Take A Mindful Eating Approach
Eating quickly and overeating are correlated with heartburn and reflux. Sometimes you may not even realize that you’re eating quickly or eating 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:
- 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.
- Pause before each meal. Take a moment to look at your meal. Observe what is on your plate and take in the smells. Also, take a moment to notice how hungry you are before you take your first bite.
When Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn
Have a conversation with your doctor as soon as you start noticing heartburn symptoms that recur often, since they may indicate youre experiencing GERD or another disorder. If youre unable to manage your symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor about the next steps. If you are experiencing pain in your chest, seek medical intervention immediately to rule out any other illnesses.
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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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.
Gerd And Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Research has also identified a link between GERD and obstructive sleep apnea , a sleep disorder that involves blockage of the airway that incites pauses in breathing during sleep. Debate exists among experts about whether GERD causes OSA, OSA causes GERD, or if they simply share similar risk factors.
It is possible that GERD affects the airway and ability to breathe normally, causing more apneas during the night. At the same time, people with OSA wake up frequently at night and may then detect GERD symptoms. Lack of sleep from OSA may make the esophagus more susceptible to reflux.
In addition, factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity can increase risk for both GERD and OSA, so the correlation between the conditions may be a result of these factors.
While the exact relationship between GERD and OSA is subject to further research, it is clear that the conditions can occur together and create significant complications for a persons sleep, comfort, and overall health.
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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.
How To Relieve Heartburn At Night
Waking up with heartburn in the middle of the night? Youre not alone. Studies show about 20 percent of adults in the U.S. suffer from heartburn at least once a week, and among those, 75 percent experience heartburn at night. The discomfort of having heartburn at night often results in problems falling or staying asleep. Learn about the possible causes and treatment options for heartburn.
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How To Relieve Your Acid Reflux Symptoms At Night
Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a common condition that makes you feel or taste a burning sensation down your throat due to the digestive juices rising back up into your esophagus. This can cause you discomfort and pain, which can be bothersome even when you are asleep. In fact, many patients who experience heartburn suffer from sleep problems caused by their medical condition.
As you sleep on your back and with a standard pillow, you are more prone to experiencing the symptoms of heartburn. While some people believe that mustard does relieve heartburn, it is also said that stacking up pillows relieves your acid reflux during sleep. This is thought to help stop your heartburn by elevating your upper body, including your head, shoulders, and torso.
Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux
If youve experienced the occasional bout of heartburn, you know how uncomfortable the painful burning sensation can be. Whether it’s a desire to go all-natural or to address heartburn symptoms that don’t respond to medication, some people turn to diet and lifestyle modifications and natural remedies to relieve symptoms.
The pain may be caused by the backflow of your stomach contents into your esophagus , known as acid reflux. Or, it may be caused by a more severe or chronic form of reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease .
Verywell / Emily Roberts
Here’s a look at several remedies and lifestyle modifications that may help.
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How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
Diet Nutrition And Lifestyle
What and how you eat can make all the difference with heartburn during pregnancy.
- Eating smaller meals throughout the day
- Making your main meal at lunchtime, which takes pressure off the digestive tract later in the day when the body is tired or ready for bed
- Avoiding food a couple hours before bed or a nap
- Sitting upright after eatinglying down can push stomach contents back up
- Propping your head up with a couple of pillows while sleeping
- Tight fitting clothes. They put even more pressure on your organs.
- Liquids while you eat. This dilutes your digestive juices, making them less effective.
- Eating the following aggravating acidic foods:
- Caffeinated and sugar beverages, like tea, coffee, soda, etc.
- Spicy, fatty, rich, and fried foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Large quantities of meat in one sittingthe body works harder if overloaded or too rich
Again, adding and subtracting certain foods and behaviors daily will help build a more balanced foundation for your wellness.
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How To Cure Heartburn Four Quick Fixes And Long
How to cure heartburn you ask? Well, theres no easy answer to that question.
If youve been struggling with acid reflux for any length of time, then you know there isnt a quick fix to this disease as a whole. GERD has many symptoms, one of which is heartburn. At the crux of this disease is the lower oesophageal sphincter . Located at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the LES can weaken and no longer function as an effective barrier, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to back-flow up into the oesophagus. When this happens, heartburn often follows. This weakening of the LES is progressive, so the more often you reflux, the more frequent the episodes become.
Learn more: GERD explained: The role of the LES
Medications can help relieve acid reflux symptoms by making the contents of the stomach less acidic however, they dont stop reflux from happening. Thats why managing GERD requires commitment and diligence: Watching what and how you eat and making lifestyle choices aimed at minimizing reflux can reduce your symptoms AND help stop the progression of the condition.
But sometimes, despite your best efforts to manage your GERD, heartburn strikes and you need relief . So though we cant provide a definite answer to how to cure heartburn? We can offer four quick fixes to help you cool the burn.
What Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn
There are several ways to treat and avoid heartburn with lifestyle changes .
Lose weight and maintain your ideal weight. Excess weight increases the pressure on the stomach, increasing the chance of acid reflux into the esophagus.
Avoid foods that aggravate heartburn and replace them with healthy foods. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn . Consider keeping a food journal to alert you to foods that make your heartburn worse. Decrease the amount of food you eat.
Elevate the head of the bed: If you are experiencing heartburn at night, elevating the head of the bed will decrease reflux.
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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.
Use A Mattress Elevator
Sleeping in a sloped mattress using a full-width mattress elevator might be the perfect solution that you are looking for. Known for its therapeutic benefits, this not only helps relieve your heartburn but also makes your sleep more comfortable.
A mattress elevator works by altering the height of your bed and safely lifting you into a seated position in your bed. You can place this under your mattress or strap it right above your mattress as a bed topper.
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When To Get Medical Help
See your midwife or GP if you need help managing your symptoms or if changes to your diet and lifestyle do not work. They may recommend medicine to ease your symptoms.
You should also see your midwife or GP if you have any of the following:
- difficulty eating or keeping food down
- weight loss
- stomach pains
Your midwife or GP may ask about your symptoms and examine you by pressing gently on different areas of your chest and stomach to see whether it’s painful.
Which Foods Can Make Heartburn Worse
Certain foods are found to be more commonly associated with triggering heartburn than others. Foods and beverages linked to heartburn include.
Citrus juices:Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits are highly acidic and may contribute to acid reflux.
Coffee:Caffeine in coffee relaxes the lower part of the esophagus and contributes to heartburn and acid reflux, while some varieties also contain more acidity.
Peppermint: This plant is found to have relaxing effects on the sphincter muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus, which contribute to heartburn.
Soda & Other Carbonated Beverages: Bubbles in carbonated soda can expand inside the stomach and increase pressure, pushing stomach acids back up the esophagus.
Excessive Salt: High-sodium diets have been linked to acid reflux and heartburn.
Spicy foods: Spicy foods may contribute to heartburn and further irritation to an inflamed esophagus because they contain compounds that slow the bodys digestion rate.
Alcohol: Beer, wine, and liquor have sedative effects that relax the lower part of the esophagus and make it easier for acid to flow back into the esophagus.
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Prep Your Sleeping Space
If youre more frequently experiencing GERD symptoms at night, you may consider elevating the head of your bed. This can help with the backflow of stomach acid. Consider not sleeping on your right side. Some evidence shows that due to your anatomy and where the stomach acid is created and stored, sleeping on your left side may be more comfortable. All of the suggestions above should be easy to implement in your daily life, considering theyre simple lifestyle changes that dont require a visit to the doctor or any medication.
However, if you have been experiencing discomfort due to acid reflux, you should book an appointment with Carolina Digestive Health Associates so we can determine if there is an underlying cause of your discomfort and give you tips to manage it. Along with the non-medicinal solutions, we can also recommend medication based on your individual circumstances, health, and needs.
Consider Eating Less Chocolate
GERD patients are sometimes advised to avoid or limit their consumption of chocolate. However, the evidence for this recommendation is weak.
One small, uncontrolled study showed that consuming 4 ounces of chocolate syrup weakened the lower esophageal sphincter .
Another controlled study found that drinking a chocolate beverage increased the amount of acid in the esophagus, compared to a placebo .
Nevertheless, further studies are needed before any strong conclusions can be made about the effects of chocolate on reflux symptoms.
There is limited evidence that chocolate worsens reflux symptoms. A few studies suggest it might, but more research is needed.
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How To Relieve Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn often appears during the second trimester, and it can get worse as your belly grows. Learn more about what causes heartburn during pregnancy, with five expert tips for relieving the pain.
Like the name implies, heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest but it has nothing to do with your heart. It happens when the lower esophageal sphincter , a muscle responsible for keeping stomach contents in their place, begins to relax or leak. This allows stomach acids to flow upward into the esophagus, explains Suzanne Trupin, M.D., CEO of Women’s Health Practice of Champaign, Ill.
Unfortunately, “most women will experience some acid reflux , especially in the second half of their pregnancy,” says Shari Brasner, M.D., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in New York City. The uncomfortable sensation tends to get worse as your baby grows.
Heartburn usually appears after meals or at bedtime, and it can range from uncomfortable to agonizing. Understanding the causes and prevention strategies can provide relief to expectant moms. Heres what you need to know about heartburn in pregnancy.
Big Meals And Eating Certain Foods
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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Can I Choke In My Sleep From Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition marked by repeated episodes of acid reflux that can affect your quality of life. Most patients with GERD experience an increase in severity of heartburn symptoms while sleeping or attempting to sleep. Beyond just heartburn, if the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and far enough to reach the throat and larynx, you may wake up coughing and choking at night.
Maintain A Moderate Weight
Obesity or overweight can influence the frequency of experiencing acid reflux. This is because extra weight, especially around the abdomen, can put pressure on the stomach and lead to acid spilling up into the esophagus.
Sometimes weight loss can help reduce symptoms. Speak to your doctor to see if they recommend this.
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A Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
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.