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What Causes Heartburn And Reflux

How Is Indigestion Diagnosed

The Real Causes of Acid Reflux, Heartburn & GERD Dr.Berg

Your doctor will review your symptoms and perform a physical exam. They may order tests to determine the cause of indigestion. Those tests can include blood work, urine/stool tests, or an X-ray or ultrasound. Sometimes your doctor may perform an upper endoscopy to see inside your stomach. Your doctor will insert a thin tube with a camera on the end into your esophagus. This will be done after youre given medicines to go to sleep.

Why Is Gerd Worse After Going To Bed

There are several explanations for why GERD is commonly worse at night after going to bed:

  • When lying down, gravity no longer helps keep stomach acid down, making it easier for reflux to occur.
  • Saliva can help neutralize stomach acid, but production of saliva is reduced during deeper stages of sleep.

A combination of these effects can facilitate the leakage of stomach acid into the esophagus and allow the acid to remain in place for longer, potentially causing more severe GERD symptoms, including those that can disturb sleep. The problem may be even greater if a person goes to bed soon after eating and/or eats foods that trigger GERD.

Root Causes Of Heartburn Reflux & Gerd

Theres no single cause of heartburn, reflux, GERD, and NERD. To understand whats causing your particular case, you must look past the symptoms to find and address your root cause. Here are 20 of the most common causes some are widely accepted by the medical community, while others come from a more holistic perspective .

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List Of 14 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux Gasand Indigestion

I. Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

1. Tomato

Tomato is the first common food in the list of foods that cause acid reflux and indigestion. Tomatoes and processed tomato foods can make the stomach produce more acid. Biomedical scientist Jeremy Tian, a senior scientist at USANA Health Sciences, says that when there is excessive acid in the stomach, it will be refluxed into the esophagus. Meanwhile, Christine Frissora advises that if you make pizza or pasta without tomatoes, do not use tomato sauce because high-fat foods also cause acid reflux. If you want to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux when eating these foods, you should eat them with raw vegetables.

2. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits contain lots of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and potassium. Therefore, they are good for health and skin. However, a study published in the journal Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology in the United States found that limiting the consumption of citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, and grapefruit reduced the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease.

When To Seek Medical Advice

What is the Cause of Heartburn &  Acid Reflux?

Having mild, infrequent heartburn generally isnt cause for concern. But if youre experiencing heartburn more than twice a week, or if your symptoms are severe or getting worse, its important to speak with your doctor. Frequent heartburn could be a sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux , a condition that requires prescription medication and monitoring.

If you are experiencing chest pain and arent sure if its heartburn or a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention by calling triple zero .

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Pharmacy First Scotland: Indigestion Treatment From Your Pharmacy

Most people will not need to seek medical advice for their indigestion. However, your pharmacist may advise you see your GP if you have recurring indigestion and any of the following apply:

  • you are 55 years old or over
  • you have lost a lot of weight without meaning to
  • you have increasing difficulty swallowing
  • you have persistent vomiting
  • you have a lump in your stomach
  • you have blood in your vomit or blood in your stools

This is because these symptoms may be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as a stomach ulcer or stomach cancer. You may need to be referred for an endoscopy to rule out any serious cause.

An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the body is examined using an endoscope .

Severe indigestion can cause long-term problems with parts of your digestive tract, such as scarring of the oesophagus or the passage from your stomach. Read more about the possible complications of severe indigestion.

How To Avoid Heartburn

When it comes to acid reflux, there are certain foods that are almost universally problematic.

The best strategy is to avoid them entirely. But unfortunately, they often make up over half of many peoples diets.

In Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure, authors Jamie Koufman, MD, Jordan Stern, MD, and French master chef Marc Bauer share foods they consider hazardous, based on medical literature and their experience treating thousands of patients.

RELATED: 11 Foods That Help Heartburn, According to Gastroenterologists

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If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional

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 can’t 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.


What Is Silent Reflux And What Can I Do About It

What causes heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD?

Silent reflux often goes undetected. Like acid reflux, silent reflux can cause regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and a sore throat. But unlike acid reflux, it does not usually present with heartburn, and the only symptoms may relate to the throat.

Without this very obvious symptom of burning pain, silent reflux symptoms can go unnoticed and become normalized. But silent reflux should be addressed to improve your quality of life and prevent worsening digestive conditions later on.

In this article, well review the symptoms, diagnosis, causes, and treatment of silent reflux and discuss how you can address silent reflux naturally.

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Looking For Acid Reflux And Gerd Remedies

The good news is that acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD are all highly treatable. Acid reflux is most commonly treated with medications and lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or diet changes. However, there are times when surgery might be recommended. This usually only happens when your acid reflux is severe and nothing else is working.

Are you looking for tips on controlling your acid reflux through food? Check out these diet tips for acid reflux! You can also explore the heartburn triggers youll want to avoid.

Sodas And Carbonated Beverages

Many people find they get heartburn after drinking sodas and carbonated beverages.

Research suggests that these drinks may relax the esophageal sphincter and increase the acidity of stomach acid two risk factors for heartburn .

In fact, soft drink consumption is considered a major contributor to heartburn that occurs at night, which is known as nocturnal heartburn .

Some studies have found a link between drinking soft drinks and worsened symptoms in people with GERD.

For example, an older study found that people who consumed carbonated beverages had a 69% higher risk of developing reflux symptoms like heartburn .

If you experience heartburn after drinking soda or other carbonated beverages, its best to limit your intake or cut out carbonated drinks completely.


Sodas and other carbonated beverages may cause heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. If sodas or other carbonated beverages give you heartburn, consider cutting back or avoiding them completely.

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What Are Prescription Medications For Heartburn

If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:

  • Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength , Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.

There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.

Symptoms Of Heartburn Reflux And Gerd

Causes and Treatments of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Were all familiar with some of the most common symptoms of reflux. But there are some lesser known signs you may want to look out for too.

  • Heartburn This is the main symptom of reflux and GERD
  • Chest pain Pressure in the chest is also common, and can sometimes last a long time and be fairly intense. People sometimes mistake it for a heart attack.
  • Burping This is sometimes called dyspepsia
  • Regurgitation A wet burp or even vomiting some of the partially digested food is common.
  • Frequent hiccups
  • Bitter taste Acid can make it all the way to the back of your throat leaving a bitter taste and can cause choking if extreme.
  • Coughing or Choking
  • Lump in your throat feeling
  • Nausea
  • Bloating, especially in the upper abdomen
  • Asthma like symptoms

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Diet And Lifestyle Changes For Silent Reflux

Treating silent reflux or LPR starts with modifying your diet and lifestyle.

If you have silent reflux or symptoms of LPR, you probably already know that eating certain foods or overeating can trigger symptoms. If you havent identified your food triggers yet, a simple elimination diet can help. It will also remove other inflammatory foods from your diet.

Common triggering foods include:

Which diet should you start with? Its usually best to start with a Paleo diet for 2-3 weeks, monitoring your symptoms. The Paleo diet is a simple, anti-inflammatory option that is not overly restrictive and provides relief for many people.

If symptoms dont improve, you can move on to a more specialized diet like low FODMAP or low histamine. Give any new dietary changes a few weeks before reevaluating your symptoms. Some people experience relief right away, but others need time to adjust to the new dietary pattern.

However, if the new diet is helping, continue it while you address other underlying issues, including imbalances in the gut. Once underlying imbalances have been improved, you can begin to gradually reintroduce healthy foods that have been eliminated, monitoring your symptoms to see what your body tolerates and what seems to trigger symptoms.

Other eating and lifestyle habits may also help to control silent reflux:

Causes Of Heartburn In Women

  • Heart Disease:

Chest pain or angina that happens due to lack of blood flow from heart usually cause heartburn. The chances are more when you are involved in some moderate or strenuous activity. In case if you have crossed the age group of 50 and are feeling heartburn for the very first time, this condition can increase suspicion of angina. The suspicions may also rise in younger patients when they are already suffering from diabetes, hypertension or have a long family history of heart diseases.

  • Gallstones:

Gallstones are not always the prime cause of heartburn but the stone obstructing your bite can cause discomfort. It usually happens on the upper right side or middle of the abdomen. Pain associated with this condition may be dull, cramping, and sharp or may even strike hard right after you finish your meals.

  • Stomach Ulcers:

  • Hiatal Hernia:

  • Esophageal cancer:

Earlier, this condition was rare but within past few years, several cases of esophageal cancer have been reported in the United States. In case if you are suffering heartburn, there are chances that it happens due to esophageal cancer however, chances are rare. In order to examine this condition, your doctors may follow upper endoscopy. People who drink or smoke heavily are often at risk of esophageal cancer.

  • Gastroparesis:

  • Esophagitis:

  • Costochondritis or Pleuritis:

  • Anxiety:

  • Hormonal changes:

  • Weight gain:

  • Medications:

  • Lifestyle habits:

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Diagnosis Of Heartburn In Teenagers

Heartburn can be diagnosed based on the symptoms and medical history of your teen. If dietary changes and medications do not improve it, your doctor may order tests to confirm the cause of heartburn. It can be :

  • Radiography : This is a visualization of the esophagus under an x-ray with the help of contrast liquid. Your teen should swallow contrast liquid, such as barium, during this procedure. This method helps to identify structural defects in the esophagus. Contrast may cause nausea and light-colored stool, but it is not something to worry about.
  • Esophageal impedance and pH monitoring: This test helps to identify the acid reflux using specific tubes.
  • Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy: This test could give clear information about esophageal tissue damages from acid and sphincter function. Your doctor may also collect samples for biopsy during endoscopy. Usually, endoscopy is done in severe and moderate cases of heartburn.

Doctors may order blood tests, breath tests, and stool tests to exclude helicobacter pylori infection that could cause heartburn. The infection is often caused due to the consumption of contaminated food or water.

Whats The Difference Between Heartburn Reflux Gerd And Nerd

What Causes Heartburn Acid Reflux

Some of these terms are often used interchangeably, but there are distinct differences between them.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning pain in your chest, just behind the breastbone. This isnt a condition in and of itself, but rather a common symptom of acid reflux.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is the medical term for stomach acid occasionally flowing back up into the esophagus. If reflux becomes chronic, it can lead to GERD.

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder is when reflux occurs more than twice per week, leading to inflammation or damage in the esophagus .

What is NERD?

Non-erosive Reflux Disease is a lesser understood condition in which reflux occurs often, but without damage to the esophagus . We wont discuss NERD in detail here, but its important to remember you can still have similar symptoms and associated health risks of GERD even without esophageal damage.

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What Do I Do If I Think I Have Gerd

With GERD when reflux and heartburn happen more than once in a while the tissue lining your esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. Eventually the tissue becomes damaged. If you have this chronic acid reflux and heartburn you can see its affecting your daily eating and sleeping habits.

When GERD makes your daily life uncomfortable in this way, call your healthcare provider. Although GERD isnt life-threatening in itself, its chronic inflammation of the esophagus can lead to something more serious. You may need stronger prescription medications or even surgery to ease your symptoms.

Salt And Salted Foods

Salted foods are considered a cause of heartburn and acid reflux.

To be more precise, their damaging action is more effective in some people, who are at high risk because of their eating habits .

Salt and salted foods are then a perfect example of what weve said before. A disease is a battle between the bodys defense system and the attacking agent.

In this case, it has been reported that people with good health are much less sensitive to the damaging action of salted foods.

While in the presence of other factors, things may be different.

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What Else Should I Know

Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or even stop uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Untreated GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.

You’ll probably find that one of the simplest ways to make living with GERD easier is to avoid the things that trigger your symptoms. Some people will have to limit certain foods others may have to give them up entirely. It all depends on your symptoms.

It can be hard to give up sodas or favorite foods at first. But after a while, lots of people discover that they feel so much better that they don’t miss the problem foods as much as they thought they would.

Causes Of Heartburn In Teenagers

How to Improves the Heartburn and Reflux

Heartburn can be caused due to GERD, a condition in which acid from the stomach flows up to the esophagus due to weakness or other problems of the lower esophageal sphincter.

Heartburn may also often be caused due to the following factors besides GERD :

  • Obesity
  • Coffee or tea
  • Soft drinks

If your teen has heartburn that is frequent, excessively painful, not related to dietary factors and despite exercising and adequate rest seek a doctors advice.

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The Differences Between Silent Reflux Acid Reflux Gerd And Lpr

Lets start with defining reflux by itself. Reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into your esophagus, and sometimes all the way up to your throat. For many people , this causes heartburn. From there we get two different types of reflux:

  • Silent reflux: This affects the voice box/larynx and the throat/pharynx. You might feel this as a sore throat, burping, hoarse voice, etc. The reflux is silent because it doesnt cause the burning pain of heartburn and so may go unnoticed for some time.
  • Acid reflux: This affects the esophagus, which connects the throat and the stomach. The primary symptom is heartburn or burning pain.

Then, we have LPR and GERD, two conditions involving chronic reflux:

  • LPR : You can think of LPR as the chronic presentation of silent reflux. The two terms are often used interchangeably. Laryngo means something that affects the larynx or voice box, and pharyngeal means something that affects the area at the back of the throat, called the pharynx. So together, this is reflux affecting the larynx and the pharynx.
  • GERD : GERD is a condition involving chronic acid reflux. This condition often overlaps with LPR.


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