Southern Cross Medical Library
The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.
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Avoid Your Trigger Foods
You may have already discovered that certain foods can trigger your heartburn and reflux symptoms. Try keeping a food and symptom diary to help you identify foods that worsen your reflux, so you know what to stay away from.
Here are some common food triggers:
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
Some people find that sweets, high-glycemic index foods , and meals that are too hot may trigger heartburn.
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.
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Home Remedies For Heartburn
Heartburn is a common problem that causes a burning sensation in your chest and throat. It may also be accompanied by a bitter taste. Other related symptoms may include gas, nausea, bloating, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms usually get worse after eating a large meal or while lying down.
The burning sensation is caused by acidic stomach juices rising into the esophagus when the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly. This is why heartburn often occurs after eating fatty, fried or acidic foods.
Heartburn can also be due to a hiatal hernia, which means part of the stomach is pushing through an opening in the diaphragm and into the chest. Heartburn is also a common condition during pregnancy.
Other health conditions or lifestyle choices that can cause heartburn include smoking, obesity, caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, eating spicy foods, lying down immediately after eating and taking certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm. A variety of natural treatments can provide relief from heartburn symptoms.
However, if heartburn occurs frequently and interferes with your routine, then you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease . See your doctor immediately, as untreated GERD can seriously damage your esophagus.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for heartburn.
Change Your Eating And Drinking Habits
You may be able to control your indigestion with changes to your eating habits.
It can help to eat small meals often, rather than larger meals 3 times a day, and to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed at night.
Cutting down on drinks containing caffeine, and foods that are rich, spicy or fatty, can also ease symptoms.
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What Should I Know About Storage And Disposal Of This Medication
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from light, excess heat, and moisture .
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location â one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach.
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medicines website for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What Are The Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar may provide several health benefits.
For some people, acid reflux may be a result of too little stomach acid. Proponents of this remedy claim apple cider vinegar might be beneficial because it introduces more acid into the digestive tract. This acid is also effective against several types of bacteria and acts as an antimicrobial agent.
Apple cider vinegar may also help people with diabetes manage blood sugar. Ingesting vinegar can raise your bodys insulin sensitivity. This allows the insulin to move glucose through your body and decrease your blood sugar levels.
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Symptoms Of Indigestion And Heartburn
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn include:
- a burning sensation or pain in the chest
- feeling full, heavy or bloated
- burping or belching
- feeling or being sick
- bringing up food
Symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, but there can sometimes be a delay between eating and developing indigestion.
You can get symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, but they are more common from 27 weeks onwards.
Treat Antibiotics Heartburn Caused By Loss Of Good Bacteria With Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that need to be ingested to rebalance gut bacteria after discontinuation of antibiotics. The reintroduction of these good bacteria will improve digestive function and reduce acid reflux symptoms like heartburn.
The use of probiotics during antibiotic treatment may help restore stomach acid and alleviate gas, bloating, and belching even though antibiotics will continue to kill these good bacteria.
Probiotics rebalance digestive function after antibiotic use and thus reduce the instance of heartburn by:
- Preventing the overgrowth of bad bacteria which produce gas leading to bloating and belching.
- Preventing constipation by eliminating bad bacteria that cause slow, inefficient digestion.
- Promoting optimal stomach acid levels. Stomach acid helps the LES close properly, kills harmful bacteria, improves absorption of nutrients, and reduces the instance of constipation.
- Improving food and nutrient absorption by helping break down food for easier digestion thus reducing the possibility of constipation. Improved nutrient absorption also provides the digestive system needed nutrients for proper function.
- Maintaining muscle activity which moves material through the digestive tract.
- Preventing leaky gut and helping with antibody production which boosts the immune system. A healthy immune system also helps protect against bad bacteria overgrowth.
How to Treat Antibiotics Heartburn from the Loss of Good Bacteria with Probiotics
Good Bacteria Must Be Fed
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Will Heartburn Go Away On Its Own
For many people, occasional heartburn is common. By watching what you eat and avoiding certain triggers , you may be able to prevent heartburn or manage it. If you find that you frequently experience heartburn and that it keeps getting worse, it could be a sign of a medical condition like GERD. In these cases, your heartburn will not go away without treatment. Talk to your healthcare provider so that you can develop a treatment plan.
Does Milk Help Heartburn
When looking for home remedies for heartburn, many people ask if milk helps heartburn symptoms. According to Dr. Minesh Khatri on WebMD, milk can help some symptoms of heartburn but aggravate others.15
For example, Dr. Khatri says that milk can act as a temporary buffer to stomach acid. This can have an anti-acid effect and temporarily stop burning chest pains. Milk also contains calcium which is important for healthy bones and muscle development. However, the fat content of milk can cause the stomach to produce more acid and make the symptoms of acid reflux worse.
If you want to try milk as a natural antacid for acid reflux, Dr. Khatri says you can try drinking a glass of fat-free skim milk as a snack between meals but dont overdo it as overfilling your stomach may increase heartburn.
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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.
When Should I Call A Doctor For Indigestion
Indigestion symptoms are signs of other medical conditions or problems.
If indigestion symptoms are mild or resolve in a short time, talk to your doctor about how to treat it.
If you have any of the following symptoms of severe indigestion, if your symptoms last more than a few days, or if they worsen noticeably, seek medical care immediately:
- Vomiting or blood in vomit
- Loss of appetite
- Black, tarry stools or visible blood in stools
- Severe pain in the upper right abdomen
- Sudden, severe pain in the abdomen, particularly on the right side
- Yellow coloring of the skin and eyes
- Discomfort unrelated to eating
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting due to symptoms
Heart attacks may cause symptoms often are mistaken for indigestion. If indigestion is accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, chest pain, or pain radiating to the jaw, back, neck or arm, seek medical attention immediately.
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like
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.
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.
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What To Eat When You Have Indigestion
Eating too quickly, consuming fatty or spicy foods, or overeating are some of the most common indigestion triggers. And just as you can provoke indigestion by eating, you can also treat indigestion by consuming certain stomach-soothing foods or beverages.
Here are the best foods and drinks for getting rid of indigestion pain fast.
Avoid Tight Fitting Clothes
Things cinched tightly about your waist or middle can worsen heartburn. If you have super tight jeans on, when you sit down, the waistband is going to sink into your abdomen region. Same goes for tight belts-and even shirts can be a problem for some. This is because all of the above puts extra pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, which make it more likely stomach contents, will push through and youll experience reflux.
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When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider About Heartburn During Pregnancy
If heartburn isnt going away, talk to your provider. They can prescribe medications that are safe to take while pregnant.
You should also call your provider if you:
- Have heartburn that wakes you up at night.
- Have trouble swallowing.
- Have black poop.
- Are losing weight.
Heartburn can have similar symptoms to a heart attack. If youve never had heartburn before and youre having chest pains, call your provider or head to the nearest ER.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Heartburn during pregnancy is a common pregnancy symptom, especially in the third trimester. You can prevent or get relief from heartburn during pregnancy by making a few changes to your diet, like eating more frequent but smaller meals and avoiding spicy or fried foods. Some yogurt or milk may also help relieve symptoms. Before you take antacids, be sure to check with your provider for the safest option to take during pregnancy.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/29/2021.
Things To Remember When Taking Antibiotics:
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Natural Treatment For Gerd #5 Consume Coconut Oil Everyday To Get Rid Of Heartburn For Good
Coconut oilis a powerful bacterial and fungal destroyer. The biggest benefit forheartburn and GERD sufferers, however, is the fact that it fills you up, soyou naturally eat less. One of the most common problems of people who sufferfrom acid reflux and heartburn is they simply eat too much food. And thebigger your meals are the more chance you have of improper digestion because your stomach acid simply cant break down all of the foodyouve eaten quickly enough. The result of this indigestion is of course acidreflux in the throat and heartburn. But coconut oil fills you up faster and having it withyour meals has been proven in studies to make you eat less. This is anotherreason why its so good for weight loss. Coconut oil also contains MCTs which are easily digestible and provide lots ofhealth benefits the most noticeable being a considerable increase in energy.
So be sureto go out and purchase some raw organic, extra virgin coconut oil and have atablespoon with your meal or mixed in a smoothie . And make sure you use itin your cooking as much as you possibly can as well!
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Heartburn Gerd And Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can put extra pressure on the muscles in the stomach and frequently cause symptoms of acid reflux while pregnant. Also, the same foods that cause heartburn in any person affect pregnant women just as much.
According to Dr. John Cunha on MedicineNet, some ways to alleviate heartburn symptoms during pregnancy include some of the following:16
- Raise the head end of your bed by 6 to 8 inches. This helps to take the pressure off your stomach and prevents heartburn in the morning.
- Lay on your left side while sleeping as this makes it harder for stomach juices to escape into your esophagus.
- Dont bend over after eating.
- Avoid foods that increase heartburn symptoms and consume more foods that prevent excess stomach acid.
- Chewing gum can help relieve heartburn symptoms during pregnancy.
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Can Indigestion Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are ways to prevent indigestion. To start, you need to know your body and how it reacts to different food and drinks. Spicy and acidic foods and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion. Try to avoid those things when possible. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and dont eat too late at night. Dont lie down too soon after eating. Limit the use of alcohol. If you use tobacco, try to quit. Stress and lack of sleep also can worsen symptoms.
When Should I Talk To My Doctor
If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms , you may have a more serious problem that requires attention.
Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD. This means that your heartburn needs to be controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus.
Your doctor may prescribe certain acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research indicates that medications called H2 blockers, which help block the production of acid, appear to be safe.
Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, is used for people with heartburn that doesnt respond to other treatments.
If youre concerned about the effects of medications, be sure to talk to your doctor. Doctors can help you control your symptoms while keeping your unborn child safe.
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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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