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What Can You Do To Prevent Heartburn

Foods Which Alleviate And Prevent Acid Reflux

How To Stop Acid Reflux | How To Treat Acid Reflux (2018)

Looking for a diet to help with acid reflux and Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease ? According to this study, which measured the effect of diet changes on GERD, the following foods could help with acid reflux: whole grains, beans, vegetables , lean fish, lean chicken, and more.

It is a good idea to experiment with different foods to see which ones trigger your own reflux. For more see the article on foods to avoid for acid reflux .

In addition to eating these foods, avoiding spicy, fatty, and salty foods can help. Caffeine and alcohol consumption should also be minimized.

Why Am I Getting Heartburn

Heartburn is commonly mistaken as too much stomach acid/digestive juices. However, in most cases, the exact opposite is true. As was demonstrated in the case study of a 42 year old female professional athlete who was suffering with acid reflux as well as IBS and Hypochlorhydria .

To address her digestive issues, she took a functional nutrition approach and did experience some improvement through diet and lifestyle changes. However, it wasnt until she integrated supplemental Betaine Hydrochloride, which increases her stomach acidity, with her meals on a consistent basis that she found lasting, pain-free relief from her digestive problems.

Another reason you might experience heartburn is as a result of the aging process. In a clinical study of 359 elderly individuals aged 60-99, there was a significantly higher incidence of heartburn caused by digestive tissue damage in older individuals than in younger individuals.

Those with heartburn also had other signs of low stomach acid, such as lower blood levels of digestive enzyme precursors, and certain nutrients that required stomach acid to absorb. These nutrients tend to be deficient in those with chronic gut inflammation and weak stomach acid production.

Four Things To Do After Eating

  • Limit coffee and desserts: Chocolate and caffeine might be a favorite, but they often trigger symptoms.
  • Slow down: Physical exertion after a meal can lead to reflux.
  • Skip the after-dinner mint: Peppermint is another heartburn irritant.
  • Stay awake: Eating delicious food might make you sleepy, but fight the urge to take a nap. Lying down within three hours after eating can cause acid reflux symptoms to flare up.
  • With these small changes, you can help your heartburn even if you suffer from GERD. Just remember The Rule of Fours and you will reduce or maybe even eliminate your acid reflux.

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    A Note About Proton Pump Inhibitors

    Proton pump inhibitors are the most effective treatments for chronic acid reflux. Theyre generally considered very safe. They reduce your bodys production of gastric acids. Unlike some other medications, you only need to take them once a day to prevent symptoms.

    There are also downsides to using proton pump inhibitors on a long-term basis. Over time, they can deplete vitamin B-12 in your body. Since stomach acid is one of your bodys defenses against infection, proton pump inhibitors can also raise your risk of infection and bone fractures. In particular, they can raise your risk of hip, spine, and wrist fractures. They can also be expensive, often costing more than $100 each month.

    Home Remedies For Heartburn: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux

    14 Ways to Prevent Heartburn and Acid Reflux

    Despite what its name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.

    Rather, it’s a burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the 10-inch tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

    When it hits, heartburn can last for just a few minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable so it’s no surprise if you’re looking for a way to get rid of the sensation fast.

    Read Also: What Causes Heartburn After Every Meal

    Home Remedies And Tips For Heartburn Relief & Prevention

    Heartburn is a burning feeling that happens when the acid in your stomach rises into your esophagus, the pipe that connects your mouth to your stomach. This is called acid reflux1.

    Luckily, there are easy and simple ways to help manage heartburn symptoms on your own.

    It is important to note that these are home remedies results may vary from person to person. Always remember to consult with your health care provider before trying any of these remedies.

    Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages

    Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.

    This is because studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of reflux .

    One study found that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened certain acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, fullness, and burping .

    The main reason is that the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .

    Summary

    Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily increases the frequency of burping, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.

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    How A Doctor Can Help

    If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.

    GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.

    The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center

    GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.

    What Causes Heartburn And What Does It Feel Like Exactly

    How to Prevent Heartburn

    Stomach acid is needed to break down the food you eat, something your stomach has no trouble handling. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is irritated by it.

    To keep stomach acid in your stomach and out of your esophagus, a circular ring of muscle at the tube’s base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. When this valve is relaxed, food you’ve consumed is allowed to pass through to your stomach. When contracted, this valve prevents this food and acid from backing up into your esophagus.

    If this valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid is allowed to travel back into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. Heartburn is the most well-known and obvious symptom.

    It can feel differently depending on its severity, but heartburn symptoms include:

    • A burning sensation in your chest, behind your breastbone
    • Burning pain that rises up toward your throat
    • Having a bitter or sour taste in your mouth

    Acid reflux and heartburn are sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition, or even a medication you’re taking in some cases. But, more often than not, they’re triggered by things like your diet and lifestyle choices making the occasional bout of heartburn fairly common.

    Common triggers of heartburn include:

    • Overeating or eating too quickly
    • Lying down too soon after eating
    • Consuming certain foods, including caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, peppermint, citrus, tomato-based products, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
    • Being overweight
    • Stress and anxiety

    Read Also: What To Do When You Get Heartburn

    Things To Stop Doing If You Have Gerd

    Chronic heartburn can impact your whole life. It may interfere with your sleep. You may have to stop eating some of your favorite foods. Heartburn can even impact your work.

    Chronic heartburn is often associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease . When you have this condition, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. This can cause heartburn, a burning sensation in your chest.

    How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy

    When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.

    Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant:

  • Dip into some yogurt. Its probiotics and soothing texture make yogurt a great option for extinguishing heartburn or at least dousing the flames a little.
  • Drink milk with honey. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk may be just what you need to neutralize heartburn-causing acid.
  • Snack on almonds. Munching on a handful of almonds may provide heartburn relief since these nuts have a lower acidity level than others.
  • Eat pineapple or papaya. For some women, the digestive enzymes in pineapple and papaya have helped ease symptoms. Eating these fruits after your meals can aid digestion and reduce your chances of heartburn.
  • Try a little ginger. You probably knew ginger was a good remedy for an upset stomach. Well, that makes it a helpful candidate for fighting off heartburn, too. Among gingers many benefits, it can reduce inflammation and prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Another effective method for taming the burn is to chew some sugar-free gum. One study found that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce acid reflux.
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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?

    Things That Can Make Heartburn Worse

    Let

    Many things can make heartburn worse. Heartburn is most common after overeating, when bending over or when lying down. Pregnancy, stress, and certain foods can also make heartburn worse.

    Things that can make heartburn worse:

    • Cigarette smoking
    • Certain drinks, including coffee , other drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
    • Citrus fruits
    • Fatty foods or spicy foods
    • Lying down too soon after eating
    • Being overweight or obese

    Recommended Reading: Is Baking Soda Good For Heartburn And Gas

    What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn

    • Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
    • Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
    • Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
    • If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.

    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.

    Quit smoking: Smoking interferes with the proper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter.

    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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    Maintain A Healthy Weight

    Overweight and obesity are common risk factors for frequent acid reflux and developing gastroesophageal reflux disease . It becomes easy to maintain a healthy weight when you are avoiding the foods that cause heartburn and eating more fiber-rich foods to prevent heartburn. Taking a brisk walk after a meal can aid digestion and reduce acid reflux. This will also help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.

    To find out if you are a healthy weight, use this BMI calculator.

    What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

    Pregnancy Tips : How to Avoid Heartburn While Pregnant

    People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:

    • Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
    • Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.

    Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.

    Read Also: Why Do I Get Heartburn Every Time I Eat

    Ways To Quell The Fire Of Heartburn

    Heartburn is a common problem. It’s caused by the backwash of stomach acid into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach. This is formally called gastroesophageal reflux disease . More than just a minor discomfort, heartburn can significantly reduce quality of life. “Heartburn can cause damage to the esophagus and even increase the risk of cancer if ignored and untreated,” says Dr. William Kormos, editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    These eight steps can help ease heartburn.

  • Eat in a heartburn-smart way. Large meals put pressure on the muscle that normally helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. The more you eat, the longer it takes for the stomach to empty, which contributes to reflux. Try smaller, more frequent meals and don’t wolf down your food.
  • Avoid late-night eating. Having a meal or snack within three hours of lying down to sleep can worsen reflux, causing heartburn. Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out.
  • Don’t exercise right after meals. Give your stomach time to empty wait a couple of hours. But don’t just lie down either, which will worsen reflux.
  • Identify and avoid foods associated with heartburn. Common offenders include fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate. Carbonated beverages cause belching, which also causes reflux.
  • Why Does Heartburn Happen

    Heartburn goes by many names you might also know it as acid reflux or acid indigestion. It is a burning or tingling feeling that occurs when the contents of your stomach rise into your food pipe . Mild heartburn is quite common, and most healthy people will experience it from time to time.

    To understand why we get heartburn, it can help to think about how the oesophagus and stomach work.

    There is a ring of muscle where the oesophagus and stomach meet . It relaxes to allow food into the stomach and tightens to prevent stomach contents from moving back up into the oesophagus.

    In the stomach, strong acids help break down food as part of the digestive process. While your stomach is built to withstand this acid, your oesophagus is not.

    If the oesophageal sphincter is weak, or relaxes when it shouldnt, the stomachs contents can move up into the oesophagus and causes pain, irritation, and discomfort. This backward flow is called reflux, and the burning chest pain is known as heartburn.

    Lying down or bending over can make heartburn feel worse, as the acidic stomach contents can travel further up the oesophagus.

    Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Burps

    Adjust Your Sleep Position

    Elevating your head and chest higher than your feet as you sleep can help prevent and ease acid reflux and heartburn. You can do this using a foam wedge placed under the mattress or by raising bedposts using wood blocks. Beware of piling pillows, as this usually isn’t effective and may even make your symptoms worse. Additionally, sleeping on your left side is thought to aid digestion and may work to limit stomach acid reflux.

    Stopping Heartburn In Its Tracks

    Pin on Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD, LPR

    Some days, even the best acid reflux home remedies just dont cut it. An over-the-counter acid reducer can help. PEPCID® works fast to relieve heartburn and controls acid all day or all night*.

    *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.

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    What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy

    Causes of heartburn during pregnancy include:

    • Hormone levels changing: Your hormone levels change during pregnancy, affecting how you tolerate and digest foods. The hormones often slow down your digestive system. Food moves slower, causing bloating and heartburn.
    • Esophageal sphincter relaxing: Progesterone, known as the pregnancy hormone, can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. When it relaxes, stomach acid can move up into the esophagus.
    • Uterus enlarging: As your baby grows, your uterus gets bigger. It can crowd your stomach and push stomach acids upward, into your esophagus. Thats why heartburn is more common during the third trimester, the last few months of pregnancy. The baby and uterus are biggest then, crowding your other organs.

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