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What Causes Long Term Heartburn

Diagnosing H Pylori Infection

GERD: Symptoms and Treatments

If your GP thinks that your symptoms may be due to an infection with H pylori bacteria, you may need to have a test for it, such as:

  • a stool antigen test a pea-sized stool sample will be tested for H pylori bacteria
  • a breath test
  • a blood test a blood sample will be tested for antibodies to H pylori bacteria

Antibiotics and PPIs can affect the results of a urea breath test or a stool antigen test. Therefore, these tests may need to be delayed until two weeks after you last used a PPI, and four weeks after you last used an antibiotic.

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.

Causes Of Heartburn In Teenagers

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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A Digestive Problem That Affects Roughly 18 Percent Of The Us Population

More than 60 million people in the United States experience heartburn at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology .

The group also notes that according to some studies, over 15 million Americans have heartburn symptoms every single day.

Heartburn is more common in older people and pregnant women.

In fact, between 17 and 45 percent of pregnant women report episodes of heartburn, according to a study published in September 2015 in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence.

Harvard Medical School notes that according to one survey, 65 percent of people with heartburn experience symptoms both during the day and at night.

Among those who report nighttime symptoms, 75 percent experience trouble sleeping as a result, and 40 percent say that it affects their job performance the next day.

While both occasional and frequent heartburn commonly cause discomfort, only about 6 percent of the population has heartburn that causes ongoing functional problems, according to the ACG.

Six Signs Your Heartburn Could Be Something More Serious

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That burning, uncomfortable sensation in your chest? Itâs probably heartburn. Heartburn is a very common ailment that affects many people for many reasons. It occurs when digestive acid escapes the stomach and irritates the delicate lining of the esophagus.

Usually, itâs the result of eating certain foods, or simply overeating, and can be treated with over-the-counter antacids. But sometimes, heartburn is a symptom of bigger problems, that require other solutions. Hereâs when to call a doctor:

Also Check: What Could Cause Heartburn Everyday

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.

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.

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Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux

If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:

  • tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
  • an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication

Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023

Are There Any Tests For Heartburn

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If it is obvious from the symptoms that a person has heartburn, no tests or exams may be necessary. Advice in regard to lifestyle modifications, diet, or medications may begin immediately.

If your health care professional is not sure about the diagnosis, or if he or she is concerned about damage done by chronic heartburn, tests may be ordered. This is true especially if the patient has already been prescribed medications that are not relieving the heartburn.

There is no simple blood test for heartburn. The tests used to diagnose heartburn include the following:

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Foods To Avoid In Heartburn

Dietary changes can have a major impact on your teens heartburn problems. They should not consume foods and drinks that often worsen acid reflux. You may ask them to avoid :

  • Fried and fatty foods

Although dietary and lifestyle changes could improve heartburn, it may persist if it is caused by functional or structural defects of the esophageal sphincter or drug side effects and H. pylori infection among others. Early diagnosis and treatment could help to prevent complications.

Maintaining good hand hygiene and cleaning and cooking food properly could prevent helicobacter pylori infections. You may also avoid eating from unhygienic and non-regulated restaurants.

Does your teen experience heartburn? What precautions do you take to prevent heartburn in your teen? Let us know in the comments section below.

References:

How Common Is Gerd

GERD is very common. The condition and its symptoms touch a huge number of people: 20% of the U.S. population.

Anyone of any age can develop GERD, but some may be more at risk for it. For example, the chances youll have some form of GERD increase after age 40.

Youre also more likely to have it if youre:

  • Overweight or obese.
  • Smoking or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Taking certain medications that may cause acid reflux.

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Risks And Complications Of Heartburn In Teens

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

  • Esophagitis
  • Ulcerations in the esophagus
  • Narrowing of the esophagus followed by damage
  • Dry cough and other respiratory complications
  • Change in voice

Heartburn may interrupt sleep and often worsen asthma problems. It may also be associated with inflammation of the larynx . Long-standing acid reflux may cause changes in the esophagus, known as Barretts esophagus. It is a precancerous change and requires medical care.

Asthma And Other Respiratory Problems

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Asthma and heartburn often go hand-in-hand. Studies have found that about 30% to 80% of patients with asthma also have symptoms of GERD. Whether asthma leads to GERD or vice versa is still unknown. One possible explanation of the connection between GERD and asthma is that acid that backs up from the stomach gets into the airways.

GERD has also been linked to several other respiratory conditions, including:

  • Recurrent pneumonia

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Is It Heartburn Several Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Acid Reflux

Heart Disease

Gallstones

Stomach Ulcers

Hiatal Hernias and Esophageal Cancer

Gastroparesis and Esophagitis

Gastroparesis and esophagitis are known causes of heartburn. Nerve damage related to diabetes can affect the digestive tract and can cause food to move slowly through the digestive system. This can result in heartburn due to gastroparesis. Esophagitis occurs due to frequent acid reflux. Taking pain killers or osteoporosis medications without water can cause them to remain in the esophagus, resulting in inflammation. Inflammation can also be caused by certain infections or radiation. Esophagitis can also be related to allergies and asthma.

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of heartburn, as it could be something more serious. Treating chronic heartburn can improve your long-term gastrointestinal health!

A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux

Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.

They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.

It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.

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Why Does Gerd Cause Nausea

It is unclear why GERD tends to cause nausea, though it may be related to the way acid reflux happens.

Generally, after a person takes in liquids or foods, the lower esophageal sphincter closes to prevent any food particles or stomach acids from flowing back up into the esophagus.

When the lower esophageal sphincter does not function properly, however, a person may experience acid reflux.

In turn, the acid reflux may result in a sour taste in a persons mouth, along with coughing or burping. This can lead to a feeling of nausea.

New Findings Regarding Barretts Esophagus

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One possible complication that occurs in about 10% of those with GERD is a condition called Barretts esophagus. This condition involves a change in the tissue lining the esophagus associated with repeated or prolonged exposure to reflux. It causes concern because it is considered a potentially pre-cancerous condition, although the incidence is quite low. Previous reports have estimated an annual incidence of cancer with Barretts esophagus of up to 1.9%. However, in the Spechler, et al. study only 0.4% with Barretts esophagus developed cancer and another recent study placed the annual incidence at 0.5%.

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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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Switching From Ppi To H2 Blocker:

Switching from one drug to another requires proper supervision of a doctor or a nurse. If not properly supervised it can harm patients health.

Cimetidine and famotidine are the most prescribed h2 blockers. These are second in line treatment medications for acid reflux. If PPIs such as omeprazole fail to cure acid reflux, then the doctor will advise you to shift to taking h2 blockers.

Sometimes in severe cases of GERD, doctors prescribe a combination of both h2 blockers and PPI, but this is rare.

Before taking H2 blockers make sure you have taken advice from the doctor. Do not change medication yourself or it can result in serious side effects. Even a sudden shift of medication can case backlash side effects, which could be fatal for the patient.

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Why Is Ranitidine Not Safer

· It needs to be prescribed in a high dose, i.e., 150mg twice a day for a year. Ranitidine can affect vital organs of the patients such as injury to the liver. It can cause severe complications to the heart, liver, and kidneys.

· Ranitidine is used primarily used as an antihistamine, which means it is used to treat allergic reactions whereas, using it as an antacid is its secondary use.

Control Your Acid Reflux

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If you have frequent acid reflux, that means you have acid reflux disease . The vast majority of patients with acid reflux disease respond well to daily acid suppressing medications, such as proton pump inhibitors.

It’s important to note, however, that while these medications effectively manage symptoms, they are not a cure. The heartburn pain will go away, but the backsplash of damaging fluid still occurs.

That’s because proton pump inhibitors can’t fix the underlying mechanical problem the dysfunction of the valve between the esophagus and stomach. Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors can also cause significant side effects, and you must consider the lifetime cost of taking these medications.

For these reasons, surgery may be necessary to correct the valve mechanism, with the goal of eliminating the need for reflux medication. Advances in technology have improved doctors ability to tailor procedures to each individual patient, with greatly improved outcomes.

These techniques are performed through small or even no incisions, and serve to restore the valve mechanism between the esophagus and stomach to prevent acid reflux, explains Justin Karush, DO, a thoracic surgeon at Rush. Common procedures for GERD include laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, transoral incisionless fundoplication and magnetic sphincter augmentation .

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Risk Factors For Gerd

  • The higher your BMI, the more likely you are to develop GERD.
  • Cigarette smoking increases the risk of GERD
  • Moderate physical activity and a diet high in dietary fiber are beneficial for GERD.
  • Psychological stress makes GERD-related pain seem worse.
  • Sleep disturbance
  • GERD has shown to disturb sleep. Consequently, lack of sleep has shown to increase the symptoms of GERD.
  • Avoiding Complications Of Reflux

    Before you worry that your heartburn is leading you straight down the road to esophagitis or esophageal cancer, you should know there are several treatments available. These treatments can both ease your heartburn and reduce your risk for complications.

    A gastroenterologist can often use a thin scope called an endoscope to look at your esophagus and diagnose your condition. There are also other tests thay can use to help with the diagnosis. Treatment for GERD usually involves medications and lifestyle interventions. On rare occasions, however, surgery may be needed to relieve a blockage or prevent the acid from backing up.

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    Narrowing Of The Esophagus

    Damage to the esophagus over time also can produce scarring — strictures — that narrow the opening of the esophagus. These narrowed passages can make swallowing difficult and interfere with food and liquids getting into the stomach. It can also cause esophageal spasms, painful chest pains that can mimic a heart attack. As unpleasant as they can be, people who develop strictures find some relief from their heartburn. That’s because the narrowing blocks acids from rising up into the esophagus.

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      As we reach what seems to be the end of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in India, several recovering patients stare at a long haul of dealing with persisting symptoms now being defined as long Covid by doctors. In light of the situation, News18 will run a 15-day series where doctors with different specialisations will address concerns, recommend ways to deal with them and suggest when to seek help.

      In todays column, Dr Kunal Das, HOD and consultant – gastroenterology, HCMCT in Manipal talks about gastrointestinal sequelae characterised by acid reflux and loss of appetite.

      While long Covid can include several symptoms, one of them is gastrointestinal sequelae that include loss of appetite, nausea, acid reflux, and diarrhoea. Studies claim that this can continue to plague recovered Covid-19 patients for almost three months after testing negative.

      In an interview with News18.com, Dr Das said, Covid-19 affects all organs of the body through the primary respiratory system. Gastrointestinal symptoms are present in almost 60% of the patients. In the second wave, we observed that most of Covid patients had symptoms of stomach flu-like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

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