with acid reflux are generally advised to avoid eating within the three hours before they go to sleep.

    Although this recommendation makes sense, there is limited evidence to back it up.

    One study in GERD patients showed that having a late evening meal had no effects on acid reflux, compared to having a meal before 7 p.m. .

    However, an observational study found that eating close to bedtime was associated with significantly greater reflux symptoms when people were going to sleep .

    More studies are needed before solid conclusions can be made about the effect of late evening meals on GERD. It may also depend on the individual.

    Summary:

    Observational studies suggest that eating close to bedtime may worsen acid reflux symptoms at night. Yet, the evidence is inconclusive and more studies are needed.

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    How Is Heartburn Treated

    In most cases, heartburn can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and changes to lifestyle habits that cause the feeling. Occasional heartburn is common and is typically not serious. However, if you have frequent and severe heartburn, reach out to your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a chronic condition like GERD. GERD can lead to other serious conditions like esophagitis, Barretts esophagus and even cancer. Sometimes, your doctor may want to do an endoscopy to check for underlying medication conditions. An endoscopy is the examination of your digestive tract with a lighted flexible instrument.

    Over-the-counter medications for heartburn typically include antacids and acid blockers.

    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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