When Should You Go To An Er For Acid Reflux
Some people who experience acid reflux may think that other symptoms that might occur at the same time as reflux are simply part of the bodys reflux response. However, symptoms that go beyond regular heartburn are probably not just incidental and could be a sign of something more serious.
These symptoms accompanying acid reflux should always mean a trip to the emergency room:
- Feeling confused or sudden weakness
- When the reflux moves/relocates from how you typically experience it
- Fainting/loss of consciousness, even briefly
- Vomit that has blood in it or is black
- Stool that is black and/or accompanied by blood
Morning Sickness Or Nausea
That telltale, queasy feeling known as morning sickness can hit you at any time of day and it typically begins when youre about 6 weeks pregnant, though it can vary and strike even earlier. For most women, nausea starts by week 9.
Hormones, mainly increased levels of progesterone , can cause the stomach to empty more slowly, resulting in this early pregnancy symptom resembling seasickness.
What Makes It Worse
Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.
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How To Ease Heartburn Symptoms
Many people get relief from their heartburn symptoms by making a few easy lifestyle changes. Top of the list? Stay away from trigger foods, advises Dr. Agarwal. Everyone is different, but these trigger foods typically include onions, tomatoes and tomato sauces, spicy foods, citrus fruits, red wine, chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and high-fat foods.
Your heartburn symptoms may also ease up if you maintain a healthy weight, give up smoking, avoid eating late at night , and keep stress under control.
If your heartburn symptoms persist, dont write them off. While taking an over-the-counter antiacid every now and then is fine, you dont want to rely on them for the rest of your life. You could be masking symptoms that indicate a more serious problem, Atif Iqbal, MD, medical director of the Digestive Care Center at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, tells Health.
Chronic heartburn can also lead to lasting damage in your esophagus. If you experience heartburn symptoms two or more times a week, talk to your doctor you may also need to consult a gastroenterologist.
Women And Heart Attacks
Do women experience heart attack symptoms differently than men?
According to the University of Utah, while the symptoms of a heart attack are technically the same in men and women, its possible that women may experience pain differently than men.
This differentiating pain threshold level may cause women to either underreport symptoms or simply ignore them.
This pain threshold difference is not scientifically proven, however, and there are other studies that find women are more sensitive to pain.
Another reason women may have a different reaction to symptoms of a heart attack is that this health issue is sometimes portrayed as a mans issue in popular culture.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , every year in the United States, heart disease kills just as many women as it does men.
So it bears repeating: If youre feeling tightness or pain in your chest, and you cant think of a direct cause, call 911 or local emergency services, or get to a doctor as soon as you can.
The questions below are designed to help you if youre ever in a situation where youre trying to decide whether you or someone else is experiencing a heart attack or just heartburn.
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What Exactly Is Heartburn Anyway
Heartburnor gastroesophageal reflux or acid refluxis a painful burning feeling in your chest or your throat, according to the US National Library of Medicine .
Basically, heartburn happens when your esophagus relaxes too much and stomach acid comes back up into your esophagus, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . It can be managed by making changes to your diet, like cutting back on coffee and alcohol, or through medications.
Having heartburn every once in a while, like after a spicy meal or taking a nap too soon after eating, is normal but if it occurs more than twice a week for more than a few weeks, it’s time to see a doctorin that case, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic, sometimes damaging form of heartburn.
But GERD isn’t the only issue that is related to heartburn. Many other conditionssome even life-threateningcan mimic the feeling of heartburn. Here, nine other conditions that heartburn could be masquerading asand when to see your doctor about it.
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Nausea Or Lack Of Appetite
Nausea, indigestion, vomiting, or abdominal swelling can occur during a heart attack. Sometimes the poor circulation due to a weak heart or blocked arteries can cause these symptoms. This is common in women, and often gets worse with activity and improves with rest. If you are experiencing nausea or lack of appetite that follows this pattern, see your doctor.
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Not All Of Them Are Obvious
Feel like you just cant keep that nasty stuff in your belly from bubbling up into your throat? What youre experiencing might not be run-of-the-mill heartburn. It could be a case of gastroesophageal reflux diseaseGERD, for shorta condition that causes the acid and food in your stomach to rise into your esophagus, and sometimes even enter your mouth or lungs. GERD is far from rare: In fact, it occurs in 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to the medical journal Gastroenterology. But there are also several factors that make some people an easier target for the disease.
Everyone has a small, normal amount of gastroesophageal reflux, but an abnormal amount of acid reflux occurs when the one-way valve between the esophagus and the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, becomes too loose, says Ketan Shah, M.D., gastroenterologist at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. This can occur for multiple reasons that cause intra-abdominal pressure to be abnormally elevated, including being overweight or obese, frequent overeating, lying down too soon after eating, chronic straining or coughing, or chronic heavy lifting. These are typically the people who are more susceptible to GERD.
Heartburn won’t go away
Heart Attack Feeling
Achy Hips Legs And Arms
Yep, its not just your back your hips, legs and even arms may also ache at different times during early pregnancy due to hormone changes.
Yesterday I had a achey left leg and an achey right arm and I was like, Am I falling to pieces? And then this morning I got a BFP . At least I know why! says Sparkling_DiamondButton.
Yes, says Dr Larisa. Its those pregnancy hormones loosening up your ligaments and joints to prepare for accommodating your growing baby.
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Pregnancy Sign: Increased Gas
Being gassyor, less eloquently, fartyis no problem when youre chillaxing alone in your threadbare sweatpants, but its next-level horrifying when youre out and about anywhere else. Unfortunately, its one of the more common early pregnancy signs. Expect flatulence during not only the first few weeks of pregnancy but also the next nine months. Inevitably, your unruly gas will strike right in the middle of a work meeting or during a cool-down in your silent yoga class.
Raised Basal Body Temperature
If youve been using a special basal body thermometer to track your first morning temperature, you might notice that it rises around 1 degree when you conceive and stays elevated throughout your pregnancy.
Though not a foolproof early pregnancy symptom , it could give you advance notice of the big news.
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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.
Subtle And Obvious Signs Of Labor
If dealing with more heartburn doesnt necessarily mean labor is on the way, then what are some of the less-known signs of labor? âSome of the more subtle signs of labor include looser stool than usual, stomach upset, and abdominal tightening that isnt necessarily painful but increasing in frequency,â says Dr. Conti. In some cases, you might have a sense that something different is going on in your body. âProbable signs that labor is imminent would be losing the mucus plug, bloody show, water breaking or the start of some cramping/back pain,â Hilary Baxendale, Lamaze certified instructor, birth doula, and founder of Westchester Birth and Parenting, tells Romper. âBut many people just feel like something is âoffâ or different, kind of intuitive knowing that something has shifted or is about to happen.â This kind of feeling is difficult to measure, sure, but worth paying attention to in the later days of pregnancy.
So although heartburn is not a definite sign that labor is starting, there are plenty of other ways to tell when your body is revving up for that big event.
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How Soon Do Early Pregnancy Symptoms Start
Some women may experience early signs and symptoms within the first weeks of pregnancy in the first trimester, while others may develop symptoms later on in the pregnancy.
- The first signs and symptoms of early pregnancy can also be similar to symptoms experienced prior to the menstrual period, so a woman may not recognize the symptoms as related to pregnancy.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heartburn
Symptoms of acid reflux that may accompany heartburn include:
- difficulty swallowing,
- stomach pain or burning in the upper abdomen,
- persistent sore throat,
- regurgitation of foods or liquids with a taste of acid in the throat, and.
- persistent hoarseness or laryngitis.
Also asked, how do you know if you have heartburn?
Is heartburn a sign of a heart attack?
heart attack signsheartburn
How do I get rid of heartburn fast?
We’ll go over some quick tips to get rid of heartburn, including:
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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.
What Is Acid Reflux
- Acid reflux means that some acid leaks up into the gullet .
- Oesophagitis means inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus. Most cases of oesophagitis are due to reflux of stomach acid which irritates the inside lining of the oesophagus.
The lining of the oesophagus can cope with a certain amount of acid. However, it is more sensitive to acid in some people. Therefore, some people develop symptoms with only a small amount of reflux. However, some people have a lot of reflux without developing oesophagitis or symptoms.
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Finding Heartburn Relief At Home
A few simple strategies can help soothe the burn of heartburn:
- Watch what you eat. Avoid specific foods that trigger your heartburn, but also watch out for peppermint, caffeine, sodas, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, onions, and high-fat foods. Eat more fiber to keep your digestive tract moving and healthy. Also, reduce your portion sizes. Try eating five or six small meals a day, rather than three big ones. Eating too much at once is a big heartburn trigger.
- Watch when you eat. Push away the plate at least two or three hours before bedtime so your stomach has a chance to empty before you lie down.
- Watch how you eat. Eat slowly, taking smaller bites.
- Lose weight. Excess abdominal fat can press against the stomach, forcing acids up into the esophagus. Follow a diet and exercise program to shed extra pounds.
- Keep a diary. Write down what youve eaten and when your heartburn symptoms occur so you can pinpoint which foods are your triggers and avoid them.
- Toss the cigarettes.Smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps acids in the stomach. For this, and so many other health reasons, its always the perfect time to quit.
- Loosen your belt. Ditch the skin-tight jeans. Tight clothes put added pressure on the abdomen.
- Tilt up. Put wood blocks under your bed to raise the head about 6 inches. Dont bother raising your pillows, though its not effective for heartburn.
When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn
Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.
You should contact your doctor if:
- Your heartburn wont go away.
- Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
- Its hard or hurts to swallow.
- Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
- You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
- You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
- You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
- You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
- Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.
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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 its painful.
Identifying Symptoms Of Gerd In Children
It can be hard to pick up on the symptoms of GERD in a young child as the symptoms can differ from those experienced by adults.
If you have a baby or toddler who cant yet speak enough to describe symptoms to you, here are some of the visual indicators to keep an eye out for:
- Regurgitation and vomiting these are amongst the most common symptoms in babies
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Bring Lifestyle Changes To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Wrong eating habits and certain other habits make it difficult for your body to digest food properly. There are some other lifestyle habits that lead to heartburn and you need to change them. Here is a list of such lifestyle changes that you must adopt if you want to get rid of heartburn.
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Try Baking Soda And Lemon Water
Another natural way to cure heartburn quickly is to make a mixture of baking soda and lemon with water.
Lemons contain limonene which dilutes the acid in your stomach. The bicarbonates in baking soda will also reduce the action of acid. Alternatively you can skip the baking soda and just squeeze lemon juice into a warm water and drink. The baking soda just gives it some extra punch.
If you are consistently getting Heartburn, you should see a doctor at once. If all these tips on getting rid of heartburn fail, a more aggressive treatment may be needed.
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