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What Can You Take For Bad Heartburn

Acid Reflux Diet: 8 Foods To Eat & Avoid

How to fix Heartburn (GERD) at Night. Acid Reflux at Night Causes

Acid reflux, that irritating backflow of stomach acid up into your esophagus, is often triggered by what you eat and drink. Eat the wrong food and youâre sure to feel the burn. Some foods are known to cause reflux more than others.

Quick reminder: If you have heartburn more than twice per week, you may have a more serious condition called GERDschedule an appointment today.

Here are 8 foods to avoid if you have acid reflux, and 8 foods that keep you free from the burn and keep you healthier overall. A win-win!

Betaine Hcl With Pepsin

Betaine hydrochloride is a compound used to increase stomach acid .

Low levels of stomach acid may slow digestion and the absorption of nutrients, as well as cause a range of side effects, including heartburn, stomach pain, and acid reflux .

One study in 6 people with low levels of stomach acid showed that taking 1500 mg of betaine HCl increased stomach acidity .

Betaine hydrochloride is also paired with pepsin in many supplements. Pepsin is a digestive enzyme in stomach acid that breaks proteins into smaller units .

One 6-week study in 97 people with indigestion found that taking pepsin combined with amino acid hydrochloride significantly reduced symptoms like stomach pain and burning .

That said, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded theres not currently enough evidence to ensure the effectiveness of betaine HCl or pepsin at increasing stomach acidity .

Therefore, more research on whether betaine HCl with pepsin may be beneficial for treating acid reflux is needed.

summary

Some studies indicate that betaine HCl may increase stomach acidity in people with low stomach acid, thereby reducing symptoms of acid reflux. Pepsin may also relieve indigestion symptoms, but more research is needed.

A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux

If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.

Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.

Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.

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Follow A Low Carb Diet

Growing evidence suggests that low carb diets may relieve acid reflux symptoms.

In fact, some researchers suspect that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen, which could contribute to acid reflux (

Summary

Excessive alcohol intake can worsen acid reflux symptoms. If you experience heartburn, limiting your alcohol intake might help ease some of your discomfort.

If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional

Do You Get Bad Heartburn In Early Pregnancy

That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional. On the other hand, if a person only has occasional bouts of heartburn, he or she may find that taking nonprescription antacids and making some simple changes in lifestyle can resolve the heartburn. If these measures do not help, then a visit to a health care professional is warranted.

If a person has any of these symptoms, with or without heartburn, call a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away:

  • Throwing up blood or passing blood in bowel movements
  • Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
  • Difficulty swallowing

With proper understanding of the condition and treatment, relief can be attained.

When I have chest pain, how can I tell whether it is my heart or just heartburn?

Sometimes a person cant tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately.

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Specific Foods To Avoid With Gerd

Relieving GERD symptoms can be as simple as making some smart meal choices. Spicy foods, including curry, salsa, chili, and hot sauce aggravate GERD symptoms. The spices make stomach acid stir up and become more likely to kick back up into your throat.

Garlic and onions are also aggravating foods. Beware as these are ingredients in many recipes, including holiday stuffing, stews, and some salads.

Fatty meals from fast-food restaurants or barbecue joints can slow digestion, so food sits and stomach acid releases over a longer period of time. Greasy cuts of meat, French fries, and burgers are best kept off your plate. Opt for grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and flatbread instead.

Pizza is a double whammy as its often fatty and covered in acidic tomato sauce, which exacerbates GERD. Classic or spicy marinara sauces over pasta can be triggers for GERD symptoms, too.

Citrus fruits and chocolate are highly acidic, meaning you should also avoid these if youve been diagnosed with GERD. Coffee, alcohol, carbonated drinks, and alcohol also irritate your digestive tract.

Sometimes, the simple after-dinner mint which seems entirely harmless can also set off a surge of GERD symptoms.

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What Foods Should Be Avoided With Gerd

When you have GERD, there are certain foods and drinks that might irritate your condition and cause symptoms to flare up. You should avoid eating foods that are high in fat, as well as foods and beverages that contain caffeine, such as coffee and chocolate. Other foods and drinks to avoid include onions, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, and other products, tomato products, and peppermint.

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Maintain A Healthy Weight

If you are overweight, dropping a few pounds can help resolve heartburn symptoms not least because you are less likely to eat high-fat foods on a diet. Losing as little as 2.5 pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms, according to David A. Johnson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine.7

What Are The Complications Associated With Heartburn

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

Occasional heartburn isnt typically a cause for concern. However, frequent heartburn may be a symptom of GERD. This condition may require treatment with prescription medication or surgery.

If left untreated, GERD may lead to additional health problems, such as an inflammation of the esophagus, which is called esophagitis, or Barretts esophagus, according to a 2018 review . Barretts esophagus causes changes in the lining of the esophagus that can increase your risk of esophageal cancer.

Long-term heartburn can also affect your quality of life. See your doctor to determine a course of treatment if you find it difficult to carry on your daily life or are severely limited in your activities due to heartburn.

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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:

  • Mint
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based foods

Some people find that sweets, high-glycemic index foods , and meals that are too hot may trigger heartburn.

What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when someone has reflux more than twice a week. Its a more serious condition than GER. Doctors usually treat it with medicine.

GERD can be a problem if its not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.

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Let Your Stomach Loose

Tight waistbands or belts that dig into your stomach place unnecessary pressure on your abdomen.10 Swallowing an antacid and undoing the button of your pants or taking your belt down a notch or two after eating will provide instant relief. Maintaining a healthy weight is, however, a better long-term solution.

H2 Receptor Blockers Vs Proton Pump Inhibitors

Heartburn The Facts Ph

Proton pump inhibitors are another type of medication used to reduce stomach acid and treat acid reflux or GERD. Examples of PPIs include esomeprazole and pantoprazole .

Both medications work by blocking and decreasing the production of stomach acid, but PPIs are considered stronger and faster in reducing stomach acids. However, H2 receptor blockers specifically decrease the acid released in the evening, which is a common contributor to peptic ulcers. This is why H2 receptor blockers are specifically prescribed to people who have ulcers or who are at risk for getting them. PPIs are more often prescribed for people who have GERD or acid reflux.

Doctors usually dont recommend taking both a PPI and an H2 receptor blocker at the same time. H2 receptor blockers can interfere with the effectiveness of PPIs. If your GERD symptoms dont improve with the use of a PPI, your doctor may recommend an H2 receptor blocker instead.

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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.

Treating Heartburn And Gerd

Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs . They keep the stomach from making too much acid. They have been shown to heal irritation of the tube between the throat and the stomach .

In most cases, you dont need a PPI for heartburn. You can get relief from a less powerful drug. And when you do need a PPI, you should take the lowest dose for as short a time as possible. Heres why:

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Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly

When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.

Treating Heartburn And Acid Reflux

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Your GP may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor . This reduces how much acid your stomach makes. PPIs include omeprazole and lansoprazole.

You’ll usually need to take this type of medicine for 4 or 8 weeks, depending on how serious your acid reflux is.

Go back to the GP if your symptoms return after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription.

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Watch: Foods That Help Get Rid Of Acid Reflux

Eat regularly throughout the day. Overeating is never a good idea, but an empty stomach can cause problems, too. Go more than three to four hours without chowing down and stomach acid collects. Eat small meals and drink water throughout the day.

Dont eat before bed. Nocturnal acid reflex is a real concern. Normally, someone who is sitting upright will swallow saliva and neutralize that acid, Ergun says. But if youre sleeping, it could be sitting in your esophagus for a while. Wait at least two to three hours after eating before you go to bed. And watch how you sleep. Liquid and gas want to go to the path of least resistance, Pichetshote says. If youre lying flat, it can easily go up toward your head. If youre sleeping a little more upright, it has to fight gravity.

Elevate your head six to eight inches by buying a wedge pillow or slipping a wedge-shaped piece of foam underneath your mattress. Some research suggests that lying on your left side can reduce acid reflux. Theres a pocket in our stomach that has a little more acid than the rest of our stomach, Pichetshote says. When we sleep on our right side, the pocket becomes closer to our esophagus and that can give us more reflux.

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.

  • An Everyday Online visit is a convenient option for diagnosis and treatment of heartburn, as well as to help determine if your heartburn symptoms point to acid reflux or GERD .
  • 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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Adopt New Bedroom Habits

Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to heartburn? If so, try sleeping on your left side this position seems to help. Experts also recommend keeping your upper body elevated to make it harder for acids to flow up the esophagus. Raise the head of your bed or use a thick wedge-shaped body pillow when sleeping to keep heartburn at bay.7

References

  • Definition & Facts for GER & GERD. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. . Accessed 09/01/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • Baking Soda for Heartburn. Gastrointestinal Society 2019. . Accessed 09/01/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • Does apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux? Medical News Today. . Accessed 10/11/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • Remedies: Chewing Gum for Heartburn. The New York Times. . Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • What to drink if you have acid reflux. Medical News Today. . Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • * Onset of acid neutralization does not imply the onset of symptom relief.

    Side Effects Of Antacids

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    Side effects from antacids are rare. However, they can occur, even when you use them according to the directions.

    Antacids can either cause constipation or have a laxative effect. Some people have had allergic reactions. Antacids might also increase the risk of developing sensitivities to certain foods.

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    Surgery And Other Medical Procedures

    Your doctor may recommend surgery if your GERD symptoms dont improve with lifestyle changes and medicines, or if you wish to stop taking long-term GERD medicines to manage symptoms. Youre more likely to develop complications from surgery than from medicines.

    Fundoplication. Fundoplication is the most common surgery for GERD. In most cases, it leads to long-term improvement of GERD symptoms. During the operation, a surgeon sews the top of your stomach around the end of your esophagus to add pressure to the lower esophageal sphincter and help prevent reflux.

    Surgeons may perform fundoplication as laparoscopic or open surgery. In laparoscopic fundoplication, which is more common, surgeons make small cuts in the abdomen and insert special tools to perform the operation. Laparoscopic fundoplication leaves several small scars. In open fundoplication, surgeons make a larger cut in the abdomen.

    Bariatric surgery. If you have GERD and obesity, your doctor may recommend weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, most often gastric bypass surgery. Bariatric surgery can help you lose weight and reduce GERD symptoms.

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